Total force fitness: The military family fitness model

V. Bowles, Liz Davenport Pollock, Monique Moore, Shelley Macdermid Wadsworth, Colanda Cato, Judith Ward Dekle, Sonia Wei Meyer, Amber Shriver, Bill Mueller, Mark Stephens, Dustin A. Seidler, Joseph Sheldon, James Picano, Wanda Finch, Ricardo Morales, Sean Blochberger, Matthew E. Kleiman, Daniel Thompson, Mark J. Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The military lifestyle can create formidable challenges for military families. This article describes the Military Family Fitness Model (MFFM), a comprehensive model aimed at enhancing family fitness and resilience across the life span. This model is intended for use by Service members, their families, leaders, and health care providers but also has broader applications for all families. The MFFM has three core components: (1) family demands, (2) resources (including individual resources, family resources, and external resources), and (3) family outcomes (including related metrics). The MFFM proposes that resources from the individual, family, and external areas promote fitness, bolster resilience, and foster well-being for the family. The MFFM highlights each resource level for the purpose of improving family fitness and resilience over time. The MFFM both builds on existing family strengths and encourages the development of new family strengths through resource-acquiring behaviors. The purpose of this article is to (1) expand the military’s Total Force Fitness (TFF) intent as it relates to families and (2) offer a family fitness model. This article will summarize relevant evidence, provide supportive theory, describe the model, and proffer metrics that support the dimensions of this model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-258
Number of pages13
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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