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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: MAMS 521
Course Title: The Military Family
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

An exploration of the theoretical and practical aspects of military family lifestyle. The course includes case studies of topics such as deployments, separation, reunion, marriage, parenting and loss with an emphasis on command and supervision responsibilities.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Textbook listed is not necessarily the textbook used in the course. Textbook chosen should include theory and technique appropriate for graduate level practice.

Counseling Military Families: What Mental Health Professionals Need to Know
By Hall, Lynn (Routledge Press (2008))
Working with Families: An Integrated Model of Level by Need
By Kilpatrick, A., and Holland, T. (Allyn & Bacon (2009))
Families Under Stress: An Assessment of Data, Theory and Research on Marriage and Divorce in the Military
By Karney, B. (RAND Corporation (2007))
Course Objectives
  • To identify current research and policy developments regarding military families.
  • To explain the models of the family life cycle and levels of need.
  • To identify the unique aspects of military life regarding the family including social, psychological, and economic factors.
  • To describe the impact of family, and family obligations, on service member performance and career.
  • To explain the impact of family on service member performance and career opportunities.
Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the family life cycle model(s).
  • Describe the levels of need model for families including interventions and functionality of the family at each level.
  • Describe the major theoretical models of family functioning and intervention.
  • Create a three-generation genogram.
  • Create an eco-map.
  • Perform a literature review on a topic related to families in the military and report those findings in a scholarly paper.
  • Perform a service branch specific review of official policies, procedures, programs, and guidelines regarding the family and report those findings in a scholarly paper.
  • Describe the effects of military life and deployment on the family.
Topical Outline:
  • The Implications of Marriage for the military
  • Developing models of military marriage
  • Review of empirical research on military marriages
  • Trends in marriage and divorce for military families
  • The direct effects of deployments on marital dissolution
  • Levels of family need
  • Ecological systems - social constructionist approach to understanding families
  • Commonalities and diversity in the family
  • Ethical and spiritual matters regarding the family
  • First level of family need - basic survival
  • Second level of family need: structure, limits, and safety
  • Social learning and the family
  • Third level of family need: boundaries and control
  • Family Systems Theory
  • Fourth level of family need: family and personal growth
  • Object relations and the family
  • The military family and military culture
  • Working with military families' specific issues (mental health, family violence, PTSD, substance abuse, and finances)
  • Current military programs, policies, procedures, and guidelines on families

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Brad Lookingbill Date: October 17, 2011
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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