Introduction to the Special Issue: Advances in Methods and Measurement in Family Psychology

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Abstract

This special issue presents a collection of reports that highlight recent advances in methods and measurement and also shed light on the complexity of family psychology. The importance of theory in guiding solid family science is evident throughout these reports. The reports include guides for researchers who incorporate direct observation into their research protocols and the ever-expanding field of tele-health interventions. Advanced analytic approaches are offered in the areas of grid sequence analysis, latent fixed-effects models, and the Factors of Curves Model (FOCUS). These sophisticated analytic approaches may be applied to advance systemic thinking in family psychology. The last set of articles illustrate how complex and innovative methodologies are applied to address important societal issues. Work experiences and marital relationships in African American couples address the importance of spillover effects in contemporary families. The creation of biobehavioral plasticity index has the potential to inform gene x environment contributions to family functioning. Finally, the unique methodological issues that are particularly germane to the diverse nature of stepfamilies and nonresident fathers are addressed. We hope that readers of this special issue will return to these reports as resources and examples of theory-driven methods and measurements.

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