Mission: To generate research and outreach geared towards helping families, scholars and professionals better understand the complexities of parenting relationships and work collaboratively with coparents and other parental figures to raise healthy and happy children.

Who are we: The Parenting Relationships Research Lab was created by Dr. Daniel Puhlman in January 2019 at the University of Maine and is located in 229 Merrill Hall. The lab provides opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to gain experience in generating and conducting research. In addition, the lab’s focus on applied research is oriented towards working with community organizations and agencies to develop and improve programming focused on supporting healthy parenting relationships. Although the lab conducts research on all variations of parenting relationships, a majority of the research is focused on coparenting and fathering.

What are “Parenting Relationships”: Parenting Relationships include all of the important relationships that center around parenting children. The two primary relationships include a parent’s relationship with their children and a parent’s relationship with their children’s other parent. Both of these relationships have a significant impact on the family as a whole and without healthy parenting relationships, families—and specifically children—will have a difficult time navigating the many challenges that the world presents. In addition to these relationships, other relationships relevant to parenting and caregiving have a major impact on children. Many people are involved in a child’s life and the relationship that parents have with grandparents, extended family members, teachers, coaches and other caregivers have an incredible impact on that child’s growth and development. When parents have strong and healthy relationships with those around them, especially those closest to the family, children benefit and grow up to happy and healthy adults.