Reporters: Mark Your Calendars for April 16-17, 2010: Council on Contemporary Families Conference

Jan 29, 2010, 10:25 ET from Council on Contemporary Families

"Families as They Really Are: How Do We Use What We Know?"

Conference Description and Detailed Abstracts Below

CHICAGO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How are families really doing? At CCF, family researchers deliver great stories about women and the economy, about men and housework, about the recession and families, and about how sex has changed for all of us, to mention a few recent topics we've addressed in the past several years.

But, how do we make use of all this knowledge? The CCF 2010 conference "Families as They Really Are: How Do We Use What We Know," links research to our every day practical and policy questions during a two-day conference at Augustana College, in Rock Island, Illinois, April 16 and 17.

The conference also includes a book party to celebrate the release of the Norton anthology, Families as They Really Are, which includes key articles from CCF senior scholars and which was edited by CCF Executive Officer and University of Illinois-Chicago sociology professor Barbara Risman. All conference participants will receive a copy of this new book.

You can read the program in detail at The conference opens on Friday morning, April 16, with family historian Stephanie Coontz's keynote address: "For Better AND Worse: The Trade-offs and Paradoxes of Family Change." She will be followed by a day and a half of panels, including:

  • What Makes for Effective Parenting?
  • Family Challenges: Money / Domestic Violence / Adoption / Immigration
  • Reducing Divorce—and Divorce's Hostilities
  • Family Law and the Justice System: What Practitioners and Researchers Need to Know
  • Changing Worlds of Sex and Intimacy: STIs / Infidelity / Sex at Midlife
  • Healthy Aging and Intergenerational Families: Poverty / Work / End of Life

Panel presentation descriptions are included at the end of this advisory.

What you won't find at our conference: Boring paper reading

Each year, the CCF conference creates an environment of dialogue and participation. Presenters limit their prepared remarks to ten minutes; this means that presenters and conference participants convene for focused, lively deliberation on provocative questions. Informal meeting times extend the discussion and give reporters ample opportunity to find new contacts and new stories to enhance another year of stories. 

Media Awards and Other Networking Opportunities

Other features of the program include the CCF media awards: award recipients from national media will speak about their experiences covering family issues. Click here for our media awards nominations announcement—and a list of last year's winners.

About the Council on Contemporary Families

The Council on Contemporary Families is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing the press and public with the latest research and best-practice findings about American families. Our members include demographers, economists, family therapists, historians, political scientists, psychologists, social workers, sociologists, as well as other family social scientists and practitioners. Founded in 1996 and based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Council's mission is to enhance the national understanding of how and why contemporary families are changing, what needs and challenges they face, and how these needs can best be met. See our website at

Conference Press Registration

Conference registration is free to credentialed journalists. To register as press for the CCF conference or to receive periodic fact sheets and briefing papers on new family research please contact Stephanie Coontz, Director of Research and Public Information at the Council, at Family scholars and other members of the public can register here.

The Details: Conference presenters: abstracts and bios:

Etiony Aldarondo: Real and Imaginary Borders: Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in the U.S.

Over 100,000 unaccompanied undocumented immigrant minors are apprehended by U.S. authorities each year. The majority of these minors come to the U.S. hoping to escape poverty, find opportunities to work and earn money, and to reunite with parents and significant others who migrated years before them. Their journey is filled with uncertainty, physical hardships, and experiences of victimization at the hands of coyotes, organized drug gangs, and other adults they encounter in the process. This presentation describes a partnership of educators, mental health professionals, and legal advocates that for the past four years has been working to defend the human rights and promote the well-being of unaccompanied minors housed in detention facilities in South Florida. I will review what we have learned about the lived experiences of these minors and describe the development and implementation of an innovative culturally appropriate and evidence-informed program designed to bolster resilience and hope in these youth.

Etiony Aldarondo is a resource on immigrant teens as well as on domestic violence and prevention. Dr. Aldarondo is Associate Dean for Research and Director, Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center, School of Education, University of Miami. Contact:

Ashton Applewhite: The Value of Work in Late Life

Brief description: Even before the recession hit, four out of five boomers planned to work longer than their parents had. Make that lots longer: over the past century, the American lifespan has increased by thirty years. Businesses, society, and families all benefit from the continued contributions of older workers. So do those workers, not only in terms of economic resilience, but from the physical, mental and social engagement that work provides and that is integral to aging well.  Applewhite draws on in-depth interviews with people over 80 in the workforce to examine the unsettling and exciting implications of these trends for our ageist society and changing families.

Applewhite is an author whose books include Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well and who blogs about older workers at While researching this project she has received fellowships from the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, the New York Times, and the Yale Law School's Information Society Project. She is on the board of the Council on Contemporary Families and a staff writer at the American Museum of Natural History. Contact:

Linda Burton: Weathering Generations:  Family Co-morbidity in the Life Course Opportunities of America's Poor

Brief description: Using longitudinal ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study (see for more information) and the Family Life Project, I will describe the prevalence of family co-morbidity in low-income urban and rural families and discuss the implications of "collective" poor mental and physical health for life course opportunities for children, adults, and the elderly in these kinship networks.

Linda M. Burton is the James B. Duke Professor of Sociology at Duke University. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1985 from the University of Southern California and is currently a member of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, National Academy of Sciences, co-editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence, Deputy Editor for Demography, a member of the Board of Directors for the Family Process Institute, Advisory Board of National Center for Marriage Research, and the Board of Directors for the Council on Contemporary Families. She is also a recipient of the Family Research Consortium IV Legacy Award and the American Family Therapy Academy Award for Innovative Contributions to Family Research.  Dr. Burton directed the ethnographic component of Welfare, Children, and Families:  A Three-City Study and is principal investigator of a multi-site team ethnographic study (Family Life Project) of poverty, family processes, and child development in six rural communities.  Her research integrates ethnographic and demographic approaches and examines the roles that poverty and intergenerational family dynamics play in accelerating the life course transitions of children and adults. Contact:

Deborah Carr: Preparing For (or Avoiding?) the Inevitable: Families and End of Life Decisions

Brief description:  As debate swirls around President Barack Obama's health care reform plan, false rumors abound that "death panels" will decide which patients are worthy of life-sustaining medical treatments.  What really happens when Americans make decisions about end of life care? This presentation will describe the choices that all people must make about end of life health care, the roles that family members play in these decisions, and the problems that family members encounter when trying to convey the treatment preferences of their loved ones.

Deborah Carr is associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from University of Wisconsin (1997). Her research focuses on the social consequences of obesity; generational differences in men's and women's work-family strategies; the psychosocial consequences of spousal bereavement; and the ways that individuals and families prepare for end-of-life medical care. She is author of more than three dozen journal articles, appearing in journals including Journal of Marriage and Family, and Journal of Health and Social Behavior. She has co-authored or edited five books, including the Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development (Cengage, 2009); Making up with Mom: Why Mothers and Daughters Disagree about Kids, Careers, and Casseroles (and What to Do About It) (St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, 2008), and Spousal Bereavement in Later Life (Springer, 2006). Contact:

Andrew Christensen: Infidelity Doesn't Have to Mean the End

Brief description: As part of a large clinical trial of the impact of couple therapy, we showed that couples in which there had been infidelity generally responded to treatment as well as or better than distressed couples in which there had been no infidelity. The one exception were couples who did not reveal ongoing infidelity to the partner or the therapist; a later discovery of that infidelity by the partner led to separation and divorce.

Andrew Christensen is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and did his internship at Rutgers University Medical School. He studies couple conflict and couple therapy and has published over 100 professional articles, primarily on these topics.  He is co-author of the influential scholarly book, Close Relationships (Freeman, 1983, reprinted in 2002).  For therapists, he authored Acceptance and Change in Couple Therapy: A therapist's guide for transforming relationships (1998, Norton) with Neil S. Jacobson. He also completed a trade book for couples, Reconcilable Differences (2000, Guilford) with Jacobson. With support from the National Institute of Mental Health, he conducted a long-term evaluation of the impact of couple therapy in general and his form of couple therapy in particular.  Currently he is writing a paper on the 5-year follow-up phase of that investigation. His therapy approach and research have been cited in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, and other magazines and newspapers. Contact:

Joshua Coleman: Staying Together for the Sake of the Kids? Arguments on Both Sides

Brief description: Most Americans believe that people shouldn't stay together in a marriage when the parents are unhappy. This is predicated on the belief that if the parents are unhappy then the children must also be unhappy, and that adults have the right to pursue a lifestyle that facilitates personal growth. This talk will look at both the value of staying in marriages with low satisfaction when children are involved, and the case for leaving those marriages. It will also look at how therapists can use current research on divorce and marital conflict to help couples make decisions about whether to stay or leave.

