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As part of The Family Institute's mission, we are committed to using clinical science to improve the effectiveness of our interventions. Clinical Science Insights, a quarterly publication series, distills our research expertise in a way that is relevant to both clinical practice and everyday life.

In this forum, our postdoctoral fellows, clinical staff and affiliates share their expert knowledge on a variety of topics relevant to families today – from child development, to innovative treatments for depression and anxiety, to best parenting practices, to the latest research on what works in couples therapy – just to name a few. These succinct summaries of the latest empirical research and theory on issues relevant to families are written for professional and lay audiences alike.

Caring for the Caregivers

Chronic health conditions, or psychological or physical health conditions that persist for 3 months or longer (Newacheck & Taylor, 1992), are quite common. About half of all adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic health condition, and about 25% have two or more (Ward, Schiller, & Goodman, 2014). While arthritis and muscoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of activity limitations among working-age adults, psychological disorders are the second leading…

Infidelity in the Internet Age

Through our use of cell phones, laptops, and tablets, we can feel as though we are more “connected” than ever before. We can check Facebook posts, send emails, stream video, or text our partners – all while sitting on the bus, in Starbucks or at work. But the question remains: Does this tethering to the Internet lead to greater intimacy and connection with ourselves and the ones we love, or does it simply provide an illusion of intimacy? What happens to those individuals who…

Trauma and Mindfulness

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as an experience during which a person is directly or indirectly exposed to actual or threatened death or serious injury (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). In this definition, scholars include events such as combat, childhood abuse, and rape. Current literature also describes trauma as betrayal, illness, infidelity, job loss, divorce, racism, and other events that threaten one’s well-being (Levine…

Enhancing the role of the father in children's development

Fathers play an important role in children’s development, and the ways in which they can make significant, positive contributions is quite notable (Parke et al., 2005). A variety of research studies have found that fathers’ emotional support, relationship with their children, and financial care-taking are all associated with children’s well-being, cognitive development, and social competence (e.g., Lamb & Tamis-LeMonda, 2004).

Lessons Learned

Remarriage is quickly becoming a normative event within our society. Because estimates suggest that more than two thirds of women and three quarters of men remarry after divorce (Sweeney, 2010), eventually more people may be a part of a remarriage than a first marriage (Dupuis, 2007). Unfortunately, however, research also suggests that remarriages tend to end more quickly and more often than first marriages. Compared to first marriages, second marriages are about 10% more…

Resiliency in Adulthood

Childhood experiences greatly influence our adult relationships, choices, and habits. Some experiences children face, though, are far more detrimental than others. Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is an atrocity that causes a great deal of pain and suffering for adult survivors, and researchers have continued to study the long-term effects of CSA on adults.

Autism 101

The United States is facing an autism epidemic. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that 1 in every 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The number of children with ASDs has greatly increased from the 1980s when children were diagnosed at a rate of 2-5 in 10,000 (Kogan et. al., 2009). Little debate remains about whether these statistics reflect an increase in actual cases or an…

Valued Action

Mental illness has a significant impact on the welfare of our population. It is associated with decreased work productivity (e.g., Kessler, et al., 2008), increased health care cost and utilization (e.g., Ormel, et al., 2008), and decreased quality of life and life satisfaction (e.g., Rapaport, Clary, Fayyad, & Endicott, 2005). In the psychological literature, quality of life has been defined as the extent to which an individual is satisfied with different aspects of…