Directed by Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson, Chair of the Family Sciences Department and Kathryn Louise Chellgren Endowed Professor for Research in Family Sciences.

Researchers Dr. Trent Parker and Dr. Nathan Wood.

Why do we study family interactions?

A central feature of a successful close relationship is the ability to resolve conflict.

Research suggests that the behavior partners exchange during problem-solving interactions account for a variety of important relationsihip outcomes.

How do we measure family interactions?

The Lab includes equipment to make video recordings of family interaction plus wireless portable devices that measure physiological arousal such as heart rate and galvanic skin response.

Why do we measure arousal? In many situations physical arousal can indicate shifts in emotion, motivation, attention, and anxiety.

Why do we measure brain activity? Specific parts of the brain are associated with different aspects of emotion and cognitive processing. We want to investigate brain activity at these sites during interactions to identify influences on family functioning.

  • Three NeXus-10 units that measure physiological arousal and four channels of electircal brain activity.
  • Three NeXus-32 units that measure 19 channels of electrical brain activity.
  • The units contain software that can record heart rate, galvanic skin resistance, skin temperature, muscle tension, eye movement and electrical brain activity.
  • Software that can compare participants' brain activity to a normalative database.
Ongoing Research
  • Basic research on physiological arousal and electrical brain activity during couple interactions
  • Influence of military deployment on physiological arousal and electrical brain activity during interactions in a sample of soldiers and their families
  • Influence of mindfulness practice on marriage and family therapy process.
  • Clinical Intuition

The lab was funded, in part, from support provided the College of Agriculture Associate Dean for Research and the Office of the UK Vice President for Research

Ongoing support is provided by the Katheryn Louise Chellgren Endowed Professorship and the School of Human Environmental Sciences.






The Family Interactoin Research Lab was featured on "UK at the Half" during the November 15th UK vs Kansas game that was broadcast on the radio.  Read and Listen here 

The Family Interaction Research Lab was featured in the Fall 2011 issue of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's "The mAGazine".  Read the article