Norris Headshot 1 2017

Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator

BHEc (MSVU), MSc (Alberta), PhD (Dalhousie)

Email: Deborah.Norris@msvu.ca

Phone: (902) 457-6376

Office: Evaristus 325

Affiliated Member of the Centre for Social Innovation and Community Engagement in Miliary Affairs (www.msvu.ca/sicema)

 

 

Biography

I received a Bachelor of Home Economics in Family Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Master in Science in Family Life Education from the University of Alberta, and a PhD in Educational Foundations from Dalhousie University.

Research and professional activity with military and Veteran families has been my main focus over the course of my career. Informed by ecological theory and critical theory, I am dedicated to advancing knowledge about the cycle of deployment, military-to-civilian-transition, the impacts of operational stress injuries, and military and Veteran family resilience(y), largely from the standpoints of the families of serving members and Veterans. Recently, my military/Veteran research program has expanded to include an emphasis on the impacts of operational stress on the families of public service personnel (law enforcement officers, paramedics, firefighters). This research and professional activity is applied, collaborative, and interdisciplinary.

For seven years, I led a community-university research alliance investigating service needs and service gaps experienced by individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Nova Scotia.

Family violence research and practice is also an interest, as reflected in my recent involvement with the Gendered Violence Prevention Network, a collaboration between Mount Saint Vincent University and the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. In collaboration with Dr. Diane Crocker at Saint Mary’s University and the Be the Peace Institute, I am a co-investigator on study investigating the meaning of justice for women who have experienced gender-based based violence, identifying implications for system change.

The courses I teach focus on the theories, skills, and dispositions required for research and practice in Family Studies and related fields. I teach across the trajectory from first-year undergraduate courses to graduate courses. At present, these include FSGN 1100 – Introduction to Family Studies, FSGN 2212 – Parent-Child Relations, FSGN 3314/GFSG 6614 – Family Violence across the Life Course, GFSG 6613 – Critical Theories in Family Studies and Gerontology, GFSG 6610 – Family Life Education, and GFSG 6606 – Research Methods in Family Studies and Gerontology. I have developed a course focusing on military families and taught it as a “special topic” at the undergraduate and graduate levels in 2014, 2019, and 2020. I have supervised 24 Masters-level students to date (two of these students were recipients of the MSVU Graduate Thesis Award). My students’ research focuses on the mental health and well-being of military and veteran families, resilience in military and veteran families, parenting programs, and intimate partner violence. Service on the thesis committees of MA, MSc, and PhD students at MSVU, Queen’s University, and the University of Calgary continues as a commitment.

I serve on University committees, community boards, research groups, leadership circles, and professional associations. I am the Associate Editor of the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health.

Research Interests

  • Military and Veteran families
  • Military and Veteran family resilience(y)
  • Health and social service needs of persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Family relations and social support
  • Family violence and gender-based violence
  • Qualitative research
  • Critical theories

Recent Academic Honours and Awards

2018
The Vanier Institute Military and Veteran Family Health Research Award for best family paper presented at the Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum – Regina, SK, October, 2017

2017
Fellow
Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research

2016
Induction to the Decade Club
Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)

2015
Senate Award for Service in University Governance
Mount Saint Vincent University

Selected Publications

Whelan, J., Eichler, M., Norris, D., & Landry, D.  (in press). The politics of treatment: A qualitative study of Canadian military PTSD clinicians. Journal of Veterans’ Studies.

Schwartz, K.D., Norris, D., Cramm, H., Eichler, M., Mahar, A., Tam-Seto, L., & Smith-Evans, K. (in press). Family members of veterans with mental health problems: Seeking, finding, and accessing informal and formal supports during military-to-civilian transition. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health.

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Schwartz, K., Tam-Seto, L., Williams, A., & Mahar, A. (2019). Impact of Canadian Armed Forces veterans’ mental health problems on the family during the military to civilian transition. Military Behavioral Health. doi.org/10.1080/21635781.2019.1644260

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Houlton, C., Flindall-Hanaa, M. & Tam-Seto, L. (accepted). Exploring post-traumatic stress disorder and its impacts on military families: Scoping the field. In R. Ricciardelli, N. Carleton, A. Hall, & S. Bornstein (Eds.), Handbook of Post-traumatic Stress: Psychosocial, Cultural and Biological Perspectives. London, UK: Routledge.

