From the Editor
Research and the Family
More and more often these days,
as Dean Sharon Nickols writes in this issue's "Viewpoint" column, "the
bonds of families in every nation have been tugged and stretched
social, political and economic pressures. More and more families
are having difficulty providing adequately for the needs of their
members, especially their children."
That's why we've chosen this issue -- during the United Nations'
International Year of the Family -- to spotlight some of the many
family-related research projects at the University of Georgia.
For instance, in a large-scale study of poor rural black families,
social scientists Gene Brody and Zolinda Stoneman are identifying
the pressure points that place some families at risk. They've also
found some very encouraging signs for the future.
Building the future for entire communities is the aim of a project
by an international team of scientists led by William Hargrove
and Constance Neely. With a $10 million grant from the U.S. Agency
for International Development, the research is helping families
in developing nations adopt agricultural techniques that harmonize
with their environments.
Deborah Godwin's ongoing study of newlyweds suggests that attitudes
are more influential than assets when it comes to financial satisfaction.
And in Denise Park's psychology research, nearly a decade of studies
that involve the elderly reveals important results about how memory
affects the way patients use prescription drugs.
The concept of family isn't limited to humans. UGA veterinarian
Craig Greene is developing better diagnostic tests for Lyme disease
and other infectious diseases of pets and people; Patty Gowaty's
research on bluebird nesting pairs redefines social relationships
among the birds.
Of course, there's much more in this issue, including stories
on the numbers that drive top-secret data encryption; a new chemical
process that deposits electronic-grade materials in one-atom-thick
layers; the soilless soil that has found its way into almost every
greenhouse; and interactive programs that broaden the teaching
repertoire of student music teachers.
Our family of researchers covers
virtually every facet of life. But regardless of the subject
matter, we believe, as Dean Nickols
writes, in the importance of "research to inform public policies
and educational programs" for the future.
That's what Research Reporter is all about.
Judy Bolyard Purdy