Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 16, 2002

U of G to study family support given to interfaith couples

Have you ever been in a long-term relationship with someone of a different faith? Family relations professor Jean Turner and master’s candidate Stacey Partridge would like to study the amount of support interfaith couples receive from their families.

Turner and Partidge are looking for 15 to 20 individuals from the Guelph, Cambridge, Waterloo and Kitchener region who have been in an intimate relationship for at least one year with a partner of a different religious upbringing to take part in their study. Participants do not have to be actively practising their religion or beliefs and need no longer to be in the interfaith relationship to take part in the study.

Turner and Partridge are hoping to identify the challenges interfaith couples face with their families and, when possible, find workable solutions to their differences. “The purpose of the study is to identify more of the ways in which parents and brothers and sisters support or do not support the interfaith couple,” said Turner.

Past research on interfaith unions found that partners of different religious traditions faced serious criticism from their parents, siblings and extended family. With the increase in the number of couples of different faiths, it appears families are being more supportive of partners with different backgrounds. “What we’re wanting most to discover is the various ways people negotiate those relationships,” said Turner.

Individuals will be interviewed for about an hour and a half, with times and places to be arranged at the participants’ convenience. The identity of the participants will not be revealed in the results of the study.

For additional information or to participate in the study, contact Turner at (519) 824-4120, Ext. 6256, or e-mail Partridge at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 6982 or Ext. 3338.

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