Rosemary was one of the original contributors to the PAIR Project, working with several other key graduate students in 1980 and 1981 to design the theories and day-to-day practicalities of the study.
Rosemary worked on the conceptual development of various areas of the first wave interview schedule and the formulation of questionnaires, record-keeping forms, and interview techniques. She researched tools for assessing gender orientation and personality, and assisted with editing the language used in them. She conducted pilot and first wave face-to-face interviews and follow-up phone calls, verified interview tapes, coded reasons for turning points, and assisted with record keeping. She also developed the notion of asking about skills and past experience in relation to household tasks, rather than attributing all household task performance to gender-stereotypic behaviors. In testimony to her famous organizational skills, Rosemary still retains all her PAIR files--a sheet listing all the forms that needed to be developed and dates indicating progress on that front, a roster of interviewer, names and phone numbers, a set of the original questionnaires, meeting notes, and her notebook from the questionnaire development stage with dividers for each variable to be assessed.
In addition to her many contributions to the theoretical and methodological aspects of the Project, Rosemary also brought home-made cookies to the meetings. And she brought the first PAIR-project baby, Suzanne Blieszner Gerus, to team meetings in a little baby-carrier. Suzanne, now 17, attends an International Studies program at Sweet Briar College, Amherst, VA. No sign of interest in relationship research (yet).
Rosemary is now a Professor of Gerontology and Family Studies in the Department of Family and Child Development as well as Associate Director for the Center for Gerontology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. She is currently working on research about the range of diversity (in terms of family structure and life events) in the lives of older adults and their family members, which, as she remarks, is "way more complex and interesting than most 'family' textbooks would have you believe - - and this is rural southwest Virginia. Imagine what's going on in the lives of elders in Marin County. . ."
Recently she has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books on older adult family and friend relationships, including:
Visit Rosemary's homepage to learn more about her work.
The PAIR Project at the University of Texas at Austin
Principal Investigator, Ted L. Huston
Page last modified: 15 January 2002