Principal Investigator(s): Norman B. Epstein
Sponsor: Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Clinical evidence suggests Service Members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who participate in the Service Dog Training Program (SDTP) have improved physical and psychological outcomes, including improved relationships with their significant others and children. Trainers teach Service Members to train dogs that will be partnered with other Wounded Warriors. This study is part of a larger 4-year longitudinal study of biological, psychological, and social functioning effects of SDTP as adjunctive treatment to standard of care for PTSD. Participants will be recruited from the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. This sub-study at the Center for Healthy Families at UMCP involves assessments of Service Members couple and family relationships at five points from pre-SDTP to a 12-month follow-up, including questionnaires on couple relationship satisfaction and parenting behavior, as well as coding of video-recorded samples of couple communication and parent-child interaction.