Continuity and Change in Family Relations: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Findings

Continuity and Change in Family Relations: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Findings

Continuity and Change in Family Relations: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Findings

Continuity and Change in Family Relations: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Findings

Synopsis

The chapters in this volume were developed as a follow-up to the Summer Institute entitled "Continuity and Change: Family Structure and Process" conducted by the second Family Research Consortium. The goal of this book is to provide readers with a greater understanding of both the conceptual issues involved in the study of continuity and change in families, and also some of the methodological approaches that have been developed for investigating families over time.

Excerpt

This book represents one in a series of intellectual efforts that have resulted from a remarkable venture in family research that began in the 1980s. During the early part of that decade, Joy Schulterbrandt, a program officer at the National Institute of Mental Health, initiated a process that she hoped would strengthen the role of family research in attempts to explain and prevent mental illness. She conducted a series of meetings with major scholars in the field during which the participants discussed ways to strengthen family research and increase its contribution to the reduction of mental illness. These discussions led to the creation of the Family Research Consortium. the aims of the consortium were to improve the quality of family research, stimulate broader collaboration across disciplines, and inform prevention efforts focused on the family. With support from nimh, these aims have been pursued by supporting summer institutes for family researchers, by providing postdoctoral training for new family scholars, and by supporting a multidisciplinary approach to family studies.

Family researchers owe a great debt to Joy Schulterbrandt, whose vision and pioneering efforts led to the development of the Family Research Consortium. They are equally indebted to David Reiss and Mavis Hetherington, who served as principal investigators for the initial 5-year period (1986–1991) of funding for the consortium by nimh. Their wisdom and that of their co-investigators in launching the consortium is reflected in the fact that, almost 20 years later, nimh continues to support this initiative, which has made major and ongoing contributions to improvements in family research related to mental health. Following the first consortium, Mar-

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