Dr. Joshua Coleman is Co-Chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, and a psychologist with a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has served on the clinical faculties of The University of California at San Francisco, The Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology, and the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group. He has been a frequent guest on the Today Show, NPR, and The BBC, and has also appeared on Sesame Street, 20/20, Good Morning America, America Online Coaches, PBS, and numerous news programs for FOX, ABC, CNN, and NBC television. His advice has been featured in The New York Times, The Times of London, Fortune, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Psychology Today, U.S. World and News Report, Parenting Magazine and many others. He is the author of The Marriage Makeover: Finding Happiness in Imperfect Harmony (St. Martin's Press); The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework (St. Martin's Press); When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don't Get Along (HarperCollins); and Married with Twins: Life, Love and the Pursuit of Marital Harmony.   Dr. Coleman's books have been translated into Chinese, Croatian, and Korean. Contact:

Stephanie Coontz: For Better AND Worse: The trade-offs and Paradoxes of Family Change

Brief description: Everyone knows that marriage, parenting, childrearing and family dynamics have been transformed in the past 40 years. But there is a lot of confusion about why those changes occurred, what their consequences have been, and what new ethical and practical questions they raise, both for individuals and for family professionals. This talk will suggest that the societal consequences and personal implications of these changes are more complex than they initially appear, since almost every new risk that families face is the flip side of new opportunities, while almost every improvement in personal life has created new pitfalls for parents and partners. Coontz will explore contemporary marital and parenting challenges, offering suggestions for how practitioners can integrate such social analysis into their own world view and help clients understand the social origins of dilemmas they often experience as personal inadequacies.

Stephanie Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and is Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families, which she chaired from 2001-04.  Coontz is the author of the forthcoming book "A Strange Stirring": The Feminine Mystique and the Sidelined Women of "The Greatest Generation" (Basic Books, Fall 2010) and the award-winning Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage (Viking Press, 2005). She also wrote The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (1992 and 2000, Basic Books), The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families (Basic Books, 1997), and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families. She edited American Families: A Multicultural Reader (Routledge, 2008). Contact:

Phil and Carolyn Cowan:  A Couple Relationship Approach to Effective Parenting: What We Know from Studies of Fathers and Mothers

Brief summary: The myth is that the well-being of children depends primarily on effective parenting, and parenting most often means mothers and children. Data from correlational studies suggest strongly that fathers, when available, contribute importantly to children's development and that the relationship between parents (married, cohabiting, divorced) plays a central role in shaping the family environment in which the child develops. Three intervention studies show that couples groups can have a long-term impact on the well-being of children in both middle-class and low-income families (European American, Mexican American, and African American).

Carolyn Pape Cowan is Professor of Psychology, Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-director with Philip Cowan of 3 longitudinal preventive intervention projects: Becoming a Family, Schoolchildren and Their Families, and Supporting Father Involvement. Dr. Cowan has published widely in the professional literature on family relationships, family transitions, and the evaluation of preventive interventions. She co-edited Fatherhood today: Men's changing role in the family (Wiley, 1988) and The family context of parenting in the child's adaptation to school (Erlbaum, 2005). With Phil Cowan, she co-authored When partners become parents: The big life change for couples (Erlbaum, 2000), which has been translated into 7 languages. Prof. Cowan consults widely on the development and evaluation of interventions for couples who are parents.