Skomorovsky, A., Norris, D., Martynova, E., McLaughlin, K., & Wan, C. (2019). . Work-family conflict and parental strain among Canadian Armed Forces single mothers: The role of coping. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 5 (1), 93-104. doi.org/10.3138/jmvfh.2017-0033

Norris, D., Eichler, M., Cramm, H., Tam-Seto, L., & Smith-Evans, K. (2018). Operational stress injuries and the mental health and well-being of veteran spouses: A scoping review. Journal of Family Theory and Review. doi: 10.1111/jftr.12283

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Venedam, S., & Tam-Seto, L. (2018). Toward a model of military family resiliency: A narrative review. Journal of Family Theory and Review. doi: 10.1111/jftr.12284

Cramm, H. & Norris, D. War and family life: A critical book review (2018). Journal of Family Theory and Review. doi: 10.1111/jftr.12276

Ostler, K., Cramm, H. & Norris, D. (in press). Geographic mobility and special education services. Understanding the experiences of Canadian military families. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health.

Norris, D. & Smith-Evans, K. (in press, 2018). The experiences of spouses of Canadian Armed Forces veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder: Pathways to resilience. In S. Dursun, S. Urban, & W. Dean (Eds.), The home front: Family well-being and military readiness. Kingston: Canadian Defence Academy Press.

Norris, D., Cramm, H., & Smith-Evans, K. (in press, 2018). The families of military veterans: A scoping review. In S. Dursun, S. Urban, & W. Dean (Eds.), The home front: Family well-being and military readiness. Kingston: Canadian Defence Academy Press.

Skomorovsky, A. & Norris, D., Bullock, A., & Smith-Evans, K. (2016). The impact of military life on children’s well-being and child-parent relationships in single parent military families. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 2(2), 29-36. doi: 10.3138/jmvfh.3753

Cramm, H., Tam-Seto, L., Norris, D., Eichler, M., & Smith-Evans, K. (2016). The impact of parental operational stress injury on child mental health and well-being: A scoping review. Military Behavioral Health. doi: 10.1080/21635781.2016.1181582

Tam-Seto, L., Cramm, H., Norris, D., Eichler, M., & Smith-Events, K. (2016) An environmental scan of programs and services of Veterans with operational stress injuries Military Behavioral Health., doi: 10.1080/21635781.2016.1187098

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Tam-Seto, L., Eichler, M., & Smith-Evans, K. (2015). Making military families in Canada a research priority. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 1(2), pp. 11-15. doi: 10.3138/jmvfh.3287

Conference Presentations (Refereed)

Ritchie, K., Hill, S., Edgelow, M., Tam-Seto, L., Norris, D., Eichler, M. & Cramm, H. (2021). Changes in Veteran identity during military-civilian transition. Paper presentation  accepted for Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist Conference (CAOT), Virtual.

Eichler, M., Cramm, H., Norris, D., & Smith-Evans, K. (2021). Transitioning from military to civilian life: The veteran experience in Atlantic Canada. The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, University of New Brunswick. (Conference postponed until June 2021).

Norris, D., Cramm, H., & Mahar, A. (2019). Exploring the Experiences of Adult Children of CAF Veterans: Implications for Policy Development.  Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum. Gatineau, Quebec, Paper.

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Schwartz, K.D., Tam-Seto, L., Mahar, A., Eichler, M., Smith-Evans, K.,& Blackburn, D. (2018). Co-parenting with a veteran partner who has post-traumatic stress disorder. International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). Washington, D.C., Paper.

Norris, D., Smith-Evans, K., & Cramm, H. (2018). Military family resilience/y: An environmental scan of programs and services. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Regina, SK, Canada, Paper.

Norris, D., Cramm, H., Schwartz, K.D., Mahar, A., Tam-Seto, L., & Smith-Evans, K. The mental health and well-being of families of CAF Veterans with operational stress injuries through the military-to-civilian transition: Implications for program and policy development. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Regina, SK, Canada, Paper.

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Schwartz, K., Tam-Seto, L., Mahar, A., Eichler, M., Smith-Evans, K., & Blackburn, D. (2018). Exploring the health and well-being of families of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans living with mental health problems during the military-to-civilian transition period. Veterans’ Mental Health – From Enlistment to Retirement. King’s College London, UK, Poster.

Cramm, H., Norris, D., Houlton, C., Flindall-Hanna, M., & Tam-Seto, L. (2017). Posttraumatic stress disorder & military-connected families: A scoping review.  ESTSS abstracts. The XVth Conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Odense, Denmark, Poster.

Cramm, H., Norris, D., & Schwartz, K.D. (2017). The impact of operational stress injuries  on the mental health and well-being of family members of CAF Veterans through military-to-civilian transition.  Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Toronto, ON, Canada, Paper.

Wynia, K., Norris, D., Schwartz, K.D., Whelan, J., & Cramm, H. (2017). Exploring family  resiliency within Canadian Armed Forces Veteran families during the military to civilian transition. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Toronto, ON, Canada, Paper.

Eichler, M., Whelan, J., Norris, D., & Landry, D. (2017).  First-hand narratives of operational stress injuries. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Toronto, ON, Canada, Paper.

