The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Our affiliates enthusiastically participate in the ongoing life and mission of the Center for Research on Families. Current affiliates include the 70+ faculty alumni of our innovative Family Research Scholars program, more than one hundred student recipients of our awards and grants program for graduates and undergraduates, and dozens of other UMass, Five Colleges, regional and national faculty from across a variety of disciplines. All affiliates share a common link—research interests and specializations that focus on the myriad disciplines relevant to family life, and a willingness to contribute their energy and vitality to the Center's overarching mission.

Affiliates actively engage with the life of CRF through our many sponsored activities each academic year. These include research programs, peer-to-peer working groups, opportunities to work with mentors who help faculty expand their grant-writing and grant-funding expertise, the Tay Gavin Erickson endowed lecture series, various conferences, methodology consulting services and additional training available through workshops and seminars. The Center adds value to the research life of the University of Massachusetts Amherst by creating and sustaining discourse and by fostering avenues for our affiliates to disseminate their cutting-edge global research about the issues facing modern families.

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Mary Paterno

Mary Paterno's research will address the high rates of neonatal opiate exposure and maternal opioid use in rural communities in Massachusetts. She will develop and test a sustainable, community-based peer mentoring program for pregnant and postpartum women who are at high risk of relapse.Read more

Sofiya Alhassan

Dr. Sofiya Alhassan UMass headshot

Sofiya Alhassan's current research interest is in using physical activity in the prevention of pediatric obesity, in particular, the utilization of community family-based physical activity interventions to reduce early onset cardiovascular disease risk factors (obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus) in ethnic-minority children. Her research agenda also includes examining: 1) physical activity policy-base intervention in preschool-age children; 2) environmental and media influence on various health behaviors in ethnic-minority populations; and 3) after-school family-base intervention to...Read more

Luiz Amaral

Luiz Amaral, Ph.D.

Luiz Amaral is an Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics who enjoys applying linguistics to address issues in second and bilingual language acquisition, language instruction, and the revitalization of native Brazilian languages. He is one of the co-directors of the Language Acquisition Research Center at UMass Amherst. Professor Amaral is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he finished...Read more

Daniel Anderson

Daniel Anderson Photo

Daniel Anderson’s general area of research is children and media, particularly television. He focuses on a cognitive analysis of children’s television viewing, as well as the impact of television on cognitive development and education.

Dr. Anderson’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, as well as private foundations and industry.His current research concerns the impact of television on infants and toddlers as well as toddler attention to and comprehension of video. Dr. Anderson participated in the Family Research...Read more

Aneliese Apala

Aneliese Apala is a Master of Public Health candidate concentrating on Community Health Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In her time at UMass, she has been a part of research related to American Indian/Alaska Native suicide prevention through resilience, gender and sexuality empowerment and education in elementary age students, and American Indian/Alaska Native women matriculating into postgraduate studies. Prior to the pursuit of her master’s, Aneliese was a Senior Scientist for a pharmaceutical contract research organization in Richmond, VA and volunteered with an...Read more

Kathleen Arcaro

Kathleen Arcaro headshot

Kathleen Arcaro studies breast milk to gain insight into the causes and development of breast cancer.  Breast milk can provide both a glimpse into the health of the breast and a record of a lifetime of environmental exposures.  Many persistent and biologically active pollutants concentrate in fat and are therefore present in breast milk. 

Dr. Arcaro’s research demonstrates that while the levels of pollutants of emerging concern, including synthetic musks, new flame retardants, and the plasticizer, bisphenol A are increasing in breast milk, the levels of banned substances...Read more

Meghan Armstrong-Abrami

Meghan Armstrong-Abrami, Ph.D.

Meghan Armstrong is Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at UMass Amherst. She has worked extensively on intonational meaning in Spanish, English and Catalan in both adult and child speech. Her recent work focuses on intonation’s role in conveying and perceiving mental states. She is also interested in how individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder produce and perceive mental state intonation.

Professor Armstrong is active in community-engaged activities at UMass. She participated in the UMass Office for Civic Engagement and Service Learning’s Faculty Fellows program in...Read more

David Arnold

David Arnold headshot

David Arnold's research addresses how mobile technology could foster Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) success in young children from low socioeconomic status (SES) families.

For his Family Research Scholar year, Arnold developed a grant proposal entitled “Fostering STEM Success in Underrepresented Groups with Educational Apps.” Arnold’s project evaluated the benefits of existing educational apps (e.g., for smart phones and tablets) for preschoolers, and examined the processes by which children learn...Read more

Ysaaca Axelrod

Ysaaca Axelrod

Ysaaca D. Axelrod has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in Language and Literacy Development, Children, Families and School Relationships, Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Teaching Reading and Writing to English Language Learners, and Ethnography and Case-Study Research. Her research interests are in Early Childhood language and literacy development, in particular focusing on emergent bilingual and multilingual children and the intersections between language and identity development in young Latin@s.Read more

Lee Badgett

Lee Badgett headshot

M. V. Lee Badgett studies family policy issues and labor market discrimination based on sexual orientation, race and gender. She is also the research director of the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA and the director of the Center for Public Policy & Administration at UMass Amherst (2013-16).

Her latest book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for gay couples. She co-edited of the recent book...Read more