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May 29, 2017

This week’s family-related news included wise words from a marriage therapist, a touching photographic look at nine students before they enter college and then four years later, an astute study on questions you may want to ask yourself before a divorce, an account of how a college experience supported a LGBT student when his family did not, research helping us to understand the adolescent brain, more evidence that parental conflict has a negative impact on children and an eye-opening piece alerting us to the fact that child marriage is very much a reality here in the United States.

A Relationship Expert Says One Word Can Defuse a Fight with Your Partner — But Most People Don’t Use It Enough Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider, May 16, 2017 Hal Runkel is a marriage and family therapist. Runkel shares his best advice for de-escalating a conflict that’s spiraled out of control because one person said something that cut deep.

Nine Students, Four Years Later — New York City Freshmen, Then and Now Photos by Chad Batka and Interviews by Alicia DeSanis, The New York Times, May 17, 2017 In September 2013, The New York Times began an experiment. “We sent reporters across the city to find college students, new to the city, who would agree to be photographed twice: Once, during their first week of school and then again at the end of their freshman year… Four years later, in the weeks before graduation, we asked the students to sit for us again.”

11 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Divorce Eric V. Copage, The New York Times, May 17, 2017 The New York Times asked some people well versed in the challenges and difficulties of marriage and divorce to suggest questions that may make a split more amicable, or even save the union. Here are 11 of their ideas.

My Family Didn’t Accept Me. Ole Miss Did. Dylan Lewis, The New York Times, May 23, 2017 One-third of LGBT students delay attending a four-year college for reasons of affordability or debt, according to the Point Foundation in Los Angeles, which provides scholarships for gay students. Many universities, are safe havens for gay students, but few administrations seem to be aware of how many LGBT students struggle to make ends meet without family support.

Why is the Teenage Brain So Unpredictable? A Neurobiologist Explains Julia Scott, KQED, May 24, 2017 Dr. Frances Jensen recently spoke with Michael Krasny, the host of KQED’s Forum radio show, to explain how parents can better understand the biochemical imperatives that make their teens and young adults so emotional and unpredictable, as well as leaving them more vulnerable to addiction and mental disorders… Our brains do not fully mature until we are in our mid- to late-20s, when the frontal lobe, which controls decision-making and risk-taking, develops.

Parents’ Divorce Increases Risk of Health Disorders in Children Provided by: Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT),, May 25, 2017 The majority of authors believe that physical, psycho-emotional and behavioural issues are linked mainly to inadequate management of the break-up… High levels of conflict, a lack of co-parenting or violence within the family increase the risk involved in divorce and its impact on child adjustment.

11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, May 26, 2017 More than 167,000 young people age 17 and under married in 38 states between 2000 and 2010, according to a search of available marriage license data by a group called Unchained at Last, which aims to ban child marriage.

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