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Communicating Effectively During Transitions – Managing Turbulence and Dilemmas

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This webinar explores some of the challenges military families may face as they undergo transitions (e.g., deployments, reunions, relocations). On the one hand, transitions can create a sense of turbulence where family members are uncertain about their relationships and have trouble coordinating their routines. On the other hand, transitions also can create dilemmas where family members are faced with competing goals. Communicating effectively during transitions involves recognizing that turbulence and dilemmas are natural and learning how to manage them. Rather than offering simple recipes (e.g., “just talk about it”), the webinar will explore why certain ways of communicating may be more or less effective during transitions. The webinar also will identify programs and resources that may be helpful to professionals who work with military families in transition.


1)     To understand why military families often experience turbulence during times of transition

2)     To understand why dilemmas may occur as military families communicate about transitions

3)     To examine key findings that put both of these topics (turbulence, dilemmas) into action

4)     To move beyond simple recipes (e.g., “just talk about it”) to analyze what counts as more or less effective ways of communicating during transitions

5)     To identify programs and resources to help providers work with military families  

Presenter Information:

Steven R. Wilson is a professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and a faculty affiliate of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. His research focuses on processes of influence and identity management in families. His recent projects have explored how military families communicate when returning service members have difficulty reintegrating to civilian life as well as how military youth cope with tensions between being proud of their parent’s military service but feeling different than civilian peers.

Leanne K. Knobloch is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois. Her research addresses how people communicate during times of transition within close relationships, with a particular focus on how military families navigate the cycle of deployment and reintegration. At present, she is working on a research project funded by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to investigate how military couples can maintain satisfying relationships upon reunion following deployment.

Participants will earn a Certificate of Completion

How to Join the Webinar

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For those who cannot connect to the Adobe site, an alternative viewing of this webinar will be running on Ustream. 

Cover Image by Anita Harris Hering

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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