DBFA 620 Research and Emerging Paradigms in Marriage and Family Studies

This course explores the causes of divorce, the psychological consequences for both children and parents, factors that challenge positive adjustment after a divorce, and strategies for successful remarriage. Other public policy and legislative issues related to marriage and the family are further examined, as well as legal, cultural, and theological implications for the 21st century. Ethical concerns and multicultural factors are also considered.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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The concept of marriage and family has changed significantly over the last 50 years. As Human Service Workers, we must be equipped to help members of the family unit. The goal of this course is to provide you with the tools to assist families, which will enable you to better serve and counsel more effectively in local community contexts.


Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 4 discussions in this course. Each Discussion will require the student to answer questions with a minimum of 400 words based on that particular module’s readings (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will be required to post at least two (2) replies of 200 words each to other students’ threads. For the initial thread, students must cite from at least 3 scholarly sources, and each reply must also incorporate citations from at least 3 scholarly sources. All sources must be cited in current APA format and have been published within the last five years.

4-MAT Paper Assignment

The 4-MAT Book Review system is a way of responding to readings that requires the learner to interact with new ideas on several levels, including a Summary, Concrete Responses, Reflection, and Personal Application. The student will write a paper that is 3-5 pages in length and cites from at least 3 scholarly sources published within the last five years in current APA format. Please see the specific assignment instructions included with the course materials.

Debating Same-Sex Marriage Paper Assignment

The student will read the required text Debating Same-Sex Marriage, then construct a well-written 3–5-page paper in current APA format (not including Title Page or References) addressing the topic. This paper should cite from at least 3 scholarly sources published within the last five years in current APA format. 

The Importance of Marriage Paper Assignment

The student will address the importance of marriage in a well-written 3-5-page paper in current APA format (not including Title Page or References). This paper should cite from at least 3 scholarly sources published within the last five years in current APA format. 

Research Paper: Topic Assignment

The student will select a topic for the final research paper in this course. The topic must be submitted with a 250-word rationale explaining the choice of topic selection in structured in current APA format. This assignment must include at least five supporting sources cited in current APA format. 

Research Paper: Outline Assignment

The student will create an outline proposal for the final research paper in this course. The outline proposal should include sections for an introduction, contributing elements, current conflict, informed opinion, and a conclusion. The outline must use current APA formatting in its structure and citations.

Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment

Students will write a research paper that describes the prevalent attitudes, beliefs, paradigms and contemporary thoughts on how their chosen topic relates to one of the provided prompts. The paper should be 8-10 pages in length (excluding the title page and references) and in current APA format. At least eight (8) current references must be cited from in current APA format (half of which must come from research/journal articles).


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