Smith-Evans, K., & Norris, D. (2017). Post-traumatic growth among CAF Veteran couples: The role of spousal support. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Toronto, ON, Canada, Research Working Group presentation.

Cramm, H., Boushey, C., Rowe, J., Norris, D., Tam-Seto, L., & Smith-Evans, K. (2017). Post-traumatic growth and post-traumatic stress disorder: A scoping review. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Toronto, ON, Canada, Paper.

Cramm, H., Houlton, C., Flindall-Hanna, M., Norris, D., & Tam-Seto, L. (2017). Family impacts on military-related posttraumatic stress disorder: A scoping review. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Toronto, ON, Canada, Paper.

Cramm, H., Boushey, C., Rowe, J., Norris, D., & Tam-Seto, L. (2017). Creating the conditions for recovery in PTSD: Post-traumatic growth. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy Conference, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, Paper.

Smith-Evans, K. & Norris, D. (2017). Spousal support and the development of post-traumatic growth among CAF Veteran couples. 15th Crossroads Interdisciplinary Health Research Conference, Halifax, NS, Canada, Poster presentation.

Recent Invited Presentation

Norris, D. (2021). Military and Veteran family research: Setting the stage for the next chapter. Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) and the Vanier Institute of the Family (VIF) Symposium. Virtual.

Norris, D. (2019). Military and Veteran family resilience(y). Presentation to staff of Halifax and Region Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC). Halifax, N.S.

Norris, D. (2019). Veteran family resiliency. University of Southern California – Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research International Summit. Los Angeles: CA

Norris, D. (2018). The impact of operational stress injuries on the family members of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans. Presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Norris, D. (2018). Family caregiving in the context of operational stress injury: Implications for program and policy development. Presentation to the 29th Canadian Military History Colloquium, Laurier Centre for Military and Strategic Disarmament Studies – Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada.

Recent Research Grants and Contracts

2020 – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Team Grant: Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grant) ($251,631). Focusing on the family: Enhancing mental wellness in public safety personnel families (Principal Applicant).

2020 – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Team Grant: Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grant) ($834,021). Building Resilience through Integrated Knowledge Transfer in Police Organizations: A Case Study Series (Co-Investigator).

2020 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partner Engage Grant (PEG) COVID-19 Special Initiative ($25,000). Expediting research to practice during COVID-19: Optimizing family well-being of emergency responder personnel (Co-Principal Investigator).

2019 – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Team Grant: Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grants – Letter of Intent Development Grant) ($30,000). Focusing on the family: Enhancing resiliency in public safety personnel families (Co-Applicant).

2019 – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Team Grant: Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grants – Letter of Intent Development Grant) ($30,000). Three pillars of resilience program for public safety personnel (Co-Applicant).

2019 – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Team Grant: Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grants – Letter of Intent Development Grant) ($30,000). Resiliency training for firefighters: a national implementation evaluation (Co-Applicant).

2019 – MSVU Internal SSHRC Explore Grant ($2950.20). Family psychoeducation for military veterans: A pilot study (Principal Investigator).

2018 – True Patriot Love Foundation ($34,100). Exploring the experiences of adult children of CAF veterans: Implications for program and policy development(Principal Investigator).

2018 – True Patriot Love Foundation ($35,000). Understanding the experience of parents caregiving for adult veterans injured through service (Co-Investigator).

2018 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – Partnership Engage Grant ($24,682). Exploring (in)justice stories (Collaborator).

2018 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – Insight Grant ($76,784). Dismantling Stigma: Exploring experiences of and views on food insecurity, social exclusion, and shame among women through participatory action research (Collaborator).

2018 – Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services ($20,000). Military family resilience/y (Co-PI).

2017 – Veteran Affairs Canada ($180,242.69). Qualitative study on Veteran’s identity and well-being during military to civilian transition (PI).

2017 – Veterans Affairs Canada ($194,235.19) Qualitative study on the health and well-being of families of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans with mental health problems (Co-PI).

2016 – Veterans Affairs Canada (357,849.06) Longitudinal study on the mental health of Veterans during military to civilian transition (Co-I)

2016 – MSVU Research Grant ($7500). Beyond medicalization: Engaging the Veteran’s community to understand the meaning(s) of injury (Co-PI).

2015 – Veterans Affairs Canada ($29,092.15) Environmental scan of administrative elements and support programs for Canadian Armed Forces Veterans during military to civilian transition (Co-PI).

2015 – Veterans Affairs Canada ($12,490.51) Operational stress injury: The impact on family mental health and well-being (Co-PI).

 


Department of Family Studies and Gerontology
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3M 2J6

Department telephone (902) 457-6321
Department fax (902) 457-6134
Main office: Evaristus Hall, room 331