Philip A. Cowan is Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley where he has served as Director of both the Clinical Psychology Program and the Institute of Human Development. In addition to authoring numerous scientific articles, he is the author of Piaget with Feeling (Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1978), co-author of When partners become parents: The big life change for couples (Erlbaum, 2000), and co-editor of four books and monographs, including Family Transitions (Erlbaum, 1991), and The family context of parenting in the child's adaptation to school (Erlbaum, 2005).

Carolyn and Phil Cowan were among the founding members of the Council on Contemporary Families, and in 1999, they received the Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research award from the American Family Therapy Academy. Contact:,

Robert Emery: Mediation: Benefits and Strategies

Brief description: Emery will discuss how the emotions of former partners who are also parents can collide in divorce – with children in a car without seat belts. Safety tip number one is for parents to recognize both their anger and the hurt, pain, fear, longing, guilt, and grief behind their anger. Safety tip number two is using alternative dispute resolution such as divorce mediation to put a break on parents' understandable emotions and truly put children first in working out a parenting plan. Emery's 12-year follow-up study of families randomly assigned to mediate or litigate custody disputes proves that taking the right turn at the time of divorce produces many benefits for children and parents in the years to come.

Robert Emery, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on family relationships and children's mental health, including parental conflict, divorce, child custody, family violence, and associated legal and policy issues. He has authored over 120 scientific publications, and several books including Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment; Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation; and his guide for parents, The Truth about Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive. Dr. Emery has appeared on the Today Show, The Jane Pauley Show, National Public Radio, in Newsweek magazine, and in many other print and electronic media. In addition to his research, teaching, and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Emery maintains a limited practice as a clinical psychologist and divorce mediator. He is the father of five children. Contact:

Amy Holtzworth-Munroe: Child-informed mediation

Brief description:  Divorce mediation is assumed to lead to more positive outcomes for children than traditional adversarial litigation approaches to divorce, but little empirical data on the effectiveness of mediation exist. In an ongoing pilot study at Indiana University, law and psychology professors are working together to conduct an intervention evaluation study comparing Divorce Mediation As Usual (no child consultant) to two new forms of mediation—Child Focused (a child consultant provides a couple with psychoeducational information regarding the impact of divorce on children) and Child Inclusive (a child consultant interviews the couple's children and uses that assessment information in mediation). While data collection is not complete, the project has provided interesting lessons regarding how the legal system and social scientists can collaborate within the area of family law to develop empirically supported interventions.

Amy Holtzworth-Munroe received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Washington, in 1988. She then joined the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University - Bloomington, where she is a Professor. She has been conducting research on the problem of relationship aggression since the mid-1980s, including examining the social skills deficits of violent husbands and research on the identification and comparison of subtypes of male batterers. She has led batterer treatment groups and worked with a local domestic violence taskforce to set up a new batterers treatment program and evaluate treatment effectiveness. More recently, she has begun research, with colleagues at the Indiana University Law School, to study divorce mediation and to examine intimate partner violence in mediation. Contact:

Alan Hawkins: Reducing Divorce Before Marriage Begins or Ends: Two Ends of the Spectrum

Brief description: This presentation argues that, from a public policy perspective, there are two key time points to reduce the incidence of divorce. The first time point is before marriage, during the engagement. I will highlight the results of a current meta-analytic study on the effectiveness of premarital education programs. The second time point is before the marriage ends, at the crossroads of the divorce decision. I will highlight research suggesting that some divorcing couples and their children would probably be better off if they repaired their relationship—and could reasonably do so—and describe modest policy efforts in Utah to reach couples who have filed for divorce with information to help them consider whether reconciliation might be in their family's best interests.

Alan J. Hawkins is a professor of Family Life at Brigham University in Provo, Utah. He earned a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University in 1990. Professor Hawkins' current scholarship and outreach has focused on educational and policy interventions to help couples form and sustain healthy marriages and prevent divorce. He has published widely on this topic. In 2003-2004, he was a visiting scholar with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working on ACF's federal healthy marriage initiative. He was the Research Director of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center from 2004-2006. He serves as Chair of the Utah Healthy Marriage Initiative. He is a member of the Texas Healthy Marriage Initiative Research Advisory Group and the National Advisory Committee for the National Center for Marriage and Family Research at Bowling Green State University and the National Center for African American Marriages and Families at Hampton University. Contact:

Waldo Johnson: Father Involvement: What We Know From Studies of Fathers

Brief description: This presentation provides an overview of empirical research studies on father involvement across fathers' developmental statuses, family structures, socioeconomic statuses and racial and ethnic groups. Father involvement among low-income, unwed fathers is highlighted. The implications for family formation, functioning, development, policy and intervention practice is examined.

