Grotevant and the lure of research

I recently met with Dr. Hal Grotevant, the Rudd Family Foundation Chair and amazing researcher whose scholarly work focuses on families, adoption, and the processes therein!!

For those wishing more familiarity with his work, he has a fantastic career spanning several decades. Some fascinating (and influential) articles from his career include:

Meet Dr. Grotevant:

Our conversation spanned topics on his background, training, and the development of his research program. There are several notable moments, but in the following clip Dr. Grotevant described how things got started with Catherine Cooper in the mid-1980’s at University of Texas, Austin. In late 1970, Grotevant and Cooper successfully were funded for the Family Process Project — critical work which seeded many of the ideas used in the Minnesota/Texas Adoption project (with Ruth McRoy, and among the most successful longitudinal studies on adoption ever conducted) and flourished with new techniques and theoretical developments over the past 40 years.

Here is Dr. Grotevant describing the development of the approach that he and Dr. Cooper took:

In conversation, Dr. Grotevant shared about his start with research, his family, the difficult decisions of his life, and about his interactions with adopting families. I hope you will enjoy hearing about some of the context for his work. In his words, (and in the clip provided) he describes how the project required a cross-disciplinary approach, borrowing on methods from sociology, family therapy, developmental psychology, linguistics, and others. As he describes, it wasn’t easy, but it was intense, thrilling, and engaging!

*Image of Hal Grotevant in his office, flanked by Santorini, a beautiful dream vacation (he’s not yet been) and a remembrance poster with many supportive notes and signatures from his colleagues when he left his previous position to fulfill the Rudd chair at U Mass, Amherst (flagship  campus).  In speaking with Dr. Grotevant it is clear that he has gratitude for the past and the opportunities he’s been afforded and an eye on the future and great things to come!

8 thoughts on “Grotevant and the lure of research

  1. Reading these in between working is great and the audio snippets are a fine addition– the cactus cafe and bar cracked me up. Knowing more about the story behind all of these great accomplishments really is cool. Who would have known?


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