Murray A. Straus, 89
Longtime NCFR member Murray A. Straus passed away on May 13, 2016, at age 89. He was an NCFR member for 55 years, and served as president of the NCFR Board of Directors in 1972-73.
Dr. Straus was known for his seminal work in the areas of family violence and family measurement techniques, and later for his study of spanking and corporal punishment. In addition to being a prolific scholar and author — he wrote hundreds of scholarly articles and more than 15 books during his career — in 1979 he created the conflict tactics scale for measuring intimate partner violence, which became the standard for gathering information about spouse and child abuse and was widely used for many years.
Dr. Straus joined the sociology faculty at the University of New Hampshire in 1968 and remained there until his death. He founded and directed the university's Family Research Laboratory.
Prior to his time at the University of New Hampshire, he held positions at Washington State University, the University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, and the University of Minnesota. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin.
In addition to his service on the NCFR Board, Dr. Straus also served as chair of NCFR's Research and Theory Section in 1969-70 and as conference program chair for the 1972 NCFR Annual Conference. In 1966, he helped transform the NCFR Annual Conference by being the first to produce the conference proceedings (plenary speaker abstracts and section programs).
Dr. Straus also was the 1977 recipient of NCFR's Ernest W. Burgess Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement in the study of families. His award address was titled "Coming Full Circle: A Theory of Industrialization and Family Structure."
Dr. Straus was "a gentle, generous person who loved his students and mentored many," said former NCFR Executive Director Mary Jo Czaplewski. He was known to always wear a suit and tie with sandals, even when he rode his motorcycle.
A memorial blog has been created in Dr. Straus's honor.
To read more about Dr. Straus and to post condolences, please see the full notice.
You can also find two NCFR Report articles by Dr. Straus, as well as his Theory Constructions and Research Methodology (TCRM) Workshop papers, on the NCFR website:
- Practical Ways to Conduct International Partner-Violence Research Using Dyadic Analysis (NCFR Report)
- Ending Spanking Can Make a Major Contribution to Preventing Physical Abuse (NCFR Report)
- TCRM papers by Dr. Murray A. Straus
- Psychological Aggression by American Parents: National Data on Prevalence, Chronicity, and Severity (Journal of Marriage and Family, Nov. 2003)