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December 6, 2004

Expanded Research Interests

I know we've all heard each other's 5 second overview on research interests about 100 times since orientation but I realized that I dont really have a good idea on what everyone's really interested in. I know this will cross over a little bit with discussion about advisors but I thought I'd open up an entry to talk more in depth about what we each want to research (or multiple things we want to research or what we might want to research, etc). That way if we have overlap we can collaborate and brainstorm and possibly pull some grants together.

Basically I'm interesting in one very broad thing (marriage stability) in a very specific way. I'm in the works with Jason Carroll from BYU and a few other scholars to put out there a different view on marriage stability and formation. We base a lot of our work on Blaine Fower's book The Myth of Marital Happiness which basically outlines how important it is that married couples develop an "other-centered" perspective in their relationship as opposed to being focused on their own individual happiness. Drawing off that, Jason and I along with other scholars are proposing a shift away from the view that to make marriages better we need to improve skills (i.e. better communication, conflict resolution, etc) to one in which other-centered "virtues" such as empathy, friendship, generosity, and others are what will have a more lastly impact on creating a healthy marriage. Were basically reacting to the notion that you can teach a couple a set of skills and they can have a happy marriage. Were proposing that happy marriage runs deeper and is part of a more long-lasting developmental process. Specifically, Jason and I are planning an in depth investigation into the emerging adulthood population to see if the current climate and development of their relationships is preventing these virtues from developing and in turn leading to poor marriage outcomes.
I have a couple projects in the process of collecting data now that will yield two major datasets with these ideas. One is a national sample of couples that was meant to validate a questionnaire that evaluates individuals on the virtues I mentioned before but also has depression, anxiety, conflict resolution, satisfaction, and parenting style scales built in. Ill also have a data set that had information on college-aged students and their parents and how they view what it means to be an adult and marriage readiness. Both should be ready to analyze soon and there a ton of data so if anyone wants so maybe team up on a potential research question let me know.

Posted by bwilloug at December 6, 2004 12:22 PM | Research Interests



Wow -- where you already are blows me away! I am so impressed! Now, about my interests: I am primarily interested in collaborative family healthcare and the use of family therapy interventions to improve quality of life in patients and families dealing with complex chronic healthcare problems, like pain. I am curious about the use of Emotion Focused Couple Therapy with this clinical population (and Susan Johnson in Canada is already doing research in this), particularly how it may affect the healthcare provider's experience of working with this population.

I am also interested in resilience in families with chronic healthcare problems and also the use of meditative practices in family therapy.

And finally, I am very intrigued with medical residency education and how to improve both patient care and provider's experience.

Posted by: mary at January 21, 2005 6:45 PM

Hey Brian :) Well, your focus sounds fabulous! As for me, I tend to look at the darker side of life...hee hee. I have actually always been interested in the impact of trauma and violence on families and their resiliency around that. I am also very interested in historical trauma. I am very passionate about human rights issues and women's issues too. SO I have no idea how I plan to pull all this together yet, but when I do, I'll let you know. I am thinking about pulling some info. from the 'tracking changes' project I am working on regarding hisotrical truama among different cultures and gender issues, but am not sure how to do that just yet. If anyone has any ideas, let me know :)

Posted by: Holli at January 2, 2005 6:02 PM