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Week 9: Transition and Integration

Transition and integration are two elements of military life that are experienced frequently by military families. How does a military family cope with leaving the service? How do they repeatedly change locations?

This week, you revisit military families coping with transitions in and out of the military, as well as the integration into civilian life. You also explore strategies to help with this stage of military life.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the impact of transition and integration on military families
  • Assess coping strategies
  • Apply knowledge to role as a helping professional

Learning Resources

Required Readings
DeCarvalho, L. T., & Whealin, J. A. (2012). Healing stress in military families: Eight steps to wellness. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Step 7, “Challenge” (pp. 103–125)
Curry, J. F., Kiser, L. J., Fernandez, P. E., Elliott, A. V., & Dowling, L. M. (2018). Development and initial piloting of a measure of post-deployment parenting reintegration experiences. Professional Psychology: Research And Practice, 49(2), 159-166.
Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014g). Transition and integration [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.

 

Discussion: Transition and Integration

Transition and reintegration can be difficult for military personnel and for veterans. But it can also be difficult for military families. How does a family transition to another military installation or post? How do they acclimate to a new culture if stationed overseas? Can a spouse have a full career? How do children manage the frequent transitions of new schools, new friends, or new environments? How do military families in general transition to civilian life post military careers?

For this Discussion, review the media, Transition and Integration, provided in this week’s resources. Consider how the families adapted to transitions and managed reintegration into civilian life.

By Day 3

Post what resonated most with you about either family’s transition or integration experience. Describe the coping strategies you observed. How did resiliency play a role in their experiences? How does this information aid you as a helping professional working with these families?

Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.

By Day 5

Respond to two or more colleagues with additional ways observations from this Discussion may aid you in working with military families.


Response 1

 Cassandra Dardar RE: Discussion - Week 9COLLAPSE

The Wlikinson family stood out to me most because she expressed that Mrs. Wilkinson made very valid points of her struggle to transition. The military family became her culture and her support system. This made her integration into civilian life hard. I am sure the struggle of finding new friends, starting a new career and dealing with transition of new schools for the children can all be challenging. The wife explained that her norm has changed totally. The coping skill were to live far away from a military base. I assume that this decision was made because they were trying to detach from the military life. While this did not work for the family it was an attempt. The family continued to move forward in order to integrate in the civilian world. This information provides the helping professional with a different insight of all of the losses that the entire family will experience when integrating back to civilian life. The helping professional will need to provide resources to help this transition and allow for assistance along the way. “A successful transition is challenging to returning soldiers for many reasons, including the dissonance between military and civilian cultures “(Pease,Billera, & Gerard,2016).

Reference

Pease, J. L., Billera, M., & Gerard, G. (2015). Military Culture and the Transition to Civilian Life: Suicide Risk and Other Considerations. Social Work, 61(1), 83-86. doi:10.1093/sw/swv050


Response 2

 Kenechukwu Menakaya RE: Discussion - Week 9 Main PostCOLLAPSE

About what resonated most to me with either family’s transition or integration experience, Betsy Flanigan did not have any negative emotions with transitioning or integrating into civilian life because they are already used to living in a civilian community. But for Kristin Wilkinson and husband, it was a different experience. Living in the military community for a long time, transitioning was very stressful for both; the separation was very hard on her husband because he loved the navy. For her, it was tough, being part of the military culture and military life, it was hard for her to reintegrate. It became a bit frustrating for them to make early plans on when best to retire and where to move. Because of this, I will say that what resonated here is that the Flanigan family, because of living more in a civilian area they did not feel the stress in transitioning. At the same time, it was tough with the Wilkinson's (Laureate Education, 2014g).

The coping strategy that I observed was with the Wilkinson's family. Because they have spent most of their lives in the military community and find it very hard to reintegrate into civilian life, they decided to live anywhere, far away from any naval or military base. Moving very far away from any military installation is the family strategy of coping with transition and reintegration. Resiliency first played a role for Kristin's husband wanting to spend more time with Bella after missing out on raising Brittany. This was a type of resilient mechanism for him. Another resilient mechanism is living in an area where nobody has a clue about military life (Laureate Education, 2014g).

The information aided me as a helping professional in finding out how best to help Wilkinson's family transition and reintegrate into civilian life. The information will help me secure the necessary assistance and privileges that they merit and the resources they deserve and need to transition smoothly to civilian life. Such findings suggest that mental health providers working with military families in the post-deployment phase need to conduct proper assessments of parenting issues (Curry et al., 2918). According to Curry et al., (2018), Military families demonstrate resilience to the stresses of the deployment cycle and deployment appears to have an only modest association with an increase in children's behavioral or academic problems and that the child’s resilience to the stress of deployment is significantly affected by the parent-child relationship.

                                                       References

Curry, J. F., Kiser, L. J., Fernandez, P. E., Elliott, A. V., & Dowing, L. M. (2018). Development and initial piloting of a measure of post-deployment parenting reintegration experiences. Professional Psychology: Research and practice. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pro0000185

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014g). Transition and integration [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


 

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