Perkins named to National Academies committee on military family well-being

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Daniel Perkins, founder and principal scientist of Penn State’s Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness and professor of youth and family resiliency and policy, was recently appointed to serve as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families. The committee is comprised of 13 leading researchers in the field of military family social sciences.

“For the last 10 years, Dr. Perkins has worked to advance the field of military family science,” said Susan McHale, director of the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State. “He’s been a leader in developing innovative approaches to the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based programs designed to improve military family resilience.”

The committee was organized to study the challenges and opportunities facing military families and what is known about effective strategies for supporting and protecting military children and families, as well as lessons learned from these experiences. The committee has been charged with reviewing available data and research on military children and families, including those who have left the military. The committee also will review related literature on childhood resilience and adversity.

“The appointment of Dr. Perkins to the National Academies Committee is a clear indication of his positive impacts on behalf of military families," said Laszlo Kulcsar, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education. “His service on this prestigious committee also demonstrates the recognition of applied scholarship, and shows that the work being done at the clearinghouse aligns strongly with the land grant mission of Penn State.”

Specific questions the National Academies committee will address include:

— What can be learned from the positive experiences military families have and the protection conferred to them through supports provided by the Department of Defense and service branches?

— How do the challenges presented by military life, such as frequent moves, exposure to trauma, and economic and other stresses to parents, influence children’s social-emotional, physical, biochemical, and psychological development vary across racial, ethnic, and other characteristics?

— What are the mechanisms by which resilience can be fostered in military children and families?

— What is needed to strengthen the support system for military families?

The outcome of the committee will be a comprehensive report that offers clear direction for research over the next decade to support our military families.

The Clearinghouse for Military Families is an interactive, knowledge-based platform for helping professionals supporting military families to support their program implementation and assessment activities. The clearinghouse is specifically designed to promote and support: (1) the use of research-based decision-making; (2) the selection, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs and practices; (3) the evaluation (process and outcome) of programs and the identification or creation of measures and metrics; and (4) the continued education of professionals assisting military families. It is part of the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State.

Daniel Perkins, founder and principal scientist of Penn State’s Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness and professor of youth and family resiliency and policy. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated March 23, 2018