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Study: Support your sweetheart—but don't overdo it

A cpuple hug to illustrate a Spousal Support Survey
Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

Couples having problems are often advised to be more supportive of each other, but a series of University of Iowa studies shows that too much support—or the wrong kind of support—might actually do more harm than good.

In recent studies of heterosexual couples in their first few years of marriage, researchers learned that too much support is harder on a marriage than not enough. When it comes to marital satisfaction, both partners are happier if husbands receive the right type of support, and if wives ask for support when they need it.

“The idea that simply being more supportive is better for your marriage is a myth,”says Erika Lawrence, associate professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Often husbands and wives think, ‘If my partner really knows me and loves me, he or she will know I’m upset and will know how to help me.’ However, that’s not the best way to approach your marriage. Your partner shouldn’t have to be a mind reader. Couples will be happier if they learn how to say, ‘This is how I’m feeling, and this is how you can help me.’”



News in brief

Vision discount program? Did you see this?

University of Iowa faculty and staff enrolled in Delta Dental of Iowa have access to a vision discount program through EyeMed Vision Care at no additional cost.

Employees should present their Delta Dental ID to receive the discounts. Employees and their family members who are enrolled in Delta Dental of Iowa are eligible to receive the discounts.




  • Voluntary vision insurance plan open enrollment runs through Feb. 28
  • Provost Loh posts open letter to campus regarding academic vision for next five years
  • University to present Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival Feb. 21
  • Recreational Services hosts open houses at Beckwith Boathouse
  • Marilynne Robinson will present 2010 UI Presidential Lecture Feb. 14
  • Community invited to “Hawkeyes for Haiti” fund-raising event at Englert Feb. 22
  • UI students collect items through Hope for Haiti Disaster Relief Drive
  • University announces launch of new Exhibitions Calendar
  • Robert F. Ray Staff Scholarship available
  • UI seeks nominations for 2009–10 Diversity Catalyst Awards
  • Improving Our Workplace Award nominations sought
  • Staff members encouraged to apply for committees
  • Spectator@IOWA features up-close looks at campus life, plus the latest UI headlines
  • See which Learning and Development courses are right for you

(Full details)


  • Despite recalls, UI researcher thinks Toyota will escape long-term damage to reputation
  • Study: Iowa’s publicly funded family planning is cost-effective
  • Bone marrow transplantation finding provides idea on treating degenerative diseases
  • UI study finds abusive bosses don’t suffer for their behavior, if they produce
  • Study explores impact of jealousy on intimate relationships
  • Super buzz not as loud for Super Bowl ads

(Full details)


  • Recent deaths

(Full details)


Photo feature: Paleontology Repository

The collections of the University of Iowa Paleontology Repository include more than one million specimens. The repository is a focal point for research and educational activities within the paleontology program of the University, and an important source of outreach to the scientific community and the general public.

See the photos...



Timothy Havens
  Tim Havens  
Many college stud-
ents love to watch TV. But when Timothy Havens was in graduate school, he wanted to conduct research about TV, with a particular focus on race. A professor suggested Havens write a paper about the international trade in African American programs, and he was hooked. Havens, now a professor of communication studies and African American studies at The University of Iowa, is writing a book called Black Television Travels: Race, Globalization, and the Media. He spoke with fyi about the television industry’s perceptions of what audiences want, how white family–based programs benefited from The Cosby Show’s international success, and his earliest memories in front of the tube.




"I just like to do stuff on the full moon."

Dave Patton,
assistant director of outdoor programs in the UI Division of Recreational Services
(Iowa City Press-Citizen, Jan. 28)

More quotes...



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