Family and Child Development Faculty Deliver Forum on Healthy Relationships

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Southern Virginia University’s Family and Child Development faculty, Dr. Anne Waddoups and Dr. Ariel Rodriguez, delivered messages on the topic of healthy relationships to gathered students, faculty, and staff at a special Valentine’s Day Forum.

Dr. Waddoup’s remarks focused on “emerging adulthood” — an important developmental stage between adolescence and adulthood. During emerging adulthood, individuals are beginning to become adults and take on the responsibilities that come with moving away from home. Despite the lifestyle changes, it is important for emerging adults to find and maintain friendships in order to become healthy, functioning adults, Waddoup’s explained.

“Friendships in emerging adulthood form lasting and important benefits” Waddoups concluded. “They serve to prepare us for healthy future relationships.”

Following Dr. Waddoups’ address, Dr. Rodriguez spoke on the scientific properties of romantic attraction. Making impulse decisions when feelings of love occur is irresponsible, explained Rodriguez, and can eventually lead to catastrophe. Because of the various chemical reactions that occur in the body to create feelings of attraction, Rodriguez continued, the feeling of love can be difficult to individually recognize and define.

“That seeming magical feeling of initial attraction and falling in love, is not so magical after all.” Rodriguez stated. “Social Scientists can engineer the conditions in which you are likely to feel a deep attraction or love for a randomly selected stranger.”