In our previous post about married couples considering divorce, we shared some of the findings of a recent study headed by professor Alan J. Hawkins of BYU’s School of Family Life.
A quick re-cap might be useful for you:
The findings from this study have broken ground for a new foundation for marriage relational studies. Before its publication, we knew that divorces were relatively common. What we didn’t know is what people were thinking as they considered divorce. This new study finally shows how many married people have THOUGHT about divorce – and what they were thinking.
This is one of the first real examples of SFL’s new initiative to get their findings into the public sphere. They are beginning to gravitate toward a public scholarship approach – making things learned from their scholarship accessible to the general public. The School of Family Life has even hired a professional communications company to help them get the word out.
“We hope to use this same process for a variety of our projects,” says Dean Busby, director of BYU’s School of Family Life. The school has begun to approach their scholarship in this way in order to “speak not only to [their] professional audiences, but also to the public,” says Busby. Over the next few years, several journal articles will be published from the data. And several additional public reports will likely be produced as well.
The School of Family Life has a deep well of knowledge gained from exceptional scholarship that can improve the lives of individuals and families. But it is difficult to get their insight to take root in the minds of people that are constantly overrun by weeds of distracting, if not harmful, bits of random information found in the online world. So the School of Family life is taking a modified approach to their scholarship.
In the public sphere, bloggers and social media users are unlikely to be taking the time to sift through scores of pages found in scholarly journals to find the best advice for their families and marriages. They are more likely to learn from scholarship if it comes in a less intimidating and more understandable form, with titles such as: Are Your Divorce Fantasies Normal? And will hopefully be able to be shared via social media and other outlets, to bring important scholarship closer to home.