Manning, Brown journal article named best of year

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Summer has not been a vacation for sociologists Drs. Susan Brown and Wendy Manning, co-directors of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University. Capping off a busy season of research and conference-hosting, the two were presented the inaugural Article of the Year Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociology of the Family for the best journal article published in the past three years.

Brown and Manning accepted the award on Aug. 20 at the association’s conference in Las Vegas.

Published in the journal Demography in 2009, “Family Boundary Ambiguity and the Measurement of Family Structure: The Significance of Cohabitation” explains some of the difficulty demographers and policy makers encounter when trying to define what constitutes a family. Manning and Brown discovered significant discrepancy between teens and mothers in identifying and reporting their living arrangements as “family” when cohabitation is involved.

The evolving American family is a major topic for the center and its affiliates. The NCFMR hosted its annual research conference in Washington, D.C., July 19 and 20. Counting Couples, Counting Families addressed the increasing complexities of family structure and living arrangements measurement, bringing together researchers, federal data providers, and policy makers to develop "best practices" measures that can be used in future data collection efforts.

The researchers were scarcely home when they hosted the Pilot Data Conference on married and cohabiting couples Aug. 4 at BGSU. This event was an opportunity for the center’s faculty research affiliates at other universities to share their findings.

Important topics of interest to the center include fatherhood, adoption, young adulthood, family stability and the effect of incarceration on families.

Increasingly, NCFMR work is garnering national attention. Brown was cited in the July 11 AARP Bulletin about why we may expect to see an increase in married people over the age of 50 living apart, and new NCFMR findings about trends in divorce have appeared in such venues as Fox Business News and other national outlets.

To learn more about the center, visit http://ncfmr.bgsu.edu/index.html

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(Posted August 29, 2011 )