Scientific research is carried out by the Department's faculty and advanced students in order to expand society's knowledge base about the normal and abnormal development and functioning of families and family members. Current research activities address a broad range of topics including infants' emotional development and attachment to parents; cultural patterning of emerging behavioral systems; social functioning in day-care settings; school readiness; children's and adolescents' responses to parental warmth and neglect; the cultural organization of parents' belief systems; parent education; marital and Family Studies; spouse/partner violence; assessment and intervention with couples and families; effectiveness of supervision in marriage and family therapy training; adult patterns of coping with disease; and housing needs of the elderly. Methods of research are drawn from the multidisciplinary backgrounds of faculty and include observations in both field and laboratory settings, clinical and semi-structured interviewing, standardized measures of individual and family functioning, and archival analysis; both naturalistic and experimental paradigms are employed. Faculty research is supported by grants and contracts from federal and state agencies as well as private philanthropic foundations.
More detailed information is available about the following on-going studies: