The Family Wellbeing Study forms part of the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme being undertaken for the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The Programme contains three related studies: the Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition Study (MHWTS), the Impact of Combat Study and the Family Wellbeing Study (FWS). The first two studies are led by the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at the University of Adelaide, and the third is led by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The FWS was designed to investigate the health and wellbeing of families of current serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, and the impact of military service on families. The ADF members were either in full-time active ADF service in 2015 or had left ADF service between 2010 and 2014.

The FWS has two parts:

  • Part 1: Families of Current and Ex-Serving ADF Members: Health and Wellbeing is a quantitative component for which information covering many areas of life was collected using structured online surveys; and
  • Part 2: Military Family Approaches to Managing Transition to Civilian Life, a quantitative component that investigates the support military families give ADF members following exit from service, and ways in which families themselves can be better supported, using insights gained during semistructured telephone interviews.
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