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Coming home: A feasibility study of self-guided dialogues to facilitate soldiers’ social interactions and integration

APA Citation:

Milstein, G., Guerrero, M., Palitsky, R., Robinson, L., & Espinosa, A. (2022). Coming home: A feasibility study of self-guided dialogues to facilitate soldiers’ social interactions and integration. Military Psychology, 34(2), 252–259. https://doi.org/10.1080/08995605.2021.1986344

Abstract Created by REACH:

Warrior Spirit/Mission Homefront (WS/MH) is an interactive card game designed to help Service members and Veterans talk about their military experiences. This study examined the feasibility of WS/MH among 299 National Guard members. Guardsmen completed questionnaires on their positive and negative emotions, willingness to engage in social interactions, and willingness to seek help before (i.e., pretest) and after (i.e., posttest) participating in WS/MH. Guardsmen also provided demographic information (e.g., age, gender, race) at pretest and rated their satisfaction with WS/MH at posttest. WS/MH appears to be a brief, feasible program with the potential to promote positive emotions and social interactions of National Guard members.



Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Guard/Reserve member


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)


Cross-Sectional Study
Quantitative Study


Milstein, Glen, Guerrero, Mayra, Palitsky, Roman, Robinson, Leslie, Espinosa, Adriana


The success of service members’ transition from military to civilian life is an ongoing concern for their personal well-being, for their families, and for our communities. There is a need for interventions to promote improved social integration. This one-arm feasibility study examined the ease of use, satisfaction, and desire for social interaction in response to the Warrior Spirit/Mission Homefront (WS/MH) self-guided dialogue program, which facilitates conversations among small groups of fellow service members through gamified activities (N = 299 service members). Through the use of a specially designed card deck and game, service members answer questions written to elicit responses about themselves and their military service. WS/MH dialogs and discussions model how persons can speak about deployment and military service with others. These discussions facilitate the articulation of experiences across a range of difficulties – according to persons’ own comfort threshold – in order to cultivate language that can translate to conversations with which to reconnect with family and community. The activity demonstrated high satisfaction, and yielded the anticipated increases in positive emotion (p = .013) and desire for social interaction (p = .001) in pre-post comparisons. Satisfaction was associated with change in positive emotions and change in willingness to talk with others. This provides initial evidence of good feasibility and satisfaction with WS/MH, as a promising and readily scalable tool in the ongoing efforts to improve service members’ and Veterans’ social interactions, belongingness and emotional well-being as they come home.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Taylor & Francis

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Department of Psychology, The City College of New York Colin Powell School for Civic & Global Leadership, GM
The Research Consortium on Gender, Michigan State University, MG
Warren Alpert Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, RP
Trance4mation Nation, LR
Department of Psychology, The City College of New York, AE


military to civilian, gaming, card game

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


US Department of Veterans Affairs [PRSY No. 76382-00-01; GS-07F0049U-PO# VA558-C00870]

REACH Newsletter:

  July 2022

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