Research and clinical experience not only tell us that a healthy, happy and passionate marriage is possible, it also shows us how to create it.
The School of Family Life 2018 Virginia F. Cutler Lecture will give you the knowledge and resources to do this within your own family and home.
On Wednesday, October 17, BYU Marriage and Family Therapy professor Jonathan Sandberg will give his lecture “Secure Attachments: The key to a happy, healthy, and passionate marriage” that will highlight current research on adult attachment and romantic relationships. More specifically, Sandberg will review actionable behaviors that we can adopt to promote attachment—a key factor that leads to safety and security in marriage.
Our society may spread the message that having a happy and healthy family is no longer an option, but science says otherwise. You can choose–and act–to have a healthy, happy and passionate marriage.
Learn how to strengthen your marriage and family at the 55th annual Virginia F. Cutler Lecture on Wednesday, October 17 at 7 p.m. in 151 N. Eldon Tanner Building. The event is free and open to the public.
This lecture series is named after Virginia F. Cutler, former dean of the College of Family Living (now the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences). Dr. Cutler spent her entire life educating people on the home and family. She also cared deeply about women and people in other nations, and her career took her across the globe as she served people in Thailand, Indonesia and Ghana.
William K. Wyckoff, a geographer from Montana State University, will give this year’s Chauncy Harris Lecture. The lecture will take place on Thursday, November 16, at 11 a.m. in 250 SWKT. He will speak on “Producing Public Geographics: Creating a Field Guide to the American West.”
Dr. Wyckoff studies the cultural and historical geography of the American West. The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and its Department of Geography hold this lecture annually, named after Chauncy Harris. Harris graduated from BYU in 1933 with degrees in geography and geology; he was 19 years old at the time. He went on to earn his postgraduate degrees from Oxford and the University of Chicago, later becoming a professor who specialized in urban geography and Soviet geography.
Harris also developed the multiple nuclei model, which theorizes that a central business district is a city’s first core, but that new nuclei develop as various activities spread throughout the urban area over time.
Genocide, according to the United Nations, is “…acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Benjamin Madley, an associate professor of history at UCLA, applies the term to describe the treatment of American Indians in mid-19th century California in his book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe. In two weeks, Dr. Madley will lecture at an FHSS event to argue that California Indians didn’t fare much better than Armenians, Rwandans, or even European Jews during the Nazi regime.
When: Thursday, September 21st, from 11 a.m. to noon
Where: B192 JFSB (the Education in Zion auditorium)
Why: To discuss important historical events that often lack awareness and understanding
An American Genocide
An American Genocide, in which Dr. Madley estimates that 9,000 to 16,000 California Indians were killed from 1846 to 1873, has been reviewed by The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and many others. Some of Dr. Madley’s fellow historians have criticized his book for applying the term “genocide” to the conflicts between Americans and California Indians. Gary Clayton Anderson, a history professor at the University of Oklahoma, challenges Dr. Madley’s death toll estimates and characterizes the California massacres as “ethnic cleansing.” The reasoning? Dr. Anderson argues that government policy never supported mass killings, so the genocide label might be inappropriate.
But An American Genocide details murders and massacres carried out by vigilantes, state militias, and the United States Army. Dr. Madley“methodically [gives] examples of each and [tags] the incidents like corpses in a morgue,” according to Richard White of The Nation. A seasoned historian, Dr. Madley also compiles many accounts of the incidents in nearly 200 pages of appendices. Every reader can weigh the evidence and conclude whether or not the incidents were genocidal.
Dr. Madley developed a passion for the interactions between indigenous groups and colonizers during his childhood; he was born in Redding, California, and lived in Karuk Country in northwestern California. Dr. Madley has earned degrees from Yale University and Oxford University, and he has authored many journal articles and book chapters.
How do you think historians should apply the modern definition of “genocide” to historical events?
These days, family history, as we’ve mentioned here, is less about finding information about people and more about organizing the amazing amount of information available to anyone who looks. Access to records has greatly increased in recent years, but it might be a challenge for some to keep track of the research they do to find a particular person or straighten out a particularly convoluted limb of the family tree, even with the many online tools and apps available. One tool that has proven useful for many in past years is logbooks. At their most basic level, logbooks are a simple means whereby people looking for their ancestors can record what searches have been done, what results have been found, and which documents are relevant to the question at hand. Peg A. Ivanyo, in her 2016 Family History Conference class for genealogy beginners said that they can contain notes, citations, stories, and even links to blog posts. But how exactly can they be helpful?
Research logs serve to make things easier. Jill Crandell, a history professor at BYU, says that research logs help to decrease duplication of effort and make one’s searches more efficient. Her own research log website, ResearchTies.com, serves to help people plan their research, catalogue their findings, and record their interpretations. Of research logs, she says, “[they] logs need to be detailed and kept consistently. If they are, the logs will prevent researchers from searching the same sources multiple times, documents will be organized and accessible, and research analysis will be higher quality. Find a research log format that works for you, one that you are actually willing to use to record your work, then use it.”
Many years ago, she was working on tracing a nomadic family who had lived in New York, Canada, and Scotland, with a common name. The man she was researching never identified his parents in any of his documents. To solve the mystery of who his parents were, Dr. Crandell turned to her research log. Through it, she was able to learn that this man had been traveling with other people who had moved to all of the same places as him. By studying the documents saved in her log, Dr.Crandell was able to further this genealogy.
The benefits of doing genealogy, to both the doer and the ancestor, are plentiful, and logbooks are some of the many tools available to anyone who has a desire to connect with those ancestors. Paul Cardall, the noted pianist who spoke at BYU’s most recent Conference on Family History and Genealogy, spoke of the relationship between family history and missionary work. As Mormons, we believe that families can be together after this life. Therefore, it is essential to strengthen relationships with all family members, both those who are alive and those who have died…for Mormons, genealogical research or family history is the essential forerunner for temple work for the dead.”
Have you ever wanted to go onto the roof of the SWKT? Do you like competitions and prizes? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then the Geography Department’s Geography Awareness Week is the week-long festivity for you. This is an annual activity meant to make geography fun and interesting for everyone.
The event kicks off on November 14. Here is a rundown of the week’s activities:
Repp-ing It Up
A week long Geoguesser competition. Similar to last year’s geocaching competition, this year’s competition will involve hunting for things to win a prize. This year’s prize, though, will be a national parkannual pass (an $80 value). Visit their booth in Brigham’s Square outside of the Booth in the WILK everyday from 10am to to 2pm with details on and sign up sheets.
3pm. Student Urban Planning Association’s Tour of Campus. Conducted by Dr. Michael Clay. Meet at the Geography department office
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
SWKT Rooftop tours from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
OSM (Open Street Maps) Lab 2-3 640 SWKT: An effort to ” crowd source digitizing of roads and rural areas.”
Chauncy Harris Lecture at 11am 250 HBLL
They’ll also have a Bowl of Heaven (1283 N University Ave #101,) fundraiser from 3 -8 p.m., in which 15% of your purchases will be donated to the Geography Club. Be sure to place your receipt in the fundraiser donation box!
Geography Major Picture: All geography majors gather on the SWKT lawn (time TBA) for free hot chocolate and donuts and picture-taking!
Geoguesser winner announced at 12 noon
This event is bigger than just BYU’s Geography Department; it has in fact been going on around the country for more than twenty years.
Anyone is eligible to win other prizes as well, including t-shirts, maps, and books by:
Taking a selfie with WSC Booth Puzzle and tagging #byugeography
Says Geography club president Roman Huerta about the purpose of all of these activities: “We hope to raise awareness of the power of maps and spatial analysis. When people understand its power and abilities they will use it more and apply it more to various aspects of their studies, research, and lives. It is super relevant in today’s world, and the more people are using mapping software the more new and creative applications for geography will come forth and continue to grow and advance.”
