Updated current research projects under construction.
Past Research Projects
Couples Abuse Prevention Program During the 2003-2004 school year, five Family Science undergraduates worked as coders on the Couples Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP), a study led by Drs. Norm Epstein and Carol Werlinich. CAPP is being conducted with couples who seek therapeutic assistance through the University of Maryland’s Center for Healthy Families. The study evaluates the effectiveness of two treatments for couples who have experienced problems with anger control and have the possibility for violence in their relationship. Undergraduate students such as Serena Galloway and Sarah Kursch used the Marital Interaction Coding System/Global (MICS/G), a tool that allows coders to rate couples’ behaviors in six global areas: conflict, problem solving, validation, invalidation, facilitation, and withdrawal. Serena and Sarah went on to receive their Masters in our Couple and Family Therapy program.
Food Resource Management Program
Marines Terreforte, a Family Science major, worked with Dr. Jinhee Kim on the Food Resource Management Project funded by USDA. This project examined how women managed family resources to purchase adequate and nutritious food throughout the year. Specifically, Marines assisted Dr. Kim in evaluating the food resource management curriculum, “Smart Choice$,” for low income women in Calvert and Montgomery Counties. Marines analyzed data on the women's food security and food resource management in the two counties. Marines completed this project during the summer of 2004 as an undergraduate scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.
Sages of the Ages: Stories that Touch and Teach Jessica Harris, a Family Science major, collected and catalogued stories from older adults as part of the Sages of the Ages: Stories That Touch and Teach research and Extension project. Working with Dr. Bonnie Braun, Jessica learned about how stories from older adults can help youth get through tough times, as well as how these stories contribute to research on resiliency. Jessica gained skills in interviewing, compiling and coding qualitative data, and grant writing. She is also had an intergenerational experience that was personally meaningful as she collected stories from her mother and grandmothers.
Impact of a Summer Camp on Jewish Youth Beth Kanofsky, a Family Science major, participated in the Department's Honors Program. Beth conducted a study examining the impact of a Jewish summer camp program on participants' Judaic identity, leadership abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, and engagement in artistic and athletic activities. Her study provided important information to the camp concerning the impact of its curriculum on the social development of campers. Beth's study was supervised by her mentor, Dr. Roger Rubin.
Post-Traumatic Stress in Families Joyce Dubin, a Family Science and Psychology double major, completed her Senior Thesis in the Family Science Honors Program. Her study examined the increase in post-traumatic stress in the aftermath of various crises. Her research is of special interest given the tragedies of September 11 and natural disasters such as the Asian Tsunami. Joyce was actively involved in a number of research projects and was the recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi 2004 Junior Service Award.
GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH
Current research Projects
Updated current research projects under construction.
Past research projects
Parenting Values of Immigrant Families Megan Fitzgerald, a student in the Ph.D. program, has been working with Dr. Sandra Hofferth on a study of the parenting practices of immigrant families. She examined differences among Hispanic, Asian, African American, and Caucasian families in their values regarding what is important for children to learn when they grow up. In addition, she examined differences in parenting practices such as warmth, emotional support, cognitive stimulation, and monitoring and control over children’s behaviors. Megan found that values varied with ethnicity of the group, economic situation, whether they were immigrants or not, and, most critically, with cohesion of the neighborhood. For example, results showed support for a Latino value of personalismo in rearing children. Neighborhoods were important in affecting parental monitoring of children.
Female Victims of Domestic Violence
Lindsey Hoskins, a graduate of the Couple and Family Therapy Master's program who entered our Ph.D. program in Fall 2005, collaborated with with Drs. LaTaillade, Epstein, and Werlinich on her master's thesis. Titled “Co-morbid psychiatric symptoms among female victims of psychologically and physically abusive intimate relationships," her study examined the relationship between level of psychological and physical aggression experienced by females in intimate heterosexual relationships and the presence of multiple psychiatric symptoms, such as depression, trauma symptoms, substance use problems, and fear of one’s partner. She presented her study at the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy in November, 2004. Lindsey's study was unique in examining the impact of psychological, as well as physical abuse, on females’ mental health functioning.
Parenting and Adolescent Mental Health in China Pamela Riley, a graduate of the Couple and Family Therapy Master's program and
Cheng Shuang Ji, a graduate of the doctorate program in Family Science, researched the relationship between parenting styles and adolescent aggression and anxiety in Beijing, China. They collaborated with a professor at Beijing Normal University, which collected the data after they designed the study and selected the questionnaires. Their findings indicated that parental pressure to achieve in school was associated with adolescent depression and anxiety, but parental emotional support reduced the negative impact of parental pressure on aggression. The students presented a paper on their findings at the 2004 annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy.
Low Income Citizen's Involvement in Public Policy Sarah Kaye, a graduate of the Ph.D. program, joined the Family Science Department to study and get involved in family policy. She volunteered to work with Dr. Bonnie Braun on a project, Engaging Unheard Voices in Deliberative Public Policy Processes, which received funding from the Kettering Foundation. Sarah conducted interviews and participated in focus groups of rural, low-income families; coded qualitative data; generated lessons learned; written reports; and presented a poster of her findings at the 2004 Conference on Community-Based Research.
Community Violence Research
Past graduate students Kate Kuvalanka, Martine Philogene, Claire Collins, Carmen Bush, Takeia Bradley, and Martha Beemer were involved in implementing, analyzing, and presenting results of a study on the effects of community violence on Head Start children’s development. This study, co-led by Drs. Randolph and Koblinsky, was funded by the U. S. Department of Education and investigated (over a three-year period) protective factors for children exposed to community violence. Several students assisted in collecting focus group data and interviewing parents and teachers in Head Start centers around Prince George’s County and Washington, DC. Dr. Linda Oravecz and Dr. Crystal Tyler, former doctoral students in the department, produced dissertations using these data, and Dr. Bethany Letiecq was awarded a Head Start Research Scholars grant to conduct a related study on Head Start fathers. Undergraduate students, such as Joi Brown, also involved with the project, participated in a department course on community violence research, collected crime data from neighborhood police stations, conducted environmental scanning to generate neighborhood descriptions, collated materials for an intervention involving Head Start teachers, and assisted with data coding and entry. Several of these students also co-authored publications with Drs. Koblinsky and Randolph based on the data collected in this study.
Behavioral Family Therapy Carlo Panlilio and Sarah Kursch, graduates of the Couple and Family Therapy Master's program, assisted in the training of therapists who implemented a psychoeducational program for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and their families. The students worked with Drs. Norman Epstein and Roger Rubin on this program, which received federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As participants on this project, Carlo and Sarah improved their skills in assessing family functioning, including family communication and problem-solving skills. The program was designed to improve the participant’s skills for coping with schizophrenia, reduce symptoms and the likelihood of relapse, reduce family members’ experienced burdens, and improve family relations.