CRF's International Conference on Analysis Methods Draws Crowd
In October the Center for Research on Families (CRF) held an international conference for researchers on “New Methods for the Analysis of Family and Dyadic Processes.” Because of the special structure of family data, nontraditional methods are necessary for appropriate analysis, but graduate programs typically do not include these specialized methods in their courses of study. Combine that with an explosion of research in the area of clustered or multilevel methods during the past decade, and one finds the demand for learning new methodologies exceedingly high. This comprehensive forum, developed by CRF, was among the first to address this pressing need.
Coming from twenty-seven states and three foreign countries, 162 new and experienced scholars from many disciplines attended. They represented broad areas of the social and health sciences as well as education and business. Presenters included thirteen nationally recognized, leading experts in methodology strategies from universities across the country. Many had not met before and the synergy among them was palpable.
For three days conference participants gathered formally and informally, generating new ideas and stimulating discussion among all participants in the open sessions. Addressed were major challenges of research methods design and data analysis, along with presentations of new and appropriate methods for resolution. To support new scholarship, the conference also provided an opportunity for forty less-established researchers present their work. Said one participant, “It was all extremely helpful. I particularly appreciated the fact that the speakers focused on making it practically applicable. The conference was truly unique and [provided] a wonderful link between the methodology and applied science.”
The event represents a significant step towards building a methodology program to train researchers on the most current strategies and tools for analysis of family processes. CRF actively supports and disseminates social and behavioral sciences research on issues relevant to families. This focus includes research on individual health and development within families, processes and relationships within families, the social contexts of families, the intersection of family life with other social institutions, and social and economic policy that affects the development, productivity, time, health, and well-being of families and family members. The conference was co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research through a Research Leadership in Action grant and by the Science Directorate of the American Psychological Association (APA).
November 20, 2006