Top Five FHSS Studies of 2015: New Findings on Important Relationships

The faculty and staff of BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences are passionate about improving the understanding of how people work, how families work, and what makes societies tick. We spend a lot of time researching, teaching, and writing about these things. Other people seem to be interested in those things as well, as witnessed by the fact that five of the top-10 most read stories produced by BYU News in the last 12 months are stories about research done by faculty in our college. We’re proud of their great work, and excited to see the effects of it in peoples’ lives. Here are those five stories, in order of Facebook likes:

5. Prescription for Living Longer: Spend Less Time Alone (598 likes):

Holt-Lunstad, Julianne Cropped

Research from psychology professor and lead study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity. “We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously,” she said.

The study, published in the Perspectives on Psychological Science, took into account that loneliness looks different to different people. Someone may be surrounded by many people but still feel alone, while others may purposely isolate themselves because they prefer to be alone. The effect on longevity, however, is much the same for those two scenarios.

 

4. Frenemies: Ambivalent Marriages are Bad for Your Health (690 likes)

BYU psychology professor and lead author Wendy Birmingham published

Birmingham, Wendy

a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in May that found that couples in ambivalent relationships experience higher blood pressure than their supportive-couple counterparts. This means that their relationship has both high levels of positive and negative elements, similar to what some would call “frenemy” relationships.

Birmingham remarked that previous studies about health and marriage look at marriage quality uni-dimensionally, qualifying it as either supportive or not supportive. This study takes into consideration realistic relationships that aren’t always perfect, but aren’t always awful either.

The study was quoted in Time, New York Times, Deseret News, KSL.com, and Details magazine.

6614968881_5cf95a5b60_b I against I via Flickr Raul Lieberwirth
Courtesy of Flickr.

3.  Most of America’s Poor are not Unemployed (3,221 likes)

Sociology professor Scott Sanders says the findings of a study he co-authored with researchers at Cornell and LSU dispel the notion that most impoverished Americans don’t work so they can rely on government handouts.

Sanders, Scott

“The toxic idea is if we clump all those people together and treat them as the same people, then we don’t solve the real problem that the majority of people in poverty are working, trying to improve their lives, and we treat them all as deadbeats,” Sanders. Science magazine says the data from this study is relevant to the upcoming presidential election, as candidates discuss ways to help the working poor move out of poverty.

 

 

 

2.  Parents’ Comparisons of Siblings can Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

“Parents’ beliefs about their children, not just their actual parenting, may influence who their children become,” said BYU professor and lead author Alex Jensen. The study, published in June in the Journal of Family Psychology, looked at 388 teenage first- and second-born siblings and their parents from 17 school districts in a northeastern state. The researchers asked the parents which sibling was better in school. The majority of parents thought that the firstborn was better, although on average, siblings’ achievement was pretty similar.

 

Now, drum roll please… the study that garnered the most attention on BYU news channels was about…elementary school lunches?

1. Eat School Lunch AFTER Recess

6239623842_6fa315afc5_b school lunch via flickr USDA.jpg
USDA Photo by Lance Cheung via Flickr.

This study was shared by over 4,000 people on Facebook, and cited in USA Today, The Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo News, CBS News, the Salt Lake Tribune, LiveScience, Deseret News, and NPR. What was it that was so important? It was the finding that when recess takes place before kids sit down to eat lunch, instead of after, fruit and vegetable consumption increases by 54%.

“Recess is a pretty big deal for most kids, said Joe Price, BYU economics

Price, Joseph

professor. “If you have kids choose between playing and eating their veggies, the time spent playing is going to win most of the time.”

Price is the lead study author and collaborated with Cornell’s David Just for the paper in Preventive Medicine. Their sample involved almost 23,000 data points. Price and Just noted that, “increased fruit and vegetable consumption in young children can have positive long term health effects. Additionally, decreasing waste of fruits and vegetables is important for schools and districts that are faced with high costs of offering healthier food choices.”

 

 

All faculty photos: All Rights Reserved BYU Photo

 

The Economics Behind Dating

“I fall in love with at least three girls every passing period,” said Alex Doss, a junior student studying economics at Brigham Young University. “It happens all the time. I would be walking past the Brimhall building on my to the Harris Fine Arts Center and spot and a girl and say “Oh, I love her.” Then 15 seconds later, I would spot another girl and say, “Oh, I love her.” Then eventually, another girl passes and I see her and think, “I love her.”
 
For those pursuing a BA in Economics, the “search model,” or the economic theory that describes the aforementioned circumstance, should be familiar. With this model, a point arrives where it is no longer beneficial to continue searching for a better deal because any possible gain would be marginal at best. Search models can be applied to several circumstances, such as housing, unemployment, and of course, dating. 
PHOTO BY: FRAN DJOUKENG
The “search theory” won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Paul Oyer wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the scientists who formulated the theory:
Basically, they analyzed the economic consequences and trade-offs that people face regularly when deciding whether to accept the best option available or to keep looking. In the online dating world, this means that looking at another profile may unveil someone who will make you happier than anyone you know. When you think of it that way, you almost feel a responsibility to look at another profile. How can you sit here reading this column when the very next profile you look at could be the best match for you? But we all know that logic doesn’t work—we don’t spend an unlimited amount of time looking for “the one” because we also want to eat, earn money, and watch “Homeland” (well, we used to).– Paul Oyer
 
Generally, students at BYU date an assortment of candidates in the quest for “Mr. Right or Mrs. Right.” Wisdom dictates that most individuals can “fall in love” with a handful of complementary individuals. BYU students are known for cleanliness, beauty, and most important, intelligence. “There are so many talented and driven people here,” Doss says. “Any one of them is worth the time of day. But, too often we feel that there is someone ‘even better’ out there.”
 

Doss says that he feels the fear of missing out on someone who is potentially better is  irrational. “More often than not you will only find someone who makes you equally happy in different ways but never much happier.”

Consider the following tips for application of the Search Theory in one’s personal life, offered in the article Paradox of Choice by our own Relate Institute (citing American psychologist Barry Schwartz):

  • Figure out your goal or goals. Without knowing what you want, making a decision is almost impossible.
  • Evaluate the importance of each goal. Look at your goals and decide which ones are most important, and which ones you can probably do without.
  • Array the options. Date. keeping your dating goals in mind.
  • Evaluate how likely each of the options is to meet your goals. No one will fulfill your entire wishlist but if someone hits your top 3 or 5 priorities, you may have a keeper.
  • Pick the winning option. Focus on a person who has strengths that you cherish and weaknesses that you can live with.
  • Modify goals. No matter how winning your option is, there will be things about your partner that you like less than the things you love.

Some additional tips:

  • Develop your sense of self-awareness and self-compassion,
  • Determining if your overall goal is just to have fun, develop long-term relationship, or find marriage)
  • Determine your optimal time frame for getting married.

 

What dating tips have helped you the most?

Navigating Christmas the FHSS Way

Getting through the holidays can be a real pain in the gingerbread. With presents to wrap, dinner to cook, and relatives to tolerate, it can seem like the whole world is trying to get in the way of your Feliz Navidad. So as a fellow FHSS student, I want you to know I’m here for you. I write because I love you. And I want you make it to January 1st with fond memories of a holly jolly Christmas.

So, to help you navigate your Christmas appropriately, I’m going to start off by telling you how NOT to navigate Christmas, and then I will do the opposite.

Usually when I go home for Christmas, my navigation looks something like this:

Navigating Christmas- Chase Style (1)

If you’re like me, you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. The holidays can be exciting and cause us to forget what’s most important. This doesn’t make us bad people. But I’m worried that if we continue navigating Christmas like this, we’re going to end up with regrets, or worse yet, a lump of coal in our stockings. And I don’t want that for you or for me.

So let’s decide now to make a change. Let’s have our Christmas go a little more like this:

Navigating Christmas- FHSS style (1)

BYU Speeches has some great material that speaks to each step on this lovely navigation chart. So I’ve put all the steps in a link-able list:

I suggest that you choose one, maybe two of these speeches. Give them a read, and make it a goal to navigate through your Christmas with them in mind. I promise that if you do, you’ll keep off the naughty list, and come closer to the Savior. I love you. Happy holidays.

