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Supporting the healthy development of strong families

APA Citation:

Kuhl, M. W., Richmond, A., Jordan, A. C., Casper, D. M., Pinna, K. L. M., Sherman, M. D.,...Borden, L. M. (2016). Supporting the healthy development of strong families. Report submitted to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Abstract Created by REACH:

Families are faced with a variety of positive and negative challenges throughout the family life cycle. Many families who manage these challenges effectively typically possess nine components that contribute to their strength and resilience: communication, emotion regulation, family cohesion, family recreation and leisure time, financial management, prosocial family values, resilience, religiosity and spirituality, and routines and rituals. Further, strong and resilient military families possess a tenth component: military readiness. This report defines these ten key components for strong family functioning and reviews the importance of families acquiring, developing, and sustaining these ten key components. In addition, a framework for family behavior change is provided and the role of informal and formal networks in creating family changes is discussed. Lastly, an overview of the barriers families face with regard to help-seeking is presented as making familial cultural and behavioral changes can be difficult and often present challenges that need to be overcome.



Branch of Service:

Marine Corps
Multiple branches
Air Force
Coast Guard

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Military families


Childhood (birth - 12 yrs)
Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)


Review of Literature


Kuhl, Michelle Wittcoff, Borden, Lynne M., Brown, Samantha, Casper, Deborah M., Cheatom, Octavia, Hawkey, Kyle R., Hawkins, Stacy, Hoangm, To Nga, Jordan, Ashley C., Lu, Zihui, Majerle, Amy, Otto, Mark, Rea, Jennifer, Richmond, Adeya, Sherman, Michielle, Shortreed, Timothy, SSteinman, David, Westerhof, Lara, Williams, Rhiannon

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

The Military REACH Team

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Department of Family Social Science, The University of Minnesota, LMB


The University of Minnesota

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Report


Developed in collaboration with the Department of Defense's Office of Family Policy, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Award No. 2009-48667-05833.

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