This course is intended primarily for psychology majors and graduate students.  It covers psychological approaches to problems of adult intimacy. The  research and statistical methodology sequence (Psych. 302 and 303) is required. It is recommended that you do not take this course as your very first upper division core psychology class.
Consumer Warning

Please note: This is not a how-to course about marriage! Although much of the course content deals with applied clinical psychology research, the emphasis is on understanding research methodology. Given the emphasis on marital dysfunctions, some people may find the course content depressing.  This course may trouble tenderhearted seeking to improve their own relationships! Your success in this course requires communication skills, written and oral.. If you have neglected your writing skills and they are not at college level, this course will be especially difficult. Your grade will reflect the quality of your writing.  Beware...this course will probably require a full 10 or more hours per week.

    Readings and lectures will cover current developments in theories and research on the psychological aspects of marital interaction and marital dysfunction; methods for assessing conflict in intimate interactions; examples of techniques used to intervene in marital discord; and research and methodology pertaining to the evaluation of therapy outcomes. This is a clinically focused psychology course that emphasizes the knowledge generated by empirical studies. Being able to integrate material from diverse and often quite technical sources is necessary for success in this course. We will focus on the nature of psychological constructs in the area of marital and family distress.
   One of the objectives of this course is to improve your critical thinking by involving you as much as possible in how psychologists generate knowledge in this area. The course surveys a wide variety of topics and issues in a very short time. You will be asked to think like a marital and family researcher. You will be asked to approach the material critically, noting methodological strengths and weaknesses in what you read and hear. This course is designed to allow for a great deal of independent study, given the limits of a large class size. You will be doing much of your learning on your own which may be a blessing or a curse.
There are a number of required course activities and options, all of which will necessitate careful planning on your part throughout this term. Experience has shown that  you will have major difficulty with this course by ignoring this advice.   Your grade will be based on your progress throughout the course as measured by a number of activities. There are many different course activities and options; it is essential that you stay on target and that you keep informed about class procedures and due dates.
Quick Overview of Course Requirements
      • You MUST have an active e-mail account for this course! These are available to  all students (e.g., Gladstone account);
      • The course is on a Web page. Using a Web browser is essential: Lectures   and other important information is available to you on the Marriage Web page; being comfortable with using the Web for gathering information is a goal of the course;
      • The assigned readings for this course are contained in a readings packet of 16 articles  available at the bookstore; see Book Contents
      • Additional readings for the course will be self directed, based on journal articles  you select from the library;
      • Journal Clubs (JC) --(2 articles): you will be presenting an oral discussion of 2  different articles, on two different occasions, outside of class, to a small group of classmates. Articles should be empirical studies published after 1990;
      • Section paper drafts -- four short drafts you will use to prepare a major term  paper; these will due on specific dates;
      • Major term paper, referencing at least 10 articles, may include your JC articles  (but you cannot count the assigned readings as part of the 10);
      • Homework assignment using the Web to locate an interesting study, debate,  or information on  the leading edge; briefly describe WEB site and what you  got from it;
      • Three course related substantive MOTET  postings (not, "hello, how are you?")

Detailed Course Requirements

Journal Clubs:
You are required to participate in two Journal Clubs during eight of the 10 weeks in the term. JC's are limited to four persons per session. We will provide an advanced sign-up schedule of times for when the JC's will be held during the upcoming  week. There will be a sufficient number of sessions so that everyone will be able to participate in the required two sessions. Each session will last for 1 hour, during which time each person will have an opportunity to discuss an article with the other student members in that session. JC's are not to be used as office hour consultations (see below), but rather as an opportunity to exchange ideas in order to foster better understanding of the course material. You do not have to meet with the same group each time.

                                                                  See also Reading Schedule

      April 13, 2000      Due date for Section I Draft

      April 27, 2000 
Last date to turn in Homework
     May 2, 2000     Due date for Section II Draft

        May 16, 2000 
   Due date for Section III Draft
    May 30, 2000
    Due date for Section IV Draft
      June 6,  2000    Last day to turn in Term Paper

    9:00    #1 J-C        Office Hrs
320 Straub
#5 J-C
 Office Hrs
Office Hrs 
 320 Straub
385 Straub
  #4  J-C
 #2  J-C

                            Note:Journal Clubs    meet for 1 hr each in 143 Straub;
                                         you must have signed  up in advance for each session.