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The creation of military family leisure experiences

APA Citation:

Melton, K. K., Townsend, J., & Hodge, C. J. (2018). The creation of military family leisure experiences. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(3), 602-619. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12273

Abstract Created by REACH:

Leisure time is integral to family functioning and personal wellbeing, in part because it provides opportunities for family members to build bonds and maintain a sense of solidarity. The purpose of this study was to apply the Creation of Family Experiences (CFE) framework to promote positive leisure experiences for military families. CFE takes into consideration family factors, aspects of leisure activities, and social norms to identify the circumstances in which family leisure activities may promote family cohesion (i.e., the emotional bonds experienced between family members). The authors suggest that the CFE Framework could be used to help military families identify appropriate leisure activities that can assist in mitigating military-related stressors while enhancing family relations.



Branch of Service:

Air Force
Coast Guard
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Child of a service member or veteran
Guard/Reserve member
Military families
Military non-medical service providers


Childhood (birth - 12 yrs)
Neonatal (birth - 1 mo)
Infancy (2 - 23 mo)
Preschool age (2 -5 yrs)
School age (6 - 12 yrs)
Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Very old (85 yrs & older)


Application of theory


Melton, Karen K., Townsend, Jasmine, Hodge, Camilla J.


This article provides a theoretical model that positions family leisure experiences as a mechanism for positive family outcomes and resilience in military families. The article integrates the Creation of Family Experiences (CFE) framework with literature on military families, family leisure, and structured experiences. The CFE framework is a conceptual model that provides a lens for examining the context of family activities in order to better identify benefits for human development and family relations. When contextualized within military settings, the CFE can be used to understand and systematically optimize military family leisure experiences. It is critical to consider the experiences of military families (e.g., relocation, deployment, reunion) and how those experiences interact with family leisure experiences to produce resilient families. Future research and practice should consider this application of the CFE framework when seeking to explain, support, and program recreation-based activities for military families.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Baylor University, KKM
Clemson University, JT
University of Utah, CJH


activity, family, leisure experience, military

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  February 2020

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