Waldo E, Johnson, Jr. is associate professor at the School of Social Service Administration, faculty affiliate and immediate past director, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, has conducted research and published widely on father involvement among unwed, low-income urban fathers; the physical and mental health statuses of African American males and the use of qualitative research methods in guiding social welfare policy. He is a member of the leadership team for the South Side Health and Vitality Study; Building Healthy Communities: A Focus on Young Men and Boys of Color Research Collaborative, and the Disenfranchised Men Forum.  He consulted in the  development of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC) African American Male Initiative, a four year place-based youth development program aimed at enhancing the academic, social, and civic well-being of African American males ages 10-16 in five Chicago neighborhoods and is currently consulting with the Chicago Community Trust's African American Male Initiative.  He collaborated with David Pate to develop a social work curriculum designed to guide practitioners and educators teaching culturally-based approaches to healthy masculinity for African American males for the Masculinity Project. He is a member of the editorial board of Children and Youth Services Review; the National Steering Committee of the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys and chairs the Fatherhood Subcommittee of the 2025 Roundtable; and the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and Wellbeing of African American Men.  He has been consultant to the Supporting Healthy Marriage Project, a national evaluation of healthy marriage programs for low-income couples; an investigator for the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal survey of the circumstances of unmarried parenthood among African Americans, Hispanics and Whites in 20 U.S. cities and a co-principal investigator for Time, Love, Cash, Care and Children (TLC3), a qualitative component of the Fragile Families Study.  He served as national Co-Chair of the Council on Contemporary Families (2006-2009) and the International Education Conference Planning Committee of the National Association of Black Social Workers. His forthcoming book, Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Social Policy, will be published by Oxford University Press in late 2009. Contact:

Christopher Martell: Breaking New Ground Beginning and End: Break-ups in Same-Sex Relationships in a Changing Environment

Brief description: Same-sex couples have only recently been allowed to marry or have legalized unions in a minority of states in the U.S.  Just as the formation of same-sex unions required that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals developed structures in their relationships when there were no guidelines or legal protections, the same environment exists when they decide to end a relationship.  This presentation will address how same-sex break-ups are similar to break-ups of opposite-sex couples and will particularly address differences based on sub-cultural norms.  The impact of forming and ending relationships without role-models or legal guidelines will be discussed.

Christopher R. Martell, Ph.D. is in private practice in Seattle and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. He is board certified in both clinical psychology and cognitive & behavioral psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. The co-author of four books, he has published widely on behavioral treatments for depression, couples therapy, and issues affecting gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals.  He is first author of Depression in Context: Strategies for Guided Action with Michael Addis & Neil Jacobson; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, with Steven Safren & Stacey Prince; and Behavioral Activation for Depression: A Clinician's Guide with Sona Dimidjian and Ruth Herman-Dunn; and has co-authored two other books. He was the recipient of the Washington State Psychological Association's Distinguished Psychologist Award in 2004.  He is a past President of APA Division 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues). Dr. Martell received his Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in 1988. Contact:

Adina Nack: Having Better Sex in a World with STIs

Brief description: Today, with millions contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) every year, it is vital that we understand the myths and truths about sexual health.  Dr. Adina Nack draws on her in-depth interview studies to clarify how we can manage risks in order to prioritize health within our sexual relationships. As the author of Damaged Goods?, the first book to address the social, psychological and medical challenges for women living with genital herpes and HPV infections, Dr. Nack applies feminist theories, social psychology, and sociological perspectives on deviance to answer an increasingly difficult question: how can we have better and healthier sex lives today?

