1. K-State home
  2. »College of Health and Human Sciences
  3. »News
  4. »New military contracts to couple and family therapy researchers focus on intimate partner violence, prevention - College of Health and Human Sciences News

College of Health and Human Sciences

New military contracts to couple and family therapy researchers focus on intimate partner violence, prevention

Monday, June 29, 2020

Sandra Stith headshot

Sandra Stith, university distinguished professor

MANHATTAN — Two Kansas State University professors have received new U.S. military contracts totaling nearly $1.74 million for intimate partner violence prevention and intervention projects.

The first contract to Sandra Stith, university distinguished professor of couple and family therapy, and her co-principal investigator, Chelsea Spencer, research assistant professor of couple and family therapy, is for just over $1,169,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy Installation Command for a project to test the effectiveness of a domestic abuse risk assessment tool used by Department of Defense domestic abuse victim advocates.

The Intimate Partner Physical Injury Risk Assessment Tool was developed by Stith and researchers in a previously funded K-State project. The 15-item tool, tested by Department of Defense treatment providers, collects information from victims, offenders, police reports, etc., to determine the level of risk for future intimate partner violence with injury. The tool's use is now mandated in all four service branches.

Chelsea Spencer headshot

Chelsea Spencer, research assistant professor

In the newly funded project, Stith and Spencer are seeking to determine the effectiveness of the tool when used by military domestic abuse victim advocates who only interview the victim.

The second contract, for just under $569,000, is a subcontract issued by Knowesis for the U.S. Air Force Mental Health Resilience Program Evaluation and Enhancement project. The goal of the project is to prevent and respond to domestic abuse in the Air Force. Some specific projects include training outreach managers at various bases to use online prevention programs, testing the effectiveness of these programs, and examining data to determine the effectiveness of the treatment programs used by treatment providers.

Stith and Spencer also will provide training to Air Force staff on a variety of programs, including a four-hour program designed to increase participants' readiness to change.

This article was posted on Monday, June 29, 2020, and is filed under Applied Human Sciences, College News, Faculty Research, K-State Family Center.