On Being Mormon, Black, and Female: LeShawn Williams-Shultz

LeShawn Williams-Shultz is a Mormon black woman. She is a mental health therapist and as a professor. She studies identity development, and she experiences it. It’s something we all go through, regardless of our race, religion, or color. It’s an important process, one she spoke openly about at BYU’s fifth annual Women’s Studies Conference, in November 2015.

LeShawn was one of sixteen speakers presenting at the conference on the theme of “pioneering women in fields of knowledge.” “As an educator,” she said, “I bring you my perspective that context matters. As a therapist, I bring you the perspective that [the process of] making meaning matters.”

The Conference

The Women’s Studies program at BYU is operated jointly by both the College of Humanities and the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences. Students in this program study women’s past and present position in global society. This year, their conference took place on November 5th and 6th.

The Presentation: James Marcia’s Identity Development Theory

Mrs. Williams-Shultz discussed what it was like to be at the intersection between being black, mormon, and female in the context of an identity development theory like James Marcia’s. Her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (i.e., “Mormons”), as a whole, has undergone a process of identifying itself in relation to the race of its members. LeShawn encouraged her audience to think about that ongoing process as she elaborated on the stages of identity development for people of color within the church.

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Stages of Identity Development

The first stage deals with conformity and contact, Shultz explained. You idealize everything about your dominant culture. There is generally a strong desire to assimilate into the dominant culture, even if there is not much recognition that you are different. But then there comes a moment of realization of one’s differences, whatever they are, which leads to the next stage.

Introspection is characteristic of the second phase. This is a time of beginning to accept your identity and tell your own stories. You redirect your energy towards making sure that you create safe spaces and attempt to become independent of racism and white supremacy, or the attitudes of others.

The next stage is the difficult process of learning how to balance the different worlds in which you exist. This stage is different for everyone who experiences it. But the result is the final stage, which is a state of an increased awareness.

Church and Identity

Within the LDS church, there is identity development, Shultz said. She spoke about gender identity in the church as both a biological and a social construct. “The LDS impact on gender, I call it the philosophies of men mingled with biology,” she said. Within the church, many people believe that womanhood is completed by motherhood. Women in the church that experience infertility or do not have a desire or opportunity to bear children may experience an identity crisis.

Near the end of her lecture, Shultz shared a verse (2 Nephi 2:11) from the Book of Mormon. “There must needs be that there is opposition in all things … Wherefore, all things must need be a compound in one.” She summed this up to mean that we need blackness as much as we need whiteness. We need differences.

Though our unique situations may leave each of us feeling alone at times, understanding that a journey of self discovery is a commonality among human beings can help us stay connected to one another. Discussing problems and questions that come up throughout this process provides crucial learning opportunities for each of us to understand minority and majority positions within identifiers, such as race, faith and gender.

The full video of her presentation is available below.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

What things have you found helpful to overcome identity crises?

Porn and Marriage: Dr. Willoughby Presents at WCF

In case you haven’t noticed, we spend a lot of time talking about families here. A lot of our faculty are doing some really interesting research on family dynamics, families and religion, family therapy, families and politics, and the changing definition of marriage in American culture. It’s something that’s on a lot of people’s minds lately, as evidenced in part by the presence of the World Congress of Families conference in October 2015. Several BYU FHSS faculty members presented there: professors Dollahite and Carroll were some. Dr. Brian Willoughby also presented, on the issue of pornography use and marital relationships.

Willoughby, Brian
BYU Photo 2009 All Rights Reserved

“My presentation focused on how pornography use intersect with family formation and marriage,” he said. “One of the often overlooked costs of pornography is how it influences relationships and family formation at all stages of the life course.  This issue is particularly important among teens and young adults who are in a crucial stage of relationship and family formation.  Several studies and data collection efforts show how pornography has both a negative relational effect and also influences how young adults think about marriage.  Specifically, pornography users generally have more negative views of marriage and hold a desire to delay marriage in their life.  Given the high levels of pornography use we see among young adults, such [attitudes] may have important ramifications for future marriage and families.”

