FSU Grant Aimed at Strengthening Relationships

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Jared Rosetti and Karly Chapman have been dating for almost a year. The two sophomores say so far things have been smooth sailing.

"I think it is amazing. I think that it is awesome what I and my girlfriend Karly have," said Rosetti.

"We do so much together. I think it is a really healthy relationship because we do a lot together, but we are also pretty independent from each other," explained Chapman.

FSU professor Frank Fincham oversees the university's Family Institute. He says research has shown a lot of relationships are unhealthy and "high risk."

"Many of whom identify themselves as being in an exclusive relationship, a large percentage are engaging in intercourse with persons other than their partner and not disclosing that with their partner," explained Fincham, who says stronger relationships will result in a better academic life and help foster better marriages.

The goal of a new $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to create a course that will teach students how to strengthen and sustain safe, healthy and romantic relationships while rejecting negative and unhealthy ones.

"I see so many relationships that are tied down and abusive. I think it would really help if people would be willing to take the course. I think it could certainly help the relationships around campus," added Chapman.

Fincham says studies show about 30 percent of college students are married within five years of leaving college. He predicts about 11,000 FSU students will participate in the course over the next five years.