Family Scientists Help Families Cope During Pandