Family Social Science
Room 297 McNH
1985 Buford Ave
St Paul, MN 55108
Areas of Interest
Democratic Community Building with Families
Citizen Health Care
Community Engaged Parent Education
Families Dealing With Chronic Illnesses
Ph.D., Family Studies, University of Connecticut
M.A., Child Development and Family Relations, University of Connecticut
M.A., Theology, St. Paul’s College
B.A., Philosophy, St. Paul’s College
Honors & Awards
2005 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Award
1997 Award of Merit for Outstanding Service to Agriculture and Related Sciences and Arts, Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture, Minnesota Chapter, April
1994 Bellagio Study Center Residency Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy, April 15 - May 14
1992 Significant Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy Award, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapym
1990 MacFarland Award for Creative Teaching, College of Human Ecology, University of Minnesota
1982 & 1983 Teacher of the Year Award, Department of Family Practice, University of Iowa
Teaching & Learning
FSoS 2191/3191/4191: Independent Study in Family Social Science
FSoS 4294: Internship in Family Social Science
FSoS 8036: Couple & Family Therapy Research
FSoS 8297: Supervision of Supervision
Research & Discovery
Family Formation Project - The goal of this five year project is to find effective strategies to support urban unmarried new parent couples who aspire to forming families and who say that marriage is a goal for their relationship. We are using community-based action research methods to involve community stakeholders at every stage of the project, and plan to provide mentor couples to participants in the project, along with helping them access community services. The Family Formation Project is supported by grants from the U.S. Administration on Children and Families and the State of Minnesota through the Department of Human Services. The project began in September, 2004.
Parenting Together Project - This study examined whether a group educational intervention during the transition to parenthood can enhance the quality of father-child interaction and increase father involvement with their children. A randomized experimental design was used to evaluate an 8-session program with 165 couples who were first time parents, beginning during the second trimester of pregnancy and ending at 5 months postpartum. Outcomes were assessed via time diaries, coded observations of parent-child play, and self reports of fathers and mothers. The intervention had positive effects on fathers’ skills in interacting with their babies and their involvement on work days but not home days. We conclude that a relatively brief intervention during the transition to parenthood can improve fathering, and we explore possible reasons for differential effects on areas of parenting. Reference: William J. Doherty, Martha Farrell Erickson, and Ralph La Rossa (in press). An Intervention to Promote father attitudes and skills with infants during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology. This study was conducted with support of a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Services Research Administration, U.S. Department and Health and Human Services (5R40 MC 00141-03).
Community Engaged Parent Education - Community Engaged Parent Education is a new paradigm and methodology for parent education with this basic premise: because all parenting issues have public (community) dimensions, comprehensive parent education must address both the personal and public dimensions of parenting. As citizens in their communities, parents have the opportunity and responsibility to shape their communities by coming together to reflect, discuss and act on issues that deeply concern them. In Community Engaged Parent Education, parent educators mentor parents in conversing and acting as citizen parents. This process is woven into everyday parent education, not appended as a separate module. It develops in a steady, non-dramatic way as parents look at their communities and the broader culture, and explore how their parenting concerns are part of this common ground. What emerges in parents is a civic consciousness and readiness to act publicly, in small and large ways, on issues that affect the well being of children and families. Actions can be small and personal (such as studying an issue in more depth outside of class or writing a letter to a public official), or large and collective (such as organizing with other parents to change a community center). A McKnight Foundation Grant (supplemented with funds from the General Mills Foundation) has provided a three-year grant to disseminate Community Engaged Parent Education in Early Childhood Family Education Programs in the Twin Cities and other places in Minnesota. This process centers around a mentoring relationship between seasoned Community Engaged Parent Educators and parent educators who want to expand their practice in this energizing direction.
Outreach & Engagement
Doherty, W. J., Erickson, M. F., & LaRossa, R. (2006). An intervention to increase father involvement and skills during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 438-447.
Doherty, W. J., & Mendenhall, T. J. (2006). Citizen Health Care: A model for engaging patients, families, and communities as co-producers of health care. Families, Systems & Health, 24, 251-263.
Doherty, W. J. (2006). Couples on the brink: Stopping the marriage-go-round. Psychotherapy Networker, March/April, 30-39, 70.
Anderson, J. A., & Doherty, W. J. (2005). Democratic community initiatives: The case of overscheduled children. Family Relations, 54, 654-665.
Mendenhall, T. J., & Doherty, W. J. (2005). Action and participatory research methods in family therapy. In D. Sprenkle & F. Piercy (Eds.), Research methods in family therapy (pp. 110-118). Second Edition.
Mendenhall, T. J., & Doherty, W. J. (2005). Partners in diabetes: A new initiative in diabetes care. In R. Kane, R. Priester, & A. Totten (Eds.), Meeting the challenge of chronic illness. (pp. 121-122). Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.
Doherty, W. J., & Anderson, J. (2004). Community marriage initiatives. Family Relations 53. 425-439.
Carroll, J. S., & Doherty, W. J. (2003). Evaluating the effectiveness of premarital education programs: A meta-analytic review. Family Relations, 53, 105-118.
Doherty, W. J., & Carroll, J. A. (2002). The citizen therapist and family-centered community building. Family Process, 41, 561-568.
Doherty, W. J., & Carroll, J. S. (2002). The Families and Democracy Project. Family Process 41, 579-589. Doherty, W.J. (2001). Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World that Pulls Us Apart. New York: Guilford.
Ross, N.M. & Doherty, W. J. (2001). Validity of the Global Assessment of Relational Functioning (GARF) when used by community-based therapists. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 29, 239-253.
Doherty, W.J. (2000). Take Back Your Kids: Confident Parenting in Turbulent Times. South Bend, IN: Sorin Books.
Doherty, W.J. (1999). Morality and spirituality in therapy. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Spiritual resources in family therapy. New York: W. W. Norton.
Minnesota Integrated Health Care Initiative (Doherty, W. J., first author) (1999). Vision for an integrated care system for serious mental illness. Minnesota Medicine, 82, 86-90.
Doherty, W.J., Kouneski, E.F. & Erickson, M.F. (1998). Responsible fatherhood: A review and conceptual framework. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60, 277-292.
Doherty, E.W., & Doherty, W.J. (1998). Smoke gets in your eyes: Cigarette smoking and divorce in a national sample of adults. Families, Systems & Health, 16, 393-400.
Marvel, M.K., Doherty, W.J., & Weiner, E. (1998). Medical interviewing by exemplary family physicians. Journal of Family Practice, 47, 343-348.
Simmons, D. & Doherty, W.J. (1998). Does academic training make a difference in the practices of marriage and family therapists? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 24, 321-336.
Doherty, W.J. (1997). The Intentional Family. New York: Addison Wesley.
Doherty, W. J., & Simmons, D. S. (1996). Clinical practice patterns of marriage and family therapists: A national survey of therapists and their clients. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 22.
Allen, W. D., & Doherty, W. J. (1995). Being there: The perception of fatherhood among a group of African-American adolescent fathers. In H. I. McCubbin, E. A. Thompson, A. E. Thompson & J. A. Futrell (Eds.), Resiliency in ethnic minority families: African-American families, Vol. 2. Madison, WI: Universe of Wisconsin Press.
Doherty, W. J. (1995). Soul-searching: Why psychotherapy must promote moral responsibility. New York: Basic Books.
Doherty, W. J. (1995). Boundaries between parent and family education and family therapy. Family Relations, 44, 353-358.
Horst, E. A., & Doherty, W. J. (1995). Gender, power, and intimacy. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 6, 63-85.
Doherty, W. J., Boss, P. G., LaRossa, R., Schumm, W. R., & Steinmetz, S. K. (1993). Family theories and methods: A contextual approach. In P. G. Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R. Schumm & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.), Sourceboook of family theories and methods: A contextual approach. New York: Plenum.