Faculty Scholars

Faculty Scholar Jasmine Townsend, Ph.D. at  Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

Jasmine A. Townsend, Ph.D., C.T.R.S.

Assistant Professor
Recreational Therapy
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management
Clemson University

Contact: jntowns@clemson.edu  

Who is Professor Townsend?

Jasmine Townsend is an Assistant Professor in Recreational Therapy within the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University. She has a BA in History Teaching from Utah State University, a MS in Youth and Family Recreation from Brigham Young University, and a Ph.D. in Leisure Behavior from Indiana University. Her primary research interests include investigating the outcomes of participation in recreation for families of all types, also those with members with disabilities. Her current research areas focus on examining the relationships between family leisure involvement and family well-being among military families, and examining the health outcomes of participation in recreational therapy for military service members and their families. Jasmine is a past co-leader of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Military/Veterans Affairs Treatment Network and has a history of publications and presentations regarding the relationship between participation in family recreation and elements of healthy functioning families. She also serves as a co-leader for the Veterans Affairs section of the American Journal of Recreation Therapy. Jasmine’s practical experience includes working in community adaptive and therapeutic recreation programs as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

How Professor Townsend's research is transforming health care

The U.S. is seeing an increase in the number of military service members returning from deployments with life changing psychological and physical injuries. Current healthcare services are struggling to meet the needs of military service members. Standard treatments for the signature injuries (PTSD and TBI) from our current wars primarily focus on pharmaceutical and psycho-therapies. Many service members are turning to alternative and complementary approaches to their treatments. One complementary treatment approach, recreational therapy, has been used for decades to help individuals with disabilities recover from injuries, as well as learn to be active participants in their lives, regardless of their functioning levels. In the last 5-10 years, there has been an explosion of recreation-based programs that serve military service members and their families. Very few of these programs are evidence-based or conduct any sort of program or outcome evaluation. Jasmine’s research is aimed at helping to determine the outcomes associated with participation in these programs, with the intention of determining best practices for providing recreation-based treatment services to injured military service members.

Health Research Expertise Keywords

Family Well-being, Family Leisure Involvement, Military Families, Community Reintegration, Family Reintegration