An associate professor of sociology, Dr. Adina Nack has directed California Lutheran University's Center for Equality and Justice and their Gender and Women's Studies Program. Nack is a medical sociologist whose research has focused on sexual and reproductive health. As the author of Damaged Goods? Women Living with Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Temple University Press 2008), she has won local teaching awards, national research awards, and been recognized with community service awards for HIV/AIDS and sexual health advocacy.

Nack received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 2001 and joined CLU in 2003, after having been on the faculty at the University of Maine.  Her articles have been published in academic journals and edited readers. She has been involved with sexual health education since 1994: as an outreach worker, health educator, researcher, and professor of sexuality studies. A proponent of community-based action research, Nack was co-Principal Investigator for studies funded by the California State Office of AIDS that focused on Latinos/Latinas living with HIV/AIDS. A member of Ventura County's HIV/AIDS Coalition, Nack has played a lead role in organizing the county's events to commemorate World AIDS Day since 2004. To find out more about her book and current research projects, visit her online at Contact:

Adam Pertman: Adoption: Embracing Radical Change

Brief Description: Adoption has become a routine, widely accepted means of forming families in the United States; indeed, the Institute estimates that 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate families. Myths and stereotypes continue to "inform" policy, practice and media portrayals of adoption, however, to the detriment of all of those involved. A realistic understanding of adopted children, adults and their (birth and adoptive) families – from a research, knowledge base – reveals varying developmental patterns, challenges and other realities that are normative, but also are often very different from those in families formed the old fashioned way. 

Adam Pertman is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. He is also Associate Editor of Adoption Quarterly, the premier research journal dealing with adoption and foster care. And he is author of the groundbreaking Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America, which has been reviewed as "the most important book ever written on the subject." In addition, Pertman is the author of many chapters and articles on adoption- and family-related issues in books, scholarly journals and mass-market publications; he lectures in this country and internationally; and he has appeared regularly in the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, various NPR programs, Oprah, the Today Show and Nightline, among others. Contact:

Pepper Schwartz: Sexuality in Mid-life and Beyond

Brief description. The American Association of Retired Persons has done the latest and almost the only national sample on the sexuality of people over 50. This is the third iteration of the national study done at four year intervals. The paper will be on the findings of the 2009 study and some comparisons with the earlier AARP data. Some overall assessments of the state of older Americans' sexual practices and beliefs will conclude the presentation.

Pepper Schwartz is Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University. As a  leading relationship expert, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., has created the Personality Profiler, similar to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, exclusively for the committed adults seeking long-term relationships on As the most effective and sophisticated leading-edge romantic matching tool on or off the Internet, the Personality Profiler significantly helps Perfectmatch's members to identify their significant other's Similarity Factors and Complimentary Factors, which will ultimately lead them to finding their "perfect match." Dr. Schwartz has received many awards, including the 2005 American Sociological Award for the Public Dissemination of Information, the Matrix Award for Achievement in Education and the International Women's Forum Award in Career Achievement in Washington State. She is the author of 14 books, including many popular books such as: The Great Sex Weekend, The Lifetime Love and Sex Quiz Book, Everything You Know About Love and Sex is Wrong and Ten Talks Parents Must Have With Their Children About Sex and Character with Dominic Cappello, 201 Questions to Ask Your Kids / 201 Questions to Ask Your Parents (Avon/Morrow). Contact:

Carol Shapiro: Breaking Cycles of Justice System Involvement: The Role of Family Engagement

Brief description: For the past 15 years, Family Justice has developed, tested, and integrated family-focused tools and methods into juvenile and criminal justice practices to reduce reliance on incarceration while improving family well-being. Tapping the natural strengths of family and their social networks is a cost effective and long-term solution to complex social problems plaguing our nations poorest and most at risk for justice system involvement. Poor families are too often overlooked and demonized; ironically, staff working in the justice field are treated similarly. Our strength-based tools and mapping techniques provide a respectful means to engage families while validating the work of governmental and nonprofit staff.

For more than 30 years, Carol Shapiro has been an innovator in the field of criminal justice. She has devised and collaborated on numerous initiatives to more effectively address crime prevention, addiction, prerelease, reentry, and related issues. Much of her work has centered on improving public safety and family well-being by integrating a strength-based, family-focused approach in fields such as law enforcement, addiction, mental health, domestic violence, and housing. In her role as founder and president of Family Justice, Carol serves as an adviser to many governmental and citizen-sector initiatives. She also provides technical assistance and consulting services to federal, state, and local governments, not-for-profit organizations, and the media about policy, planning, and implementation of social justice reform initiatives. Among her many awards and honors for social entrepreneurship, Carol is an Ashoka fellow and ambassador. Contact: cshapiro@FAMILYJUSTICEINC.ORG

Kristen Springer: Who Makes the Money in Marriage?  Consequences for Men's Health

Brief description: The current recession is taking a toll on men's employment, often forcing their wives to go back to work or increase their hours at work. Given the pervasiveness of the "male as breadwinner" norm, how are men affected when their wives earn more than they do?  I will present new research findings showing the ways that husbands' and wives' contributions to the family's household income affect men's health and well-being.  I focus on cohorts of older men, who presumably subscribe most strongly to the male as breadwinner ideal.

Kristen Springer is currently an assistant professor of Sociology at Rutgers University and a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University.  She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin.   Her research centers on health and aging in the context of gender relations and families.  She currently has three broad research projects: 1) the gendered health effect of marital income across the life course, 2) the influence of masculinity ideals on men's healthcare seeking behaviors, and 3) the interactive influence of biology and social environment for understanding gendered health.  She has research published or forthcoming in multiple peer-reviewed journals including American Journal of Sociology, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Marriage & Family, and Social Science & Medicine.  Dr. Springer's research has also been featured in national and international news sources including ABC News, LA Times, The New York Times, US News & World Report, and USA Today. Contact:

Howard Steele: What We Know About the Ingredients of Secure Attachments Between Parents and Children.

Brief description: This talk will highlight the primary importance of parents coming to terms with -- being coherent, resolved and 'at peace' with – their attachment history.  This is necessary in order for secure child-parent attachments to develop and thrive. Beyond this contribution of how parents think and feel about their past, there is the present contribution from the child to consider (e.g. temperament, talents, inherent strengths and difficulties) and the need for the parent to find and establish a good-enough fit with the child, so that s/he feels understood and loved.  Vital to this is the need for parents to model and encourage how to resolve the inevitable range of  frustrating, difficult, angry and sometimes hateful feelings that  arise daily.  The outcome is a healthy sense of anxiety and guilt that underpins secure attachments, and their correlates over time in terms of mental health, resilience, and the robust capacity to love, and be  loved.

Howard Steele is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology, at the New School for Social Research, New York City. Dr. Steele co-directs (with Dr. Miriam Steele) the Center for Attachment Research, devoted to deepening our understanding and improving the lives of developing children and their parents. Howard Steele is senior and founding editor of the international journal, Attachment and Human Development, and is author of more than 60 journal articles and book chapters on the impact of attachment, loss, trauma, and emotion understanding across the lifespan and across generations.  Howard is co-editor (with Miriam Steele) of the 2008 book: 'Clinical Applications of the Adult Attachment Interview'.  Howard wrote and narrated the 2007 educational video film: 'John Bowlby: Attachment theory across generations'. Contact:

Carolyn Tubbs: Shared Parenting:  When There's a History of Domestic Violence

Brief description: Shared parenting is a normative part of family life in which the couples negotiate the values and rules of family life, child-rearing, and the parental division of labor.  Whether in intact, distressed or estranged family relationships, shared parenting is an arena of family life where the potential for conflict is a constant.  When relationships end, conflicts around parenting do not end; rather conflicts almost inevitably increase.  Since past violence increases the probability for future violence, the ongoing existence of coercive and control tactics do not end with estrangement.  This research examines some of the issues of shared parenting among estranged African American couples with a history of intimate partner violence.

Dr. Tubbs is on the faculty with the Programs in Couple and Family Therapy at Drexel University.  She earned a doctorate in Child Development and Family Studies/Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University.  She was a NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow with the Family Research Consortium III and a Research Scientist at Penn State University on the Welfare, Children and Families:  A Three City-Study.  Dr. Tubbs has also been involved with the National Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. Contact:

SOURCE Council on Contemporary Families