Newsletter Article

Couples Decision Making Study

In Winter 2010, developmental graduate student Renay Cleary Bradley was busy with the "Creating Healthy Relationships" project at the Relationship Research Institute (RRI). She continues to delve deeper into the dynamics of relationships with the Couples Decision Making Study.

RRI was asked by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to conduct a study to evaluate how low income couples with children make important decisions together. Currently, social services in the US are primarily geared toward women and children. But groups offering such services would like to know if women turn to their partners and seek guidance from them when making decisions related to such things as getting a job, childcare, and finances. In order to help assess the situation, RRI is studying couples who are asked to make a variety of hypothetical decisions together such as "pretend your family won $5000 in a lottery and decide how you will spend the money." “This study is exciting," says Renay, "since we have the chance to help change public policy and the way services are currently offered to low income families in the US.”