The University of Georgia’s Family and Community Resilience Lab is partnering with Army Child, Youth and School Services to conduct a survey of active-duty families at Fort Hood for the first time.
Under their contract with CYSS, the research team is studying the positive influences of the Army youth and family support programs on family resilience, particularly for families who have experienced deployments, said Jim Ford, research projects coordinator at the university’s Family and Community Resilience Lab.
The focus of the study includes identifying and assessing the impact of CYSS programs on military families located at garrisons experiencing high levels of deployment, exploring individual and family adjustments in the context of Army life, and examining how CYSS participation interfaces with social, emotional and practical changes in youth and families’ lives.
“Beyond anecdotal evidence and stories that (CYSS) works, we’re able to provide statistically significant research that verifies programs being funded do make a difference and we’re looking for ways to improve those programs as well,” Ford said.
The team conducted a pilot test in January and surveyed more than 100 families during a visit in March. They will be at Fort Hood until April 26 for another round of surveying. The research team hopes to reach 400 families by the end of their final visit in early June to provide sufficient feedback to CYSS.
All family members who take the survey must be present at the same time and at least one person must be an active-duty soldier.
Ford said there are two different versions of the surveys: one for active-duty parents and civilian spouses, and one for children between the ages of 11 and 18.
The research questions were reviewed and vetted by a number of people, including CYSS Headquarters, the University of Georgia’s institutional review board, the Army Research Institute and the Army Human Research Protection office.
“Our best guess is to have the data collected and final reports out to Child, Youth and School Services Headquarters by the end of this year,” Ford said.