For the Media

The Military Family Research Institute aims to engage in timely, relevant and evidence-based communications that help educate and inform our partners about the needs and issues surrounding military families. Members of the media can use this area of our website to learn more about MFRI, connect with knowledgeable experts, get information on programs and policies, and arrange an interview with our director.

2015-2016 Review

Read our annual report to learn how we are advancing our strategic vision and making a difference for military and veteran families. Then, if you have an idea about how you or your organization can join us in this mission, contact Linda Hughes-Kirchubel, director of external relations.

Frequently Asked Questions about MFRI

What is the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI)?

The Military Family Research Institute is a collaborative research and outreach organization that works closely with partners and collaborators to improve the lives of service members and their families. Guided by five strategic goals, MFRI is a vibrant learning organization dedicated to supporting, strengthening and influencing the infrastructures, policies and program that affect these families while generating important new knowledge about them. MFRI is located at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

What is the organization’s mission and goals?

The goal of the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University is to create meaningful relationships that bring organizations together in support of military families. Working with researchers and practitioners from both the military and civilian communities, MFRI strives to develop outreach and research programs grounded in scientific evidence.

MFRI's work is guided by five strategic goals:

  1. Support the military infrastructure that supports families.
  2. Strengthen the motivation and capacity of civilian communities to support military families.
  3. Generate important new knowledge about military families.
  4. Influence policies, programs, and practices supporting military families.
  5. Create and sustain a vibrant learning organization.

When was MFRI launched?

The Military Family Research Institute was created in 2000, with funding from the Secretary of Defense’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy. The institute is currently funded through a variety of sources. These include:

  • Gifts and grants from major foundations
  • Grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements from federal funders
  • Contributions from MFRI advocates and other supporting individuals and organizations
  • Non-profit organizations who seek us as partners

Can you tell me more about your director, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D.?

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D., is a professor of human development and family studies at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences. In addition to her work as director of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, she is director of Purdue’s Center for Families. MacDermid Wadsworth has more than 10 years of experience studying and working with military family programs and policies across all branches, in active and reserve components. She is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations, and previously served on the Defense Health Board’s Psychological Health External Advisory Committee, and the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Returning Veterans. She also holds an MBA, is a certified family life educator, and is a recipient of the 2012 Morrill Award, given to faculty members whose careers have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and engagement.