Current Projects

Maintenance and Proximity Sensing (MAPS)

Marital relationships are crucial to health and well-being across the life-span, and especially in older adulthood. The marriage benefit, however, is conditioned by relationship health, which is characterized by relationship satisfaction and the presence of behavioral markers of relationship maintenance. Our project will develop and pilot methodologies to measure relationship health in a way that is unobtrusive, objective, and responsive to moment-to-moment variations in couples’ lived contexts by means of wearable proximity sensors over two weeks. The recorded signal strength will be used to estimate the distance between each partner’s sensor and the position of each sensor within the home by means of telemetry.  These measurements describe the couple’s spatial closeness and can be analyzed with momentary assessments of couples’ self-reported daily experiences and relationship health to draw inferences about the behavioral signature of relationship health. Shannon Mejia from AHS is the Co-PI on this project)

Maintenance Measurement

The goal of the maintenance measurement project is to understand how relational partners select, use, and perceive relationship maintenance in their romantic relationships. The data for this project come from two panel surveys, one from daters and one from married partners.

The Court Records Project (CRP)

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Justice, the central goal of the court records project is to understand how custody decisions are made in the legal system. Of critical importance is whether or how family-level information about intimate partner violence and safety is considered in these decisions. Jennifer Hardesty is the principal investigator on this project.

As the States Turned (ATST)

The goal of this project is to understand the ways in which the federal decision for marital equality, Obergefell vs. Hodges, influences the lives of individuals in same-sex couples. ATST is a four-wave longitudinal study beginning just prior to and concluding one year after the Supreme Court decision. Ramona Oswald and Robin Wilson are collaborators on this project.

Tracing Relationship Commitment

The goal of the tracing relationship commitment project (TRAC2)  is to understand how daters make commitment related decisions in their romantic relationships. The data for this project come from a random sample of 232 dyads (464 individuals), who are demographically representative of the greater Austin, Texas area. We used a graphical procedure to understand how and why commitment fluctuates. Catherine Surra is a collaborator on this project.