UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center Partners with California National Guard and Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration on NIH Grant

A grant supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health was awarded to the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center to support research focused on promoting resilience in Military families with young children.

LOS ANGELES– The UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center (NFRC) was awarded $2,635,352 in the form of a five year grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. This grant will continue the overall  efforts of the UCLA NFRC to promote resilience among military families using the hallmark FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) Family Resilience Training, a proven and established strength-based, family-centered preventive intervention that is culturally sensitive and socially accepted by active duty military communities.

The proposal, funded through this grant, outlines a dual phase initiative including a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) that will test the efficacy of the FOCUS-EC (Families OverComing Under Stress for Early Childhood) Model in Civilian Dwelling Military (CDM) families (which includes the Reserve and National Guard) living in Southern California. The results of this study, will guide further development of the FOCUS-EC Model to effectively meet the needs of CDM families with young children. The California National Guard and Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration will partner with the UCLA NFRC on this project.

“Never before has there been this large a group of military families navigating the transition to civilian life in such a short period of time. The RCT of FOCUS-EC will address an unprecedented and unmet public health prevention need for high risk and underserved CDM Families,” remarked Dr. Patricia Lester, M.D., Principal Investigator & Director, UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center.

Developed as a preventive intervention for young children, FOCUS-EC utilizes a trauma-informed narrative approach to help parents reflect upon deployment separations and reintegration challenges, improve communications, and develop a shared sense of family meaning regarding their deployment and reintegration experiences. The intervention assists parents in identifying areas of strength and resilience in the marital relationship and family as well as areas in need of growth through the use of structured activities that increase supportive interactions and enhance family resilience.

About UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center

The UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center (NFRC) bridges the gap between research and practice to help families become stronger in the face of challenges. Working with communities and systems of care, they develop and evaluate high-quality, preventive services that support family relationships and child development. The UCLA NFRC also provides training to bring evidence-based, family-centered programs to agencies and community providers. Their programs and services support Military and Veteran Families, new parents, at-risk adolescents, and families impacted by stress, trauma, or grief. FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) is a resilience-building program of the UCLA NFRC. For more information about the programs provided by the UCLA NFRC visit nfrc.ucla.edu

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HD072324. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.