Thomas E. Trail

Photo of Thomas Trail
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D. in social psychology, Princeton University; B.S. in psychology, Virginia Tech

Overview

Thomas E. Trail is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Trail's research focuses on how stress affects relationship processes and health outcomes among military and civilian couples and the effectiveness of programs in mitigating family stress. Current research projects he is leading include the Today's Army Spouse Panel, a survey panel assessing the needs of Army spouses and their families and whether those needs are being met by Army and civilian services; an assessment of the needs of military-affiliated children and the role of Department of Defense counseling services in meeting those needs; and an evaluation of the long-term outcomes of the MyCAA spouse employment program. Other recent research includes an evaluation of the effectiveness of online peer support communities for decreasing social isolation and loneliness among caregivers for ill or wounded veterans, and designing and evaluating a web-based intervention to help spouses concerned about their service member's alcohol use. Prior to joining RAND, Trail was a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton University and his M.S. in applied/experimental psychology from Virginia Tech.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of the TAPS Military and Veteran Caregiver Online Peer Support Community Program
  • Evaluating Non-Medical Counseling Programs
  • Assessing the Needs of Army Families – Spouse Perspectives

Selected Publications

Trail, T. E., Friedman, E., Rutter, C. M., & Tanielian, T., "The relationship between engagement in online support groups and social isolation among military caregivers: Longitudinal questionnaire study," Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(4), 2020

Trail, T. E., Osilla, K. C., Rodriguez, L. M., Pedersen, E. R., & Gore, K. L., "Exploring the association between changes in partner behaviors, perceived service member drinking, and relationship quality: Secondary analysis of a web-based intervention for military partners," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 98, 2019

Trail, T. E., Martin, L. T., Burgette, L. F., Warren May, L., Mahmud, A., Nanda, N., & Chandra, A., An Evaluation of U.S. Military Non-Medical Counseling Programs, RAND Corp. (RR-1861), 2017

Karney, B. R. & Trail, T. E., "Associations between prior deployments and marital satisfaction among Army couples," Journal of Marriage and Family, 79, 2017

Trail, T. E., Meadows, S. O., Miles, J. N. V., & Karney, B. R., "Patterns of vulnerabilities and resources in U.S. military families," Journal of Family Issues, 2015

Trail, T. E., Goff, P. A., Bradbury, T. N., & Karney, B. R., "The costs of racism for marriage: How racial discrimination hurts, and ethnic identity protects, newlywed marriages among Latinos," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 2012

Trail, T. E. & Karney, B. R., "What’s (not) wrong with low-income marriages," Journal of Marriage and Family, 74, 2012

Trail, T. E., Shelton, J. N., & West, T. V., "Daily interracial interactions and interpersonal behaviors," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 2009

Publications