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Toward a framework for military family life education: Culture, context, content, and practice

APA Citation:

Mancini, J. A., O’Neal, C. W., & Lucier-Greer, M. (2020). Toward a framework for military family life education: Culture, context, content, and practice. Family Relations, 69, 644-661. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12426

Abstract Created by REACH:

This practitioner-oriented review provides insights and implications into working with military families based on recent military family research, established family life education frameworks and family science theories, and effective military family programs. This review highlighted themes relevant to understanding the contextual and developmental factors that contribute to differences across military families while also emphasizing the role community connections and family programs play in bolstering skills that promote military family readiness (i.e., ability for families to manage the stressors of the military).



Branch of Service:

Air Force
Coast Guard
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Military non-medical service providers


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Very old (85 yrs & older)


Review of Literature


Mancini, Jay A., O'Neal, Catherine Walker, Lucier‐Greer, Mallory


Grounded in multiple ways of thinking about families, we propose a beginning framework for developing and implementing military family life education. We first situate this work within the context of established family life education frameworks. Then, we discuss features of military culture, including its contexts and demands on families, to highlight the realities of life as a military family and underscore available strengths that family life educators may build upon. This is followed by a discussion of family science theories emphasizing components that can inform and ground military family life education. Next, we draw on lessons from recent comprehensive reviews of programs, including their merits and demerits. Finally, we cite example programs, including those embedded in military family support systems themselves, and resources that are available to family life educators. Ultimately, we propose a set of ideas that inform a framework for developing and implementing military family life education aligned with the realities of family life as well as the vulnerabilities and the resilience of military families.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John S. Wiley

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

University of Georgia, JAM
University of Georgia, CWO
Auburn University, MLG


military families, family life education

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  September 2020

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