To learn more about recent research in the Family Development Lab, see project descriptions below or contact us at

For a complete list of publications visit Google Scholar or ResearchGate.

 The Family Development Project (2016-current) is a multi-method, longitudinal study examining (a) how couples navigate the pregnancy-postpartum transition, (b) key factors impacting intimate relationship functioning and the mental health of parents, and (c) early family influences on child health and development from pregnancy to preschool. Check out our study website where we describe each wave of data collection and provide brief summaries of findings from recent publications. This study has been supported by the UNL Department of Psychology, CAS, and ORED, the Great Plains IDeA-CTR, and the National Institutes of Health.

The Healthy Couples Project (2019-2021) is an investigation of intimate relationship processes promoting the health and well-being of individual partners. We are particularly interested in how partners support one another during times of adversity (e.g., during the COVID-19 pandemic) and communicate respect and acceptance toward one another. We also aim to understand how to promote a high quality and satisfying sexual relationship that does not involve objectification or dehumanization of either partner. This study has been supported by the UNL Department of Psychology and ORED.

In 2020, we launched a project examining the Daily Experiences of Sexual and Gender Minority Couples Living in Rural Nebraska. The primary objectives of this project are to identify (a) forms of discrimination, stigmatization, and marginalization experienced on a day-to-day basis by sexual and gender minority couples living in rural communities in Nebraska and (b) sources of resiliency within the intimate relationship and from the community that help couples navigate stress and adversity to promote health and well-being. This study has been supported by the UNL Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI). 


Increasing Community Access to Research

We support and maintain two research registries. Community members are invited to join if they would like to receive updates about research opportunities. Click on a link to learn more.


A Collaborative Approach to Research

The Family Lab routinely collaborates with several UNL research groups including the Pediatric Health Labthe Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (DCN) Labthe Trauma, Violence, & Abuse Labthe Subtle Prejudice Labthe Sexual Assault and Sexual Health (SASH) Labthe Hope Laband the Women, Immunity and Sexual Health (WISH) Lab.

We have also engaged in national and international collaborations as demonstrated in the map below.