From the 2019 NCFR Conference Program Chair

Katia Paz Goldfarb, Ph.D., Montclair State University
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Katia Paz Goldfarb

2019 NCFR Annual Conference Theme — Family Sustainability: Contextualizing Relationships Within Evolving Systems

Family sustainability is defined as the relationships among family members that maintain the well-being and resilience of the family unity across generations. Family sustainability is developed and strengthened by the continuous and various relationships with which the family engages as those relationships are influenced by social and physical environments. Family sustainability is seen as a process, not as a static goal.

The 2019 NCFR Annual Conference theme focuses on understanding the ever-complex reality of family relationships. The theme stresses the importance of acknowledging and working with supports that already exist within and outside diverse families. Of particular interest are proposals that stress the importance of looking at the what, the how, and the why of family relationships within their specific contexts and evolving systems.

The goal is to embrace and extend the theme of family sustainability to all families, with relationships as the focus. Proposals should frame conversations on strengths, not deficits, and focus on relationships that are normative to specific family systems and their context rather than focusing on a comparative paradigm.

The theme allows for a wide variety of topics, debates, and policy analyses, including these examples:

  • The current state of strength-based empirical research on family relations
  • The intersection of social class, gender, ethnicity, and race and family sustainability
  • The use of technology in maintaining and disrupting family relations
  • The impact of human-made and natural disasters on family relations
  • The effects of immigration and migration issues on transnational and transregional families
  • The multiple ways of incorporating family diversity and complexity into qualitative and quantitative research
  • The experiences of military families in sustaining relationships
  • The impact of death and violence in the reconfiguration of relationships
  • The implication of policies focusing on family separation and reunification in sustaining family relationships
  • The reconfiguration and strengthening of family relations during and after divorce
  • The connection of popular movements, such as #MeToo, on policy development and implementation
  • The cultural variation in human development across the lifespan
  • The marriage, cohabitation, and parenthood attitudes and practices of Millennials
  • The impact of disAbilities on family relationships among siblings and parents

2019 Sustainable Conference Goals

  • To highlight strength-based research on diverse families and their relationships within their context.
  • To feature innovative evidence-based best practices, programs, and pedagogies that promote family resiliency and well-being for diverse families in a variety of context.
  • To draw attention to and critically analyze policies that strengthen or are of detriment to relationships for all types of families.