According to a study co-authored by colleague Professor Carroll, pornography use has increased dramatically in the past 10 years.  Among the 258 young adults surveyed for Dr. Willoughby’s presentation, seventy percent of young men had viewed pornography on a weekly or monthly basis in the past year. Eighteen percent of young women had viewed it. Of those young men, sixty percent agreed that pornography was an acceptable way to express sexuality, compared with thirty-five percent of young women.

13072266233_31534a21e3_k via flickr iconicphotoservices

He said that those who view pornography on a regular basis are more likely to think of sexual intimacy more in terms of their own sexual needs, with a sexually available and often submissive partner. These expectations lead to frustrated, selfish behaviors. Amongst young adults, this is particularly concerning because it impacts their value of marriage and their decisions about when they will form those long-term commitments. Pornography use is linked to a desire to delay marriage and a devaluing of marriage.

About presenting at the World Congress of Families, Dr. Willoughby had this to say: “It was wonderful presenting the WCF.  I was able to present with two other leaders in the field of pornography and we were able to approach the topic from numerous policy and research angles.  The audience was great and energized by the presentations and I think motivated to take the work that was presented and advocate for positive societal change.”

It is interesting to think about what avenues those who want to advocate for positive society change regarding the use of pornography might take. Our own Comprehensive Clinic offers a pornography process group for males struggling with pornography, for instance. Dr. Willoughby cautioned that marital beliefs are complex and multi-faceted, but, when considering the bigger, social costs of pornography, we should consider the subtle yet important ways pornography nudges youth away from committed and healthy relationships.

The full video of his presentation can be found here:


Feature image courtesy of IconicPhotoServices on Flickr.

Self-Compassion: Five Tips to Tame Your Inner Critic

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found.” –Buddha

4332713390_623910c93d_o Backgarden Buddha care of Flickr Daz Smith

Post by Olivia Thompson, Psychology undergraduate student

The concept of self-compassion emerged primarily from Buddhist psychology and grew out of the more well-known work on mindfulness. Self-compassion entails having kindness and understanding toward ourselves and has numerous mental health benefits, emerging as a valuable construct in the positive psychology realm.

What is self-compassion the way it’s studied by psychologists? To understand self-compassion, one must first understand compassion. Compassion is the desire to ease suffering in another person or another living thing. Compassion does not keep its distance from suffering (like pity does), but approaches it, does not fear or resist it, and desires to alleviate it. The mandate we have to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” (Mosiah 18:8) is a commandment to have compassion in this way. However, sometimes we are not quick to include ourselves in the reach of our compassion. With self-compassion, we give ourselves the loving kindness we might more instinctively give to a good friend. Self-compassion means to bear witness to our own pain and to respond with kindness and nonjudgmental understanding.

6209756718_20b6b0e3a5_o kindness via Flickr Margaret Almon

Researchers argue that self-compassion is actually one of the most natural things in the world because wanting to be free from suffering is something we strive for consistently. However, we also have the tendency to resist painful experiences and emotions as the fight-or-flight response is applied to emotional dangers. A commonly cited equation among self-compassion enthusiasts is that pain x resistance = suffering. Self-compassion is about turning toward our emotional pain and being open to it.

Self-compassion can also be understood in terms of its components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. In 2003, Kristen Neff developed the most widely-used measure of self-compassion, the Self-Compassion Scale, which uses as its six subscales these components and their negative counterparts:

  • Self-kindness, the opposite of which is self-criticism, includes not judging or blaming ourselves when things go wrong, as well as being understanding toward personal shortcomings.
  • Common humanity, the opposite of which is isolation, entails viewing our difficulties as part of the human experience and our suffering as something all people experience.
  • Mindfulness, the opposite of which is over-identification with our thoughts, means holding emotions in perspective, or taking a balanced view of a situation.

There are also a few things that self-compassion is not.

  • First, self-compassion is not selfish. It doesn’t close us off from others but brings us closer to the rest of humanity. It is also not selfish because demeaning our suffering by comparing it to others’ can mean avoiding our own pain, which decreases our ability to care for others.
  • Second, self-compassion is not self-esteem. Self-esteem is contingent; it is based on self-evaluation and has comparison at its root, while self-compassion is not dependent on any quality in us or in others.
  • Lastly, self-compassion is not passiveness. The number one reason that people are self-critical is that they think they need it to motivate themselves, that too much self-kindness will lead to laziness. However, research has shown that the opposite is true.

