Center for Research on Families Announces New Family Research Scholars
Five outstanding individuals have been selected to participate in the Center for Research on Families' Family Research Scholars Program for the coming year. The program supports faculty in securing grant funding for family-related research while building a multidisciplinary community of researchers studying issues of relevance to families. Family Research Scholars participate in a year-long interdisciplinary seminar which supports them in conceptualizing, writing, and submitting their planned grant proposals.
Professor Daniel Anderson (psychology) studies children and television including children's interactions during TV viewing and the impact on cognitive development and education. His current research concerns television and very young children, brain activation during media use, and television viewing and children's diet. As a Family Research Scholar, Anderson will develop a funding proposal for the National Institutes of Health to research the use and impact of television and videos on infants and toddlers. This work will build upon and extend to home observations the program of research that he has begun in a laboratory context.
Professor Nancy Folbre (economics) focuses on the interface between feminist theory and political economy, with a particular interest in caring labor and other forms of nonmarket work. She has received a five-year fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation and also served as co-chair of the MacArthur Research Network on the Family and the Economy. She works with the Center for Popular Economics and is an associate editor of Feminist Economics. Folbre has been actively engaged in the creation and development of the Center for Research on Families as a steering committee member. As a Family Research Scholar, she plans to pursue a large interdisciplinary research project to investigate ways of measuring and improving the quality of coproduced care services. The project potentially will involve several co-principal investigators and/or participants from other departments and seek support for doctoral and post-doctoral students from the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT).
Marsha Kline Pruett, the Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor at Smith College School for Social Work, is the first faculty member from another educational institution to become a Family Research Scholar. Her research revolves around family issues specific to family and juvenile law. The unifying theme across her work is the promotion of healthy family development during life transitions, particularly those transitions related to adverse events or circumstances. Before joining the Smith fauculty, Kline Pruett was associate professor in the Law and Psychiatry Division at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale Child Study Center. As a Family Research Scholar, Kline Pruett ‘s will focus on the effects of parental moves and relocation on the well-being of parents and children after divorce andl pursue funding from foundation and federal sources.
Associate Professor Dean E. Robinson (political science) examines the effects of political and public policy trends on racial health disparities in the United States, focusing on patterns and policies that reinforce inequality of social welfare provision and socioeconomic status. In 2001 Robinson was honored with a two-year fellowship as a W.K. Kellogg Scholar in Health Disparities at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. As a Family Research Scholar, he will seek funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to design a study to gauge the potential impact of state politics and policy on overall infant mortality, and black-white disparities. His working hypothesis is that elements of the local political landscape, like state culture or ideology, party control of state government and various demographic characteristics, affect state public policies which directly and indirectly affect infant mortality rates.
Assistant Professor Lisa Wexler (community health education, School of Public Health and Health Sciences) is focused on how health and disease are understood and enacted within a social and cultural context. Considering how different people identify, understand and address their "problems" can enable professionals to advocate for meaningful change as well as develop effective intervention projects. Dr. Wexler is particularly interested in learning how situated narratives, attitudes and beliefs of young people, their families and communities influence wellbeing. More specifically, her research aims to articulate the narrative identity constructions and associated roles that foster young people's resilience within Alaskan Inupiat families and communities. Her previous work has focused on suicide and suicide prevention in Northwest Alaska. Through the Family Research Scholars Program, Wexler will develop a Faculty Early Career Development proposal for submission to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP). Wexler is the first faculty member from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences to be a Family Research Scholar.
CRF actively supports and disseminates social and behavioral sciences research on issues relevant to families. This focus includes research on individual health and development within families, processes and relationships within families, the social contexts of families, the intersection of family life with other social institutions, and social and economic policy that affects the development, productivity, time, health, and well-being of families and family members.
September 13, 2007