Families and Health Section Update

Jerica Berge, Ph.D., M.P.H., LMFT, CFLE, Section Chair
/ Fall 2018 NCFR Report

The 2018 NCFR Annual Conference is right around the corner! We will be meeting in beautiful sunny San Diego, California. Here are some exciting things to look forward to at this year’s conference:

  • A record-breaking 200 proposals (including symposia) were submitted to the Families and Health Section this year, and because so many were of high quality, we have lots of presentation slots! Make sure to check out all of the Families and Health (FH) sessions in the program online at ncfr.org/2018-schedule

  • Our second annual tri-section meeting with the Family Policy and Ethnic Minorities sections will occur during the 2018 conference. We will meet together as the Families and Health Section for the first hour at our section meeting. We will then join the other two sections for roundtable discussions, which include opportunities to work on symposium proposals for the next NCFR conference, propose policy briefs, discuss important topics in the field, and swap teaching or clinical ideas and resources. The tri-section meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 8, 6:30–8:45 p.m., after the University Receptions.

  • We will be giving out four awards at the Families and Health Section meeting at the 2018 conference. In addition to our Outstanding Professional Paper Award and Student and New Professional Paper Award, we will be giving out Outstanding Poster Awards for undergraduate/master students and doctoral students/new professionals. We did this for the first time last year and decided to make the poster awards a standing award. The deadline for the papers have passed, but the poster competition is still open. Look for more information coming via the Families and Health Section Discussion Group on how to apply for the poster awards.

  • And of course there will be door prizes, great networking, free memberships for newcomers who want to try our section out, and food! Look for our preconference newsletter in October.

Section Member Spotlight

For our member spotlights in each newsletter we highlight our previous year’s conference award winners.

Keeley J. Pratt, Ph.D., LMFT

Assistant Professor at Ohio State University

Dr. Pratt is an assistant professor of human development and Family Science and a coordinator of the Couples and Family Therapy Clinic at Ohio State University. She is the recipient of the Families and Health Section Outstanding Professional Paper/Publications Award at the 2017 NCFR Annual Conference. The manuscript for which Dr. Pratt won was entitled “Perceived Child Weight Status, Family Structure and Functioning, and Support for Healthy Behaviors in a Sample of Bariatric Surgery Patients.” The purpose of this manuscript was to describe associations between parents’ perspectives of their child’s weight status, family support for eating and exercise behavior changes, and family structure and functioning. She and her colleagues found that parents (patients) who perceived their child to be overweight or obese reported more impaired family functioning, less family exercise participation, and more disagreements among family members about changing eating habits. Single parents were more likely to perceive their child as being overweight or obese, report impaired family functioning, and report less family support for exercise and eating behavior changes. Dr. Pratt’s long-term goal is to design family-based adult weight management programs that enhance parent–child relationships, support adult behavior change and weight loss, and prevent further development of obesity in children.