Elaine Willerton, PhD

Director of Assessment, School of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Elaine Willerton Headshot


  • Assessment in higher education
  • Marriage and family therapy


  • BS, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
  • MS, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • PhD, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


  • “Trajectories of Relationship Functioning and Psychological Well-being of U.S. Military Service Members During and After Deployment”

Research Areas of Interest:

  • Online education
  • Military family research

Certifications and/or Licenses:

  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Ohio, Michigan

Selected Publications:

  • Willerton, E., Hussey, H., & Watters, Y. (in press). Creating and maintaining a psychology research culture in an online environment. In J. Cerniak, M. Wong & L. Rosen (Eds.) Teaching Psychology Online. Society for the Teaching of Psychology.
  • Willerton, E. & Murray, M. (2017). Roles in couples and families. In Lebow, Chambers, & Breunlin  (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer.
  • MacDermid Wadsworth, S.M., Cardin, J.F., Willerton, E., Flittner, A., Topp, D.B., Lester, P. & Mustillo, S. (2016). Accumulation of risk and promotive factors among young children in U.S. military families. American Journal of Community Psychology, 7, 190-202.  
  • Flittner O'Grady, A.E., MacDermid Wadsworth, S.M., Willerton, E., Cardin, J.F., Topp, D.B., Mustillo, S., Lester, P. (2015). Help seeking by parents in military families on behalf of their young children. Psychological Services, 12, 231-240.
  • Willerton, E., Schwarz, R., MacDermid Wadsworth, S.M., and Oglesby, M.S. (2011). Military fathers' perspectives on involvement. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 251 - 230.
  • Willerton, E., MacDermid Wadsworth, S.M., & Riggs, D. (2010). Military families under stress: What we know and what we need to know. In S.M. MacDermid Wadsworth & D. Riggs (Eds.) Risk and Resilience in U.S. Military Families. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Willerton, E., Dankoski, M., & Sevilla Martir, J. F. (2008). Medical family therapy with Latinos. Families, Systems and Health, 26 (2), 196-206.
  • Faber, A. J., Willerton, E., Clymer, S. R., MacDermid, S. M., & Weiss, H. (2008). Ambiguous Absence, Ambiguous Presence:  A Qualitative Study of Military Reserve Families in War Time. Journal of Family Psychology, 22 (2), 222-230.

Selected Professional Experience:

  • Clinical Fellow, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Senior Research Scientist, Military Family Research Institute, Purdue University
  • Clinical Fellow, Chicago Center for Family Health
  • Research Manager, Advocate Illinois Masonic Family Medicine Residency
  • Adjunct Professor, Purdue University – Calumet, Northeastern Illinois University