2 projects receive NCFR Innovation Grants for 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — The National Council on Family Relations and its Board of Directors are pleased to announce the two recipient projects of the organization's Innovation Grants program, which awards up to two $10,000 research grants per year. The recipients will report on their research at the 2015 NCFR Annual Conference, planned for Nov. 11-14 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The 2014-15 NCFR Innovation Grant recipients, chosen from 26 submitted projects, are:

"Sexual Scripts in Music Media: How Do Parents and Teens Talk About Violence and Sex in Music Media?"

Principal investigators: Kathleen Boyce Rodgers, Ph.D., and Stacey J.T. Hust, Ph.D.

For this study, which brings together the disciplines of health communication and family science, investigators will observe parent-teen dyads discussing popular music that contains sexual and violent content, to identify strategies parents use to communicate their views about such media content. Results will inform the development of a research-based parenting program that uses media to foster parent-teen dialogue about romantic relationships and dating violence, to prevent teen dating violence and promote healthy relationships.

Dr. Rodgers is as associate professor in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University. Dr. Hust is an associate professor in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

"The TransKids Project: Strengthening Community Connections"

Principal investigator: Katherine A. Kuvalanka, Ph.D.
Co-authors: Abbie E. Goldberg, Ph.D.; Jenifer K. McGuire, Ph.D.; Asaf Orr, Esq.

This project will integrate expertise in family science, human development, psychology, and family law to tackle issues pertaining to challenges facing families with transgender and gender-nonconforming children. Investigators will conduct a study of parents involved in custody disputes pertaining to their transgender and gender-nonconforming children, to explore parents' experiences as well as the implications for children with one parent who accepts their gender identity and one parent who does not. The investigators also will create a website to translate findings into easy-to-access information for parents, lawyers, judges, and other family professionals.

Dr. Kuvalanka is an associate professor in the Department of Family Studies and Social Work at Miami University. Dr. Goldberg is an associate professor and director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology at Clark University. Dr. McGuire is an associate professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Orr is a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

* * *

The NCFR Board spearheaded this exciting initiative in 2013 to highlight the interdisciplinary and translational research and practice that the organization is known for. It builds on NCFR's rich heritage and ongoing commitment to promoting innovative interdisciplinary approaches to theory, research, and practice to support the well-being of families. The grant initiative is an investment in innovative interdisciplinary approaches to facilitating the NCFR Global Ends, including:

  • providing opportunities for professional development and knowledge development in family research, theory, policy, education, and practice
  • supporting the dissemination and application of research and theory based information about family well-being and
  • establishing standards for research, education, and practice by advocating for the development and advancement of the profession.

The NCFR Board will be accepting proposals for the 2015-16 round of NCFR Innovation Grants in the near future.


The recipients of the inaugural 2013-14 Innovation Grants presented their research at the 2014 NCFR Annual Conference, held in November 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Read the abstracts from their research on the NCFR website:

The National Council on Family Relations is the premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. NCFR has a membership of more than 3,300 family researchers, practitioners and educators. For more information on the National Council on Family Relations or its scholarly publications, visit the NCFR website.