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Intellect

BYU Web Site Changing Attitudes and Behavior:

"foreverfamilies.byu.edu"

The Forever Families Web site operated by Brigham Young University's School of Family Life is impacting family life by changing visitors' attitudes and behaviors, according to a just-completed year-long study by the School.

"We wanted to create a Web site that would provide families of all denominations with legitimate, practical, research-based information and articles to strengthen and enrich their lives," said Stephen Duncan, BYU professor of family life and Web site project lead. "Results from our study indicate that we are accomplishing our goal."

During the study, the Web site received more than 35,000 unique visitors from more than 60 countries. Of those who participated in the study, 57 percent said the site led them to reconsider former attitudes. More than 66 percent said the site helped them change their behavior as they "decided to do something differently."

"In the course of my professional life, I've learned how thirsty people are for good information to make their marriages and family lives better," said Jeffry H. Larson, professor of marriage and family therapy and one of the site's contributing authors.

"It is rewarding to see the impact this information has on families – that it is actually changing attitudes and behaviors."

The Forever Families Web site is organized around the themes of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," a pro-family document authored in 1995 by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Although the proclamation on the family is written by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it contains principles to which many religious people adhere," said James M. Harper, director of the School of Family Life. "At the Forever Families site, visitors will be able to discover how social science supports these principles and how to apply them in their daily lives."

Forever Families Web site features include:

  • Up-to-date, scholarly and practical faith-based information relating to the topics: marriage preparation, marriage, family, parenting, stepfamilies, extended family, family challenges and issues facing families.

  • Two options for many articles—one article which discusses a topic in a concise manner, and an expanded version of the same article, which provides more in-depth information for those who are interested.

  • A search engine for easy access to topics of interest.

  • Links to related Web sites.

  • Ease of use.

  • An option to e-mail articles.

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