The National Center for Family & Marriage Research (NCFMR) was established in 2007 to improve our understanding of how family structure is linked to the health and well-being of children, adults, families, and communities and to inform policy development and programmatic responses. Wendy D. Manning and Susan L. Brown codirect the NCFMR at Bowling Green State University. This project is supported with assistance from Bowling Green State University. From 2007 to 2013, support was also provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
The NCFMR takes an innovative, cross-cutting approach that integrates sociological, psychological, developmental, economic, and demographic perspectives to:
- Address key research questions on the relationship between family structure and adult and child well-being, the role of family processes and resources, the formation and maintenance of healthy marriages, adolescents’ transitions into healthy marriage in adulthood, pathways to family formation outside of marriage, comparisons between married and unmarried families, and the roles of marriage education programs (including faith-based organizations);
- Establish a strong network of multi-disciplinary scholars who focus their research on marriage and family structure by conducting seminars and conferences, running small grants competitions, and developing visiting scholar and postdoctoral programs;
- Develop and train future researchers whose work focuses on marriage and family structure by mentoring junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate assistants;
- Improve research methods and data to permit a fuller understanding of the effects of family structure in various domains across the life span by producing a marriage policy database, a marriage and divorce levels database, marriage and family structure measurement guidelines, pilot survey data, and data workshops; and
- Actively disseminate research findings through a dedicated web site, research briefs, conference proceedings, news releases, and targeted email to the policy and research communities as well as program practitioners. The NCFMR will coordinate closely with ACF’s Healthy Marriage Resource Center, particularly around communication with marriage program practitioners.