Brigham Young University-Provo is known for several things: being the number one stone-cold sober school, being the largest private religious university in America, and having the only four-year degree program for Family History–Genealogy. In the United States of America, Western Europe, Asia and elsewhere, no other university offers a Bachelor of Arts in this major that educates students in both history and genealogy.
At the recent RootsTech Conference, BYU had a presence, with representation from the Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections unit, the Center for Family History and Genealogy and the Family History Technology Lab as well as the Family History program.
Family History Coordinator and BYU History Professor Amy Harris, who supervises the program’s recruitment and curriculum standards says an event like RootsTech helps raise the profile and recognition of BYU’s commitment to genealogy research and education. “It’s my hope that BYU becomes more associated with high-quality genealogy and family history education and that BYU gets recognition as a major player in the genealogy community,” Harris says.
The Family History program, which receives support and funding on both the department level and college level and from donors, employs 40 students in the CFHG research lab and sends students domestic and abroad for hands-on field research and mentored student learning.
Students at the Center for Family History and Genealogy are currently seeing the migration and impact of their work for people’s use. In partnership with LDS Church Historic Sites, students are identifying residents of Nauvoo, Illinois, from 1839 to 1846. Each resident, to the extent possible, has records trailing from birth to death. All this data is free and accessible for curious minds and researchers into the history of the Nauvoo community.
The findings can be located on FamilySearch’s Family Tree. Complete research logs along with other discoveries are just within a mouse-click reach. Learn more about the Nauvoo Community Project that is dedicated to academic genealogical research.
The Family History and Technology Research Lab also has multiple projects on the line like Relative Finder that allows you to uncover how you are related to your everyday associates: co-workers, prophets, historical figures…you name it. FHTR is always developing the latest in creative, fun applications for family history, so keep checking!
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:
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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?
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
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.”
Come celebrate 20 years of the The Family: A Proclamation to the World with students and faculty of the School of Family Life at a special conference on November 19th. President Kevin Worthen and Dr. Sarah M. Coyne will be guest speakers, and the objective of the conference is to energize and inspire university students and faculty about the Proclamation.
Over the last 20 years since the Proclamation was released, we have seen a shift in the world’s opinion of the purpose of marriage and family or lack thereof. As the church has stated, “A wide range of social ills has contributed to this weakening of marriage and family.” As Latter Day Saints, it has become increasingly important to understand the doctrine of family and to live it. A quarter of students at BYU are married and many others are anxiously preparing for marriage. This anniversary celebration serves as a wonderful reminder to those in the early stages of raising families that marriage and family are central to God’s plan.
The Family Proclamationwas written by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was first read by President Gordon B Hinckley on September 23, 1995 in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting.
President Worthen is the current president of Brigham Young University. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Monterrey, Mexico. He graduated summa cum laude with both his bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from Brigham Young University in 1982. After working as a clerk for Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the D.C. Circuit Court and then for Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court, he joined the respected law firm Jennings Strouss & Salmon in Arizona in 1984. In 1987 Worthen returned to the J.Reuben Clark Law School as a faculty member. From 2004-2008 he served as dean of the Law School before being names BYU’s advancement vice president. He has been the president of Brigham Young University since 2014.
He and his wife Peggy have three children and two granddaughters.
Dr. Sarah M. Coyne
Dr. Coyne is an associate professor of human development in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. She received her BSC degree in Psychology from Utah State University, and her PhD in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England.
Her research interests involve media, aggression, gender, and child development. She will soon be starting a major longitudinal study that will examine how parents and children can use media to strengthen family bonds in this digital age. This research agenda will support and help us understand the statement, “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on … wholesome recreational activities”, as described in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. She has 4 young children and currently lives in Spanish Fork, Utah.
