My research program is centered on understanding intimate relationship development from the transition to adulthood into midlife, with a focus on identifying the behaviors and beliefs that contribute to relational and individual health. I am primarily involved with two research projects.
I am a co-investigator of the Edmonton Transitions Study (ETS) with Drs. Harvey Krahn and Nancy Galambos. The ETS is a unique long-term longitudinal study that survered over 900 (at baseline) Edmontonians seven times from age 18 to age 43. The original aim of this project was to understand the transition from school to work, but as the participants aged, the focus shifted to other transitions over the life course, such as forming a committed intimate union and having children. I have developed manuscripts with these data examining how the development of mental health over the transition to adulthood developmental stage (ages 18 to 25) is associated with couple relations in midlife (Johnson, Galambos, & Krahn, 2014; 2015) and how marital timing predicts future subjective well-being (Johnson, Krahn, & Galambos, 2017). Starting in Fall 2017, we have launched a 32 year follow-up survey to gather an 8th wave of data coinciding with ETS participants' 50th birthday. Data collection is scheduled to conclude in early 2018.
I am also fortunate to work with data from the German Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam) study. Pairfam began in 2008 with a representative sample of 12,402 focal participants from three birth cohorts (adolescence, young adulthood, and midlife). In addition, pairfam also recruited intimate partners, parents, and children for a subset of the focal participants. Survey data are collected annually and are scheduled to conclude in 2022 with 14 total assessments (more information is available on the study website: http://www.pairfam.de/en/). So far, publications based on pairfam data have examined longitudinal associations between sex and men’s housework contributions (Johnson, Galambos, & Anderson, 2016), links between support provided to a partner during times of stress, commitment, and willingness to make sacrifices for a partner (Johnson & Horne, 2016), how couple relations are implicated in each partner's mental health (Johnson, Galambos, Finn, Neyer, & Horne, 2017), and associations between parent-adult child and couple relations (Johnson, Galovan, Horne, Min, & Walper, 2017).
I am currently accepting hardworking graduate students interested in studying couples.