From family research to family policy
Colloquium | January 28 | 12:10-1:15 p.m. | 1102 Berkeley Way West
Phil and Carolyn Cowan, Institute of Human Development
Phil Cowan is a Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, and Carolyn Cowan is a Professor of Psychology, Emerita at UCB. They are both longtime members of IHD. Beginning in the 1970s, they have pioneered a preventive intervention approach to strengthening family relationships. Although the prevailing strategy for facilitating children's development has been parenting classes (attended mostly by mothers), the Cowans have devised couples groups that bring fathers into the intervention, and allow a focus on the relationship between the parents. Along with colleagues, they have conducted 7 intervention trials, 4 of them using a randomized control design, in California, Canada, and England, including more than 1000 couples, most of them with low incomes. Because governments in both the USA and the United Kingdom have become concerned with devising ways to encourage father involvement and reduce family conflict, the Cowans have become involved in considering dilemmas in the field of family policy. The colloquium will provide a quick trip through more than 4 decades of research, and consider some of the issues in decisions made by current family policy-makers and family service providers.