Why take a family vacation? Doctoral student Debbie Farr weighs in

Summer months are looming. Should your family plan a getaway? Is it worth the time off work and the hassle of planning?

College of Education doctoral student Debbie Farr, who has studied family vacations, can discuss changing perceptions of vacations throughout the decades and can talk about a body of research that shows the benefits of family vacations.

"In this country, we have forgotten there's a real purpose behind vacation, and it's not just to be slackers," said Farr, who has worked with parents and families for about 20 years. "We have this pervasive belief that if you're on vacation, you're not working, and if you're not working, it's a bad thing."

Farr focused her doctoral dissertation on family vacations and found a positive connection between family vacations and family cohesion. She hopes the research may help counselors or educators who work with parents and families to suggest vacations as a way to help build strong and cohesive families.

"Something that might be helpful for you is just to get away," Farr said. "I can now turn to families and say, ‘When was the last time you got away – the four of you?'"

Farr plans to graduate with her doctoral degree in educational research in May.

-Ellen Rossetti, News Promotions Office