Dr. Michael Merten and his research partner Dr. Amanda Williams, from The University of Southern Mississippi, received the Best Paper Award for Human Development and Family Studies at the 105th Annual Conference of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in St. Louis on June 27.
Merten is an associate professor of human development and family science in the College of Human Sciences at OSU-Tulsa and Williams is an assistant professor in the child and family studies department of the College of Education and Psychology. The award was presented by Dr. Sharon DeVaney, editor of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal.
"Romantic Relationships among Women Experiencing Obesity: Self Perception and Weight as Barriers to Intimacy" was published in the March 2013 issue of theFamily & Consumer Sciences Research Journal. Results from seven focus groups with 50 women revealed that women described obesity as a barrier to both physical and emotional intimacy. Health was a protective factor if both spouses were overweight and motivated to lose weight. When there was a weight or motivation mismatch, women described more negative interactions.