MFRI Presents Inaugural Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award

September 29, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University on Wednesday (Sept. 23) presented the inaugural Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families, recognizing the best piece of research on military-connected families published in the past year.

The article, “Reinstitutionalizing Families: Life Course Policy and Marriage in the Military,” appeared in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. The authors are Jennifer Lundquist, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Zhun Xu, Renmin University of China. In it, the authors argue that structural conditions of modern military service - including deployment, frequent moves and overarching characteristics of military employment - shape the relationships between spouses and service members. In their argument, the authors bring together life-course literatures on turning points, the welfare state, and linked lives to show how military policies are part of an overarching institutional culture that directly and indirectly promotes marriage.

In her presentation of the award at a dinner in Washington, D.C., Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI explained, “Since 2000, the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University has worked to develop and promote rigorous research on behalf of military families. Furthermore, we are committed to helping organizations that work directly with military families to use such research to create and strengthen policies, practices and programs. And we want to recognize the excellent work that researchers are doing to help us all gather new insights about families who serve.”

To that end, MFRI has created an award to recognize the single scientific article published that combines exceptional rigor with important insights about military and veteran families. Nominations for the award are neither solicited nor accepted. Instead, a panel of 12 reviewers examined all the research on military families published during 2014, more than 150 articles in all. Multiple rounds of review yielded the winning article. 

The article will be open for anyone to read online through Oct. 23. Find it in the Wiley Online Library.

For more information about the authors, the award, and MFRI, visit the Military Family Research Institute website.

Contact: Beth Johnson, director of External Relations, MFRI, 703-927-7429,

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