CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Timothy J. Ellis

Committee Member

Amon B. Seagull

Abstract

The advances in communication technology over the past 20 years have significant implications for the delivery of psycho-educational therapeutic services to populations that have been historically underserved due to remote locations lacking trained providers. One such population is military families, who also suffer from a negative stigma of asking for outside help or education for personal growth. This population also faces increasing mental health needs due to military deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). These operations have increased the number of returning service members who have been physically and mentally injured. The effect that these injuries have on the military family and children can be severe and damaging not only to the family unit but also to the morale of the military itself. Providing mental health services and psycho-educational counseling that meet the needs of the family as well as finding therapeutic approaches that are empirically sound has proven difficult. Recent success with the use of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) with families in the civilian population holds promise in reducing emotional and behavioral disturbances in children as well as increasing the overall functioning of the individuals within the family. Providing services virtually through teleconferencing programs addresses many common barriers to treatment of military families. This study has examined the experience of military families during and after deployment, their perception of counseling and educational services as well as their recommendations for the use of technology. Numerous recommendations for future educational and counseling services via technology were found when the interventions were supported by and aligned with military culture and values.

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