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U of M seeks Minnesota National Guard and Reserve families to evaluate parenting resources during and after deployment

February 8, 2012

University of Minnesota researchers are recruiting more than 300 Minnesota National Guard and Reserve families to participate in an ongoing study that provides and evaluates parenting resources for children’s resilience as parents deploy and return home from military service.

Military families with children between the ages of 4 and 12 who have experienced one deployment since 2001 and live in the Twin Cities, Mankato and St. Cloud are eligible to join the study.

All families in the study are offered parenting resources. Some families may be invited to join a parenting program, in which parents receive on-site childcare and homework help for their school-aged children while they attend groups. Families are paid up to $595 over the course of the study.

Since Project ADAPT (After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools) launched last year, nearly 100 families have participated. Groups are now forming for this spring. More groups will follow with the next wave of returning parents—about 2,500 soldiers are expected back in Minnesota in May.

“What impresses me about this program is that it offers parents proven and practical strategies for managing family life,” said Col. Greg Haase, commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard. “It accomplishes this by demonstrating simple but effective skills.”

Abi Gewirtz, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Family Social Science, is the study’s principal investigator, and the research team includes Melissa Polusny at the Minneapolis VA. The investigators joined with the Minnesota National Guard and Reserve Units to develop and assess parenting resources for families of school-aged children who have gone through the military deployment process. They hope to learn how best to support military families.

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