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Mission

The mission of the NCFMR is threefold: research, training, and dissemination. NCFMR supports research on key questions about the effects of family structure and processes on the health and well-being of children, adults, families, and communities as well as the influence of programs and policies on marriage. The NCFMR builds research capacity with improved data and methods and brings together multidisciplinary networks of scholars. Under its training mission, the NCFMR mentors and trains students and junior professionals to ensure continued advancement in research on family structure. Its dissemination mission is to translate research to broad communities, including researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.

Research

The NCFMR employs a multifaceted strategy to facilitate new research on family structure. A central aim of the NCFMR is to provide intellectual leadership and shape the direction for new research and training. We are building new capacity for family research through a strong program of research collaboration and development of extensive data and measurement resources. The research collaboration program includes seminars, conferences, workshops, visiting scholars, and postdoctoral fellowships. The data and measurement resources include the provision of data descriptions, workshops and training seminars on data use, the creation of a marriage/divorce database, data outreach efforts, topic-specific research briefs, and consultation for pilot data collection efforts.

Training

A central mission of the NCFMR is to mentor and train the next generation of family structure researchers. Our goal is to bring together a diverse group of emerging scholars from across the social sciences (e.g., human development, psychology, sociology, economics, and demography) with interests in family structure, marriage, and well-being. The NCFMR offers new opportunities for strengthening the ties among senior and junior colleagues and students and will support one postdoctoral fellow and up to four graduate assistants each year.

Dissemination

Researchers often aspire to share their work with broad audiences but lack the time, skills, or networks to locate a diverse audience of academics, policy makers, and social service practitioners. The NCFMR disseminates research through training workshops, conferences, and seminars; research briefs, conference proceedings, and news releases highlighting key questions and major research findings; and targeted electronic mailings to policy makers, academic institutions, and marriage promotion practitioners. The NCFMR also collaborates with the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC) [www.healthymarriageinfo.org] to ensure that new research reaches broad audiences.