Family Violence, Suicidality, and Substance Abuse in Active Duty Military Families: An Ecological Perspective

Alexandra K. Wojda, Richard E. Heyman, Amy M. Smith Slep, Heather M. Foran, Jeffery D. Snarr, Mark Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective community-based prevention requires an understanding of risk and protective factors in the population of interest. This article consolidates myriad risk and protective factor studies on family violence, alcohol abuse, and suicidality investigating various ecological levels (individual, family, workplace, and community) in random population samples of U.S. Air Force active-duty members. The reviewed program of research attempted to address gaps in the literature through two major improvements: (a) the use of a large, biennial epidemiological sample across the U.S. Air Force and (b) the application of a social ecological framework (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998). Multivariate models (both within and across ecological levels) delineated which variables make unique contributions to each specified outcome. Variables contributing unique variance (a) within the family ecological level and (b) across all ecological levels are reported. This integrative review of this research program on behavioral health problems can help direct current and future prevention practices in the military and, given these studies’ unusual examination of multiple ecological levels simultaneously, may inform and promote replication in civilian populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-312
Number of pages13
JournalMilitary Behavioral Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Military families
  • family violence
  • prevention
  • risk and protective factors
  • social ecological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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