Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( December 4, 1998)
SDSM& T SOCIAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT CONDUCTING RESEARCH ON SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGES:
LOCAL COUPLES INTERVIEWED FOR THE PROJECT WILL BE RECOGNIZED AT RECEPTION SUNDAY, DEC. 6TH
Faculty and students of the Social Sciences Department at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ( SDSM& T) have been conducting a special research project that investigates “ success in marriage relationships” and the factors that contribute to the long- term success of marriage. The research is designed to address the relative dearth of information in either the sociological or psychological literature regarding success in relationships that have endured decades.
SDSM& T students have arranged and conducted approximately 20- 22 face- to- face interviews to date with newly- married and " veteran" couples ( those married 50 years or longer) in the Rapid City community. A reception recognizing all of the couples who participated in the project will be held this Sunday, December 6, from 6: 00 to 8: 00 pm, in the Washington Room of the Hotel Alex Johnson.
Dr. Stephen Pratt, Chair of Department of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, and Dr. Robin Lipke, Associate Professor of Psychology are directing the research project. The six SDSM& T students who were selected to work on the project include Adrian Benham, W. Bryce Gammeter, Kelli Keegan, Freddie Magnavito, and Amanda Williamson of Rapid City and Crystal Wood of Pringle.
The students started the research process at the beginning of the fall 1998 semester. Their activities included a search of relevant literature, the construction of interview questions and questionnaire, and a random sampling of couples in the Rapid City community. To identify prospective participants in the project, the students went through the June 1997 - August 1998 issues of the Rapid City Journal and compiled a list of all couples who were announcing their wedding and those who were celebrating 50 years of marriage. Letters were then sent to a list of randomly selected couples that explained the SDSM& T research project and inquired if the couples would be interested in participation.
Couples were interviewed in their homes on two occasions. One interview was conducted with the couple, with the second interview held with each person individually. To date, the SDSM& T students have arranged and conducted approximately 20- 22 face- to- face interviews with newly- married and " veteran" couples ( those married 50 years or longer) in the community. The topics of the interviews have included dating and engagement history, expectations regarding marriage, the responsibilities of both husband and wife, areas of agreement and disagreement, problem- solving, significant events in their lives, and advice for those contemplating marriage.
In addition to conducting the interviews, the students will be transcribing the interviews, analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data, and providing three written reports on the specific areas of interest. Those reports will be submitted for publication in the SDSDM& T College of Interdisciplinary Studies Research Newsletter.
“ Both Dr. Pratt and I were pleased to provide our students with the opportunity to be involved in the community, to learn outside the classroom and to tap the wonderful resources available locally,” said Dr. Lipke. “ This project also lets members of the community realize the quality and abilities of our Interdisciplinary Studies students at SDSM& T.”
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