Profs set out to study marriage

By Daily News (Ball State)

(U-WIRE) MUNCIE, Ind. – As Ball State University professors in family and consumer sciences, Scott Hall and Rebecca Adams have noticed a lack of information when it comes to marriage.

So, they decided to create their own.

“I’ve been teaching marriage for quite a while and very little research has been done on the first year of marriage. That’s an important foundation,” Adams said.

The study cited most in academic literature was conducted in the 1980s, she said.

“We think marriage has changed since then,” she said.

Hall, an assistant professor of family and consumer sciences, and Adams, an associate professor of family and consumer sciences, are in the preliminary stages of a research study on couples in their first year of marriage.

“We’re trying to understand how a couple’s relationship changes by virtue of getting married (and) what do they do to cope with some of the disappointment and disillusionment that comes with … expectations not being fulfilled,” Hall said.

They will recruit 10 to 15 couples who have been married between three months and one year. In the next stage of their study, they will use the results to apply for external grants that would allow them to expand the study to 30 couples.

Because this study isn’t about analyzing numbers, they don’t need a large pool of participants. Instead, they depend on the depth of the research, Adams said.

To gain the necessary insight, the two will conduct weekly interviews with the participating couples.

“We want to really get some intense questioning trying to get a greater depth of understanding of what these couples go through,” Hall said.

For example, Hall said he wants to know what their expectations were going into the marriage and what habits they established while dating that worked then but don’t now.

Shawna Tsoumas