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Military Couples Becoming Parents Project
Jared A. Durtschi, Ph.D.
  (Principle Investigator)
209 Campus Creek
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506


Kristy Soloski, M.S.
243 Campus Creek
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506


New Military Families Study

What is the "Military Couples Becoming Parents Study?"

Military family at homecomingThis study seeks to better understand how military couples adjust to first-time parenthood. Having a child is a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging.  We believe that the romantic relationship between a mother and father is very important not only for each adult parent, but also for their child.

This study aims to improve our understanding of:

  • How couples in the military balance their multiple responsibilities while maintaining close relationships with their significant other.
  • How couples in the military develop strong family bonds that can last across time.
  • What first-time mothers and fathers can do that will be helpful to keep their romantic relationship strong and satisfying throughout this important life transition.

To participate in this study, please email Dr. Jared Durtschi at jadmft@k-state.edu stating, "I'd like to participate in your study," along with you and your spouse/partner's name. He will then email you a link to take the first survey.

How is my Participation in this Study Helpful?

Child holding flagResearchers, policy makers, and those involved with interventions and education know very little about how the transition to parenthood is unique for military families, and what can predict better outcomes for military families. Your participation in this study is very important for a number of reasons.

The findings from this study can be used to:

  • Greatly improve our understanding of military couples adjustment to first-time parenthood.
  • Use these new findings to equip first-time parents in the military with important information for what can be helpful for them in maintaining close relationships with their partners.
  • Help inform policy and interventions that may be helpful for first-time parents.

Study Requirements

To participate in this study, a few things are required:

  • One or both parents need to be active duty in the U.S. Army
  • Mother is pregnant, and in the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Needs to be first child for both mother and father
  • Both parents need to be at least 18 years old
  • Couples need to be either
    • married or
    • cohabiting and living in a committed romantic relationship
  • You are not eligible if:
    • not living together
    • just casually dating
    • not in a relationship with the parent of the child you are pregnant with
  • Both mothers AND fathers need to complete the surveys. This is a study of couples, not mothers. Thus, both mothers and fathers need to be willing to take the surveys.
  • Lastly, both partners need to be able to read English well enough to understand the survey questions.

What will I be doing?

Photo of growing military familyIf you participate in the study, both you and your partner will take four online surveys at various time points starting in pregnancy and then through the first year after birth. The first survey will be the longest, at around 45 minutes to complete, and is to be completed by the mother and father while the mother-to-be is in her third trimester of pregnancy. The three additional surveys will be completed at 4-months, 8-months, and 12-months after the birth of the child. Each of the final three surveys should take only about 25 minutes to complete. To do the surveys, all you have to do is log into our online website from any computer or any location, and answer the questionnaires to the best of your ability.