A firm goes bankrupt. What is a fair way to divide the liquidated value of the firm amongst its creditors? This is the type of question that keeps John Stovall, a new BYU FHSS faculty member, up at night. He deals in social choice theory, a conceptual framework for analyzing individual opinions, preferences, and interests, and how they affect social welfare and collective decision-making processes. He brings to his new position a wealth of knowledge on the subject.
Other areas of his research explore the behavioral implications of temptation. He comes to us from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, and has also spent time at the University of Oxford and Boston University.
Dr. Stovall received his PhD and MA in Economics from the University of Rochester, and BS in Mathematics from BYU.
A variation of an old adage is well-spoken: happy wife equals happy life. But, no relationship is perfect, and marriages are not one-dimensional. What about marital relationships that are lukewarm? BYU FHSS psychology professor Wendy Birmingham and four of her colleagues published a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine that suggests that ambivalence plays a role in both the health of a marriage and the physical health of those in marital relationships. What should young adults seeking a good marriage or a good marriage partner do?
1: Realize That Marriage Isn’t a Cure-All
Marriage is not necessarily a cure-all to pre-existing problems. Brigham Young University student Caroline Belnap met her future husband in New York City after he moved there for work. They married in July of 2014. For her, marriage came when she least expected it–when she wasn’t seeking it out. She observed that issues one might have before marriage, whether it is regarding body image or self-confidence, don’t necessarily go away after one is married.
“Even though marriage might seem like a fantasy,” she says, “prior issues don’t disappear. I’ve told girlfriends on more than one occasion that if they have ever had body image issues, marriage is nice because there is someone who cares about you and thinks the world of you. However, she explains that those issues must be dealt with personally. “Your husband can’t fix that for you.”
2: Have realistic expectations
Lauren Johnston, an Arizona native who married in December of 2014 says she tells her friends—married and unmarried—that they should be realistic about wanting to change another individual. “You want to love your significant other as they are right now, knowing that you both are going to grow,” Johnston says. ”If he’s awesome before, he will stay awesome.”
Johnston performs as a Cougarette for BYU and her husband is preparing for medical school. She says that marriage means being willing to accept people as they are. “If you are going to get married on the stipulation that they are going to change, they won’t. If anything, marriage will magnify the problems you already have.”
A Cinderella-style courtship does not guarantee an automatic happily-ever-after. Whether you anticipate marriage or are newly-married, you might be riddled with emotions and feelings ranging from doubt to confidence, exhaustion to elation and even bliss to anxiety. Mark Butler, Professor in the School of Family Life at BYU says that emotions play a central role in the strength of relationships.
“Emotion is, among other things, our social signaling system. It first tells us how things are going in our relationship generally and in any interaction specifically. Emotion next prompts us to act, to share with others what our experience is, and where needed, make things better.”
Emotional communication contributes to the health of our relationships-whether spouse-to-spouse, boyfriend-to-girlfriend or parent-to-child. Butler explains that “when emotions are positively shared and underlying threats resolved, differences, disagreements, or problems are much more manageable, and sometimes simply disappear.”
He adds that:
“Relationships are shaped toward health as we express what we are feeling—our emotions—and together uncover and resolve any self-concept or attachment threats occurring in our interaction or relationship.”
3: Develop Your Self-Confidence and Personal Goals
Looking back on her engagement period before marriage, Johnston said she maintained her self-confidence and brought her personal goals to the marriage, and that made for a healthy start to her new adventure. “The stronger your self-confidence and the direction you want to go in your life, the more you will feel that you are able to grow in your marriage.”
Belnap said she focused on herself during the months before getting married and that led to a more dynamic relationship. She suggests that, “you want to be your best self, academically, spiritually, and especially emotionally. Work on who you are as a person because that will bring a stronger you to the table.”
Doctor Butler adds: “After emotion gets our attention, it next becomes a motivating influence getting us to act to make things better.”
In terms of making things better, Johnston says her emotions become a motivating influence to keep impressing her husband. ”Treat each date likes it your very first date‑minus the awkwardness!”