Elaine Willerton, PhD

Director of Assessment, School of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Elaine Willerton, PhD

Contact: ewillerton@ncu.edu


  • Families and illness
  • Military families
  • Medical family therapy
  • Play therapy with children


  • Abilene Christian University, BS, 1998
  • Texas Tech University, MS, 2002
  • Purdue University, PhD, 2009


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

Selected Publications:

  • 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., 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:

  • Senior Research Scientist, Military Family Research Institute, Purdue University
  • Clinical Fellow, Chicago Center for Family Health
  • Research Manager, Advocate Illinois Masonic Family Medicine Residency