An Application of Family Stress Theory to Clinical Work with Military Families and Other Vulnerable Populations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Growing empirical evidence has suggested an association between deployment experiences and adverse consequences among military families in terms of individual and family functioning. Military families are increasingly seeking the support of clinical social workers for both preventing and managing these adverse outcomes. The contextual model of family stress and coping, a family stress theory consistent with social work values, provides a clinically useful framework for designing effective interventions for this population. In this article, I apply this model to a case study to illustrate how this perspective can be used to both understand the experiences of military families and develop appropriate treatment plans for family therapy. Based on case information gathered by a social worker during a family assessment, I use the model to organize and understand the issues faced by this family and guide treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Family coping
  • Family therapy
  • Military deployment
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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