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March 11, 2019

Recent family-related news included an extensive study of the long-term harmful effects of stress on children, a personal look at whether logic can help you find the perfect romantic partner, a strong statement by Chief Judge DiFiore endorsing the expanded use of mediation, a defeat by the United Methodist Church of a proposal that would have allowed gay clergy and same-sex marriage, and more information about “grey divorce.”

The Startling Toll on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence is Just Now Being Understood Jayne O’Donnell and Mabinty Quarshie, USA Today, January 29, 2019 New research is giving scientists more insight into the far-reaching and long-lasting harms of domestic violence, physical and emotional, to the children who grow up around it — including a startling finding: Witnessing abuse carries the same risk of harm to children’s mental health and learning as being abused directly. “When these high levels of stress happen too often and too intensely, it creates a toxic pathway that alters how our brains and bodies operate and how we think, learn and behave,” said psychologist Sheri Madigan, a professor at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Want Lasting Love? First Take This Test Lauren Apfel, The New York Times, February 1, 2019 “I became obsessed with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator a few years ago when my nearly two-decade marriage began to unravel and I was trying to understand how things had gone so wrong. In love, we can try to test, predict and explain all we want, but romantic attachment will always be an inherently messy endeavor. Chemistry, history and timing can’t be logged into a spreadsheet.”

DiFiore Renews Call for Lawmakers to Restructure NY Court System Dan M. Clark, The New York Law Journal, February 26, 2019 Chief Judge Janet DiFiore renewed her call to amend the state constitution during her State of the Judiciary Address. “We are all in,” DiFiore said. “Here are the simple facts: mediation and arbitration have a proven track record of settling a high percentage of civil cases — and of narrowing the disputed issues, reducing the cost of litigation.”

United Methodists Tighten Ban on Same-Sex Marriage and Gay Clergy Timothy Williams and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times, February 26, 2019 The United Methodist Church on Tuesday voted to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages, a decision that could split the nation’s second-largest Protestant church. Matt Miofsky, leads one of the fastest growing United Methodist churches in the country in St. Louis. “I want people to know that The Gathering, and a lot of churches like it all over the country, want to welcome LGBTQ people,” he said. “We are going to pursue a fully inclusive vision for ministry.”

Grey Divorce: Its Reasons and Its Implications Marguerita Cheng, Forbes, February 26, 2019 Grey divorce refers to a demographic trend that has witnessed an increase in the split or separation of older couples who have been married for a long time. Research shows that the overall rate of divorce in the United States has declined over the past 20 years, but the divorce rate of people over 50 is on the rise.

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