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Intellect

BYU family scholars key in new federal marriage resource Web site

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services announces 'National Healthy Marriage Resource Center'

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced a new government-sponsored Web site called the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC). Much of the work on this site (www.healthymarriageinfo.org) was done by students and faculty at Brigham Young University. Other institutions joining BYU in this project are Child Trends, Norfolk State University, Syracuse University, Texas Tech University and the University of Minnesota.

The site is part of a broader federal initiative to encourage healthy marriages and is being administered by the Administration for Children and Families.

The NHMRC is a one-stop clearinghouse for information and research relating to healthy marriages. It contains the latest marriage research, information on marriage initiatives and available marriage resources. Its mission is to help individuals and couples gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build and sustain a healthy marriage.

"We are hoping to engage the public in a national dialogue on the many issues that influence the quality of our marriages," said NHMRC Director, Dr. Linda Malone-Colón. "The NHMRC website will give people from diverse communities and income levels the hope – and the tools – to improve their own relationships and marriages."

BYU is the research hub of the NHMRC and provided most of the material for the Research & Trends page and the marriage quiz. BYU scholars will address many of the "Ask the Experts" emails.

"There is a strong need to get good marriage information out to the public and here is a way to get people to pay attention, to be better informed and to understand what tools are available to them," said Alan Hawkins, BYU project director and professor of family life.

The Web site contains a wide breadth of information on marriage education, community marriage initiatives and summaries of the pertinent research that is available.

"We are happy to see the launch of such a valuable Web site, but this is just the start," Hawkins said. "We've rounded first base with all that we would like to implement and intend to continue adding other features, resources and fun activities over the next few years."

In addition to the BYU faculty members who have participated in this project, more than 20 BYU undergraduate research assistants have also made a valuable contribution.

"I've appreciated the opportunity to work on this project because one of my main goals is to bring marriage research into an accessible format for everyone, and this Web site does that," said Vickie Blanchard, a marriage, family and human development graduate student who began working on the project as an undergraduate. "All that I've learned has had such an impact on my life, that I'm anxious to get it out there and let everyone else get their hands on it."

"I think the Web site is so exceptional because it addresses such a wide range of issues," said Emily Hull, a marriage, family and human development undergraduate student. "Everyone, no matter their political or socio-economic background, will benefit from these resources. The insights I've gained will not only equip me to serve in my community, but also within my own family."

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