Book Reviews -- the Military Family in Peace and War Edited by Florence W. Kaslow

By Bowen, Gary L. | Journal of Marriage and Family, November 1994 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- the Military Family in Peace and War Edited by Florence W. Kaslow


Bowen, Gary L., Journal of Marriage and Family


The Military Family in Peace and War. Florence W. Kaslow (Ed.). New York: Springer Publishing. 1993. 277 pp. ISBN 0-8261-8270-4. $39.95 cloth.

Florence Kaslow assembles an engaging set of chapters that capture the way in which both demands and supports within the United States military setting, and structural changes in society, frame and inform family structure and functioning. An underlying aim of the volume is to provide practitioners who work with military families insights into the special character and culture of life in the military, and an appreciation for how broader structural and normative aspects of military life permeate, shape, and constrain the nature of marital and family system dynamics. Kaslow considers such a contextual perspective imperative in the training and supervision of clinicians who work with military families.

The volume consists of 13 chapters, and is divided into two parts. The first part includes seven chapters that review a number of personal and interpersonal issues that shape patterns of personal and family adaptation to the demands of military life, including an integrative chapter by Kaslow on "Attitudes, Knowledge Base, and Skills Essential to Treat Military Families." Other chapters in this section (a) describe the special stressors on children in military families; (b) review policies, trends, and stereotypes about women and mothers in the military, especially the issue of women in combat; (c) provide follow-up research on the long-term adjustment of Vietnam-era children with a father missing in action; (d) discuss the diagnosis and treatment of psychosexual dysfunctions that are associated with combat stress; (e) reinforce the importance of cognitive factors in the adaptation process of military families; and (f) capture the character and lifestyle of "special warriors," operators whose military duty is performed in a shroud of secrecy and whose families are called upon to make special sacrifices.

Part 2 of The Military Family broadens the focus of the volume to show how the military family is embedded in a larger social structure that influences the timing of life cycle transitions and that provides an array of benefits and health and social services to promote successful adaptation of service members and their families to the rigors of military life. Six chapters are included in Part 2, including an integrative concluding chapter by Kaslow. This final chapter reemphasizes the encompassing nature and special stressors of military service on service members and their families, and the need for practitioners who treat these families to have a contextual appreciation for the challenges that these families face in balancing work and family demands. …

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