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About Public Scholarship

Faculty and students from Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life continue to produce public scholarship aimed at informing both local and national audiences on marriage and family life. Where appropriate, they also engage constructively on matters of core importance to Brigham Young University and its institutional sponsor.

Over the past year, these contributions have reached influential audiences that total in the hundreds of thousands. From the New York Times to the Institute for Family Studies, faculty are participating in influential national conversations; and, in venues such as Church magazines or the Deseret News, faculty are helping BYU’s core constituents navigate contemporary complexities with informed, research-based perspectives aligned with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

This year has also seen the flourishing of student participation in public scholarship. Aided by the dedicated work of faculty members, especially Julie Haupt, Stephen Duncan, Jeffrey Dew and Chelom Leavitt, among many others, the School of Family Life is working to refine student writing into publishable articles that meaningfully contribute to the public discourse. Many students are now regularly drafting pieces with faculty and publishing in notable venues.

This year, faculty published 100 public scholarship articles with 44 instances of additional media attention. About 16% of these contributions had a direct focus on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In some instances the pieces helped correct or respond to misinformation. Articles by faculty and students working together totaled 22 pieces; approximately 10% were focused on a Church audience. Students published more than 90 pieces in the last year, and about 16% of those were oriented toward a Church audience.

Student Highlights

The Essence of Being: Using Mindfulness to Enhance Romantic Relationships

Slowing down and shifting autopilot to awareness could be the next stepping stone on the path to a close and vulnerable relationship.
-Ellyse Winward and Chelom Leavitt

How Effective Are Programs Supporting Unmarried, Nonresidential Fathers?

This fall, the federal government will allocate more funds for five-year grants to organizations dedicated to helping disadvantaged men become strong, involved fathers, even when they do not reside with their children. Data suggest these grants are critical.
-Matthew Saxey, Erin Kramer Holmes, and Alan J. Hawkins

Honoring the Wisdom of The Generations Who Came Before

We can learn much about respecting elders from the rich cultural traditions of other societies.
-Allie Sharp
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Faculty Highlights

The March Toward a ‘New’ Monogamy Should End in Somerville

Civic representatives of the pleasant, upper-class community of Somerville Massachusetts fired the starting gun for efforts to legally recognize non-monogamous marriages. But we as a society should think carefully about whether that's truly the finish line we want.

The March Toward a 'New' Monogamy
-Alan J. Hawkins and Hal Boyd

How Compassion and Community Can Prevail in Pandemic-Era Worship Services

As millions of Americans are returning to public gatherings for worship, there is controversy about the wearing of masks in religious settings. There are diametrically opposing, strongly-held views about this practice.
-David Dollahite and Loren Marks

Poly-Parenting: Is This The Brave New World We Want?

We should be cautious about rushing into an unregulated world of IVG technologies. IVG after all is far more complex than IVF. Apart from the direct health risks that might attend emerging IVG technologies, it’s worth considering the potential effects on social well-being.
-Hal Boyd and Alan J. Hawkins
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