BYU marriage and family therapy program honored nationally for research

The BYU marriage and family therapy program was recently named the No. 1 program of its kind for research productivity.

That means the faculty does more research than any other group of marriage and family therapy professors in the United States.

The ranking, published in the leading Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, names four BYU faculty members in the top ten most prolific researchers: Jonathan Sandberg (#2), Russell Crane (#4), Jeff Larson (#5) and Rick Miller (#6). Larson, Crane and Miller were also ranked in the top ten for most-cited research. Professor Shayne Anderson was also listed as the most prolific author for faculty who have been in the field for less than 15 years.

Jonathan Sandberg, Russell Crane, Jeff Larson, Rick Miller and Shayne Anderson
Jonathan Sandberg, Russell Crane, Jeff Larson, Rick Miller and Shayne Anderson.

“We are delighted but not surprised by this recognition of the quality of research by our faculty,” said Alan Hawkins, BYU School of Family Life director. “I think our trajectory for the next 20 years looks even brighter.”

The research from BYU’s program helps develop both the academic and practical approaches to marriage and family therapy. Students in the program work with faculty on research as they go through school, preparing them to recognize and implement evidence-based best practices in their careers.

“More important than the number of articles read or cited is the number of students who were influenced by the process of participating in research and learned how to think critically, theorize about change, analyze data and draw conclusions,” said Sandberg, who also serves as the marriage and family therapy program’s director.

The BYU marriage and family therapy program was founded in 1967 and became fully accredited by the American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors in 1972. The program seeks to be a healing influence in a world struggling to create safe and meaningful relationships by combining ground-breaking research with faith-centered family values.

The No. 1 ranking for the program is based on findings from a study that examined scholarly works published between  1999–2008 and 2008–2015 by faculty in accredited doctoral programs through the U.S.

Mentored Student Research Conference 2019: A chance for experience, learning and prize money

Concerns on the minds of BYU students include (among others) spicing up the resume and filling the wallet. Fortunately for those in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, the upcoming 15th Annual Mentored Student Research Conference and luncheon on Thursday, April 11th is a perfect opportunity to make it happen.

What is the Mentored Student Research Conference?

This mentored research conference, funded by the Mary Lou Fulton Chair, is a chance for any student (graduate or undergraduate) in the college to submit a research project, gain valuable career experience and perhaps even win prize money.

Student posters don’t have to be done for a class, but they can be. However, the research must be mentored by a member of the faculty, and students can submit as many posters as they’d like.

Not only is the annual conference a great way to enhance presentation skills and gain vital experience, it’s an opportunity to practice professionalism and enjoy a free luncheon. The conference will be held in the WSC Ballroom on April 11th from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. with a lunch to follow in the Garden Court.

The winning posters from each department are awarded 300 dollars, and runners up have a chance at prize money as well, from 50 to 200 dollars.

Winners from previous submissions include “A Peculiar People: Split Ticket Voters among Latter-day Saint Millennials” and “Happy Wife, Happy Life: Spousal Support as a Predictor of Life Satisfaction.”

Students can learn more and submit their posters at fultonchair.byu.edu. The deadline for poster submissions is Tuesday, March 26th at noon.