A strength of the department is the number of faculty who conduct both basic and applied research with a focus on close relationships (e.g., couple and romantic relationships).
Several of the faculty and graduate students within the program are interested in the patterns, dynamics, and characteristics of same-sex and other-sex romantic relationships in diverse populations. Faculty with active programs of research in this area include both long-term tenured faculty in the department as well as new, tenure-track faculty who only recently have joined the department; several faculty have established international reputations as experts in the field of close/couple relationships. Some of the topics actively being studied in our department include: social and cultural contexts of marital relationships; marital processes and risks associated with the probability of divorce; postdivorce adjustment; remarriage and stepfamilies; identity formation and negotiation during family transitions (e.g., parenthood, (re)marriage, divorce); sexuality among racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; sexual and reproductive health; intra- and interpersonal characteristics of high conflict couples; perceived emotional connection in couple therapy; formation and maintenance of the therapeutic alliance in couple therapy; couple engagement in therapeutic and outreach programs; therapeutic interventions for couples; and methodological and measurement issues with dyadic data. Our department also houses both the COAMFTE-Accredited Masters and doctoral programs in marriage and family therapy and the Humphrey Clinic for Individual, Couple and Family Therapy.
More information and a view of the complete range of couple relationship-related research activities can be obtained by exploring the work of our individual faculty members.