Families and Health Section Update

Jerica Berge, Ph.D., M.P.H., LMFT, CFLE
/ Winter 2018 NCFR Report

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I hope that you enjoyed the 2018 NCFR conference in San Diego, California!

Section Happenings at the NCFR Conference

The Families and Health (FH) Section had a great presence at the NCFR conference this year. We had a record high of 96 posters and 16 sessions, including nine symposia, six lightning paper sessions, and a workshop focusing on various family and health topics, such as obesity, chronic illness, violence, trauma, aging, substance abuse, sleep, aging, siblings and health, military families, and health disparities. We continue to lead NCFR sections with the most conference proposal submissions. Keep it up, submissions = presentation slots!

We also had changes in our Families and Health Section officers. Thank you, outgoing officers, and welcome incoming officers.

Officer Position

Outgoing Officers

Incoming Officers


Jerica Berge

Kimberly Greder


Kimberly Greder

Amber Seidel

Past chair

Karina Shreffler

Jerica Berge


Amber Seidel

Erin Yelland

Students and New Professionals representative

Brianna Routh

Carolyn Sutter

Communications specialist

Christina Marini

Sarah Feeney


Paper Winners

At the FH Section meeting we announced the winners of our Outstanding Paper Awards for students or new professionals, and for professionals, at our section meeting. Winners received a plaque and $200. The recipients are as follows:

Outstanding Student and New Professional Paper Award
“Relational Turbulence and Psychological Distress in Romantic Relationships in the Military”

First author: J. Kale Monk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Science State Specialist for Human Environmental Sciences Extension, University of Missouri

Coauthor: Bryan Abendschein, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Outstanding Professional Paper/Publications Award
“Children of Mumbai’s Brothels: Investigating Developmental Prospects, Primary Relationships, and Service Provision”

First author:  Rochelle L. Dalla, Ph.D., CFLE, Professor, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Coauthors: Sarah Erwin, M.A., and Lee M. Kreimer, B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Outstanding Student and New Professional Poster Award

We continued this year with our section’s new tradition of poster awards for students and new professionals. This year’s recipient was Deirdre Quinn, Ph.D., for her research, “Factors Associated with Emerging Adult's HPV Behaviors.” She will receive $100 and a certificate.

Thank you to all who submitted papers and posters for awards, as well as those of you who reviewed for our section in 2018. The success of our section depends on your engagement. In the upcoming months, please consider submitting a proposal to the FH Section for the 2019 conference in Fort Worth, Texas.


Free Trial Membership

In our preconference newsletter and at the Newcomers Welcome, we gave out a coupon to try out the FH Section for one year. Those of you who took advantage of this opportunity will be receiving an email soon about your free year of FH membership. We hope you find membership advantageous and stick around after the first year is up.


Families and Health Section Spotlight


Dina Izenstark, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development at San José State University. Her interdisciplinary program of research looks at the impact of family-based nature activities on mental health and family relationships. Dr. Izenstark was the recipient of the Families and Health 2017 Outstanding Student and New Professional Poster Award for her research “Impact of Childhood Experiences in Nature on Adults’ Mental Health and Family Relationships.” Dr. Izenstark infuses classes she teaches with her research findings, highlighting how exposure to the natural environment can influence all domains of health and development. She received her Ph.D. in human development and family studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Although her Midwestern roots are strong, she enjoys California’s year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, especially tennis, hiking, and playing ball with her dog Benji.