Thinking “Big” About Research on Military Families

Stacy Ann Hawkins, Kathrine S. Sullivan, Ashley C. Schuyler, Mary Keeling, Sara Kintzle, Paul B. Lester, Carl A. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research examining military families is often limited by data collection challenges. Big data approaches can provide greater data access and a more robust picture of individuals, groups, and systems. In this article, the authors discuss the use of big data for military family research. First, they describe the Person-Event Data Environment, a big data solution currently used by the Department of Defense. Then, they discuss several datasets that incorporate constructs of interest to family researchers, including the Family Global Assessment Tool (GAT), a dataset on psychosocial well-being. Next, the authors describe the sample of spouses who have completed the Family GAT (n = 1250). Finally, they discuss theoretical frameworks that provide a foundation for big data research on military families, noting potential future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
JournalMilitary Behavioral Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Big data
  • behavioral health
  • military families
  • military spouse
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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