7342808810_580ef6650b_b warrior of the heart via flickr mehmet nevzat

Research on the topic of self-compassion has increased dramatically in recent years. Some topics currently being researched in relation to self-compassion are body image and eating disorders, caregiving and burnout, and health and athletics. Self-compassion has also been found to be successful in alleviating depression, with negative cognitive style, including rumination, shame, avoidance, self-criticism, and irrational beliefs, being the mediator in this relationship. Worry has also been found to at least partially mediate the relationship between self-compassion and anxiety.

Dr. Jared Warren, associate professor in the department of psychology at BYU, began teaching a class on positive psychology in the fall of 2014 and has recently put together a research team to study self-compassion and other positive psychology topics including growth habits, interconnectedness, flow experiences, and mindfulness. He and his research team are excited to include BYU in the circle of researchers exploring cutting-edge positive psychology topics.

To apply self-compassion in your own life, try to:

  1. Notice the great compassion that others have for you, including parents, mentors, or deity figures. Learn how to treat yourself from the way that person treats you. Or, notice the compassion you easily have for a close friend or loved one. Harness and observe that feeling, and then replace that close friend with yourself.
  2. Practice informal mindfulness in everyday life. Be a nonjudgmental observer of the present moment. Try to refrain from making quick value judgements. Periodically take a few conscious, deep breaths.
  3. Learn to label your emotions – this helps them be seen as just emotions; it gives enough distance to not be drowning in the feeling.
  4. Repeat self-compassion phrases to yourself throughout the day such as “May I be happy,” “May I live with ease,” “May I love myself just as I am,” or “May I be free from suffering.” Feel the warmth of loving intention.
  5. Simply take a moment and be kind to yourself, however that looks for you! There’s no wrong way to be self-compassionate. You might say things like “Self, I’m so sorry you’re hurting. Sometimes it’s difficult to be a person, isn’t it? You’re dealing with some really hard stuff, and I validate that. But I also know your great capacity to overcome!”

If you have interests in formally developing self-compassion, you may want to look in to loving-kindness (or metta) meditation. Guided loving-kindness meditations can be found online, including at www.self-compassion.org.

Tips to Help You Ace Your Finals

With the semester quickly coming to a close, there may just be one last thing standing between you and that final grade you’ve been working so hard for. Finals week is daunting for some students, but do not fear! With some solid preparation and good study habits, you can maintain your good grades or use your score to make up for some of your previous lows. Here are some tips from FHSS that will help!

1. Believe in Yourself

“All that a man achieves and all that hefist fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”
― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh 

Do not underestimate the power of your own thoughts. The more you dread your finals, the more you will put off preparing for them. Get excited! This is it! Slay the dragon! Win the battle! Defeat Voldemort! Sure, just getting it over with feels good for the moment, but you’ve worked too hard to go out like that. Remind yourself why you are in school in the first place and do what it takes to score well.

2. Get dressed 

In a Universe Article from 2014, BYU graduate student Liz Pusey said, “If you are dressed in your pajamas, then you will perform at a half-sleepy, lazy level of excellence.” Enough said. Just remember that this concept applies to both study days and testing days. 

3. Prepare …  for Reading Days

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BYU has two scheduled “Reading Days” or Exam Preparation Days at the end of each semester. This year, they are on December 11th and 12th.

Some BYU alumni looked back on their “reading day habits” in a BYU Magazine article. “Reading days begin with the glorious hope that I can still read all the material I haven’t read yet” said Lisa Dearden Trepanier, “—until the morning dawns with a sunny sky and new snow.”

Sound familiar? Many students have the best intentions for reading days, but the distractions prove to be too much for them to handle. Determine the amount of time you will spend studying on these days and get started on it first thing in the morning. Come to campus to lessen the distractions. When you’re done, you can enjoy the rest of your day without that nagging feeling in your stomach.

4. Become a teacher

“While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca.

After you have spent some quality time with your books, teach the material to someone else. Trade off with your roommate. You may actually learn some interesting things from them.

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5. Meet with your Professor

If you are particularly anxious about a specific exam, meet with your professor or TA. They may be able to give you some hints on what to focus on when you study and more information on the style of the test.

 

However you decide to prepare for your finals, remember to plan well and then relax and take breaks when needed. Stressing out won’t do you any good.

Photo courtesy of BYU Photo.

 

What are your best tips for studying for finals?

World Congress of Families: Dr. Carroll Presents on Delayed Marriage

Carroll, Jason S
Copyright BYU PHOTO 2008 All Rights Reserved

In the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling regarding same-sex marriages, the prevailing judges stated that “this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order.” Reinforcing the concept of marriage’s fundamental role in the functioning of a healthy society, the World Congress of Families met recently in Salt Lake City, Utah. Several BYU College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences faculty members presented relevant research. Dr. Jason S. Carroll, a professor in the School of Family Life and a Fellow of the Wheatley Institution, was one of those.

The purpose of the Congress was to “bring together the finest scholars, government and religious leaders, healthcare professionals, and advocates to research, present, discuss, and promote facts and practices that support life and the natural family.  In doing this, the WCF addresses trends affecting the family as well as a broad range of issues impacting the family, including human trafficking, child exploitation, pornography and addictions, health issues like clean water and access to medicine, and even family finances and management.” Professor Carrolll’s presentation focused on research that points to the fact that, overall, in the U.S., the   median age of marriage is higher than the median age of child-bearing – which means that marriage is not just delayed, but re-sequenced. He outlined why this delay in marriage paradoxically leaves individuals less prepared for marriage, not more.

wcf screenshot

He and fellow presenter Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, discussed studies that showed family structure is the best indicator of family income, the American dream, and child poverty. Research shows, they said, that: “there is a connection between marriage and societal prosperity.”

About his experience, Dr. Carroll said:

“Presenting at the WCF was different than presenting at an academic conference.  There were speakers with a variety of backgrounds, but we received very positive feedback about our scholars panel plenary. Conference participants said they really valued the research and data foundation of our presentations.”

This research was also discussed in a report on TwentySomethingMarriage.org, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of the School of Family Life’s magazine Family Connections, to be released mid-December 2015.  That issue will also present research regarding current divorce trends, and same-sex marriages, entitled “Gender Complementarity vs. Gender Irrelevance.”

KnotYet screenshot

Dr. Carroll is an internationally-recognized researcher and educator in the areas of marriage fragmentation, sexual intimacy, marriage readiness among young adults, the effectiveness of marriage education, and modern threats to marriage (such as pornography, delayed age at marriage, materialism, premarital sexuality, and non-marital childbirth). His work has been featured in the Economist, the New York Times, and other popular media and news outlets.

Dr. Carroll has authored dozens of scientific articles, book chapters, and pubic scholarship pieces; and has presented numerous papers at national and international conferences. He is a professional member of the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) and the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA). Dr. Carroll’s research has appeared in leading scientific journals such as:

  • the Journal of Family Psychology,
  • Archives of Sexual Behavior,
  • Journal of Sex Research,
  • Aggressive Behavior,
  • Journal of American College Health,
  • and the Journal of Adolescent Research.

He recently authored a chapter entitled, “Marriage and Emerging Adulthood” in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Emerging Adulthood and previously authored a chapter, entitled “Theorizing About Marriage” in the Sourcebook of Family Theories and Research. Most recently, Dr. Carroll was the research director and co-author of a highly publicized report entitled “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America” (www.twentysomethingmarriage.org) that was funded by the National Marriage Project, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, and the RELATE Institute.

Dr. Carroll served as a visiting scholar and was a research advisor for a national media campaign on healthy marriage targeting young adults that was conducted by the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In 2003, Dr. Carroll was commissioned by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to co-author a guiding report for the National Healthy Marriage Initiative entitled: A Comprehensive Framework for Marriage Education. Dr. Carroll currently serves on the editorial board for three journals: Emerging Adulthood, Family Relations, and the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. Dr. Carroll is also currently an Executive Research Associate of the RELATE Institute (www.relateinstitute.com) and the Senior Research Consultant for Fight the New Drug a youth-oriented, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the harmful effects of pornography (www.FightTheNewDrug.org).

What academic or civil experiences have you had regarding these issues?

Change photo courtesy of Flickr.