Barbara Dafoe Whitehead lectures and writes about family and child-well-being. Her work has appeared in many publications, including
The American Enterprise, Commonwealth, Woodrow Wilson Quarterly, Slate, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. Her influential 1993 Atlantic Monthly magazine article, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” won an EMMA (Exceptional Merit in Media Award) from the National Women’s Political Caucus and Radcliffe College. She is the author of the award-winning book The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family (Vintage, 1998).
Currently, she serves on the Massachusetts Commission for Responsible Fatherhood and the Religion and Public Values Task Force of the National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy. With sociologist David Popenoe, she co-directs The National Marriage Project, a research and public education program based at Rutgers University.
Whitehead grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin. She earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, studied at Columbia University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in American social history from the University of Chicago. She holds an honorary doctorate of letters from Lawrence University.
She has three children and lives with her husband, Ralph Whitehead Jr., in Amherst, Massachusetts.