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Summer 1994

Research Magazine > ARCHIVE > Summer 94 > Article

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 by tremendous 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



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