Family policy concerns many of the areas central to what families do – care for each other and promote economic and social wellbeing of family members. The Family Policy Group actively conducts research on a range of family policy topics such as child care, child welfare, parenting education, family processes, and work-family fit.
Recognizing that “family” represents a diverse and uneven constellation of living arrangements, emotional bonds, and legal recognition, we embrace that diversity in our own work and the scholars we collaborate with.
We aim to translate and disseminate key findings from this working into products such as policy briefs, websites, conference presentations, and academic papers. In doing so, we study and compare how policy processes and impacts compare and contrast across counties, states, and countries.
Catherine (Katie) Bolzendahl is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the School of Public Policy. As a political sociologist, her work on focuses on issues at the nexus of gender, family, and political citizenship. Current family-centered projects include an analysis of large scale cross-national survey data on non-traditional family structures across differing policy environments and an examination of American’s current beliefs about same-sex families given the passage of legal marriage rights.
Kelly applies a work-family justice lens to study how working conditions, workplace culture, and work-family policies affect the health and daily lives of employees and their families. She also examines the implications of work for family processes, including emotional transmission, family routines, and parental socialization.
Brianne's research focuses on understanding the experiences and trajectories of at-risk populations as well as on designing, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate, family systems focused interventions.
Assistant Professor (Practice)
Megan Pratt conducts research related to child care policy as it relates to family, provider, and community well-being. In partnership with federal, state, and local partners, current projects focus on topics such as child care supply, affordability, subsidized care, and workforce development.
David studies how policies shape the lives of children and families. His current focuses are on three policy areas: (1) paid family and medical leave, (2) social safety net and economic hardship, and (3) financial capability and asset building.
Senior Faculty Research Assistant II
Michaella's research interests include parenting education, early child care and education, community-based support for children and families, child development, school readiness, and the impact of child abuse and neglect on early development.
Rick's research focuses on life course; age and aging; transitions; social relationships; historical experiences and social change; parenthood and family life; social policy.
Associate Professor of Practice & Parenting Education Specialist
Shauna's research focuses broadly on supporting positive social and emotional outcomes for children and families. She has two related streams of translational research: 1) developing, implementing, and testing programs that promote self-regulation and emotional intelligence for children and the adults in their lives and 2) increasing access to parenting education to provide families with the information and support they need to be the parents they want to be.
Brenda is interested in family resilience, with a specific focus on low-income families' survival strategies and their implications for health and family relationships. Currently, she is examining how low-income, rural families develop and implement strategies to maintain housing over time.
Ines is a Ph.D. student in HDFS. She is originally from Lima, Peru. Her research interests surround social factors, such as poverty and financial capability, and how these influence the development of children and families. She is especially interested in Latinx families and communities.
Linda’s research interests include the ways in which parenting education supports families with adolescents, ways to increase the availability and uptake of high-quality parenting education, and the mental health needs of youth from marginalized populations.
Chris is a Ph.D. student in HDFS. His research broadly focuses on family poverty, differential mobility (one family member moving up or down socioeconomic classes), and how environmental risk affects development and resilience. He is especially interested in marginalized families and communities.
Isabella's research interests include studying the development of self-regulation across early and middle childhood with an emphasis on finding ways to intervene to boost children's self-regulation and school readiness. Isabella is also interested in child care and family policy and how policies, especially around child care, impacts child development and the family as a whole.
A PhD candidate and graduate student in HDFS, Kylee’s research focuses on formal supports for improving the wellbeing and subsequent retention of caregivers of vulnerable children. Current projects include an analysis of a statewide sample of foster caregivers in Oregon, as well as development of an intervention for license exempt, home-based early care educators
Tjorven is a PhD graduate of the School of Public Policy. In her work she is interested in how paid family leave and early childhood education and care policy interact with gendered caretaking roles in the family. Her dissertation research focuses on how first-time parents in Germany perceive and negotiate their parenting identities against the background of the parental leave options available to them.
Asia’s research centers on the impact of contextual factors on development across the lifespan. Her experiences growing up in South Africa and working as a criminal defense investigator shape her interest in multicultural, marginalized communities. Her current work focuses on the development of critical consciousness of multicultural youth living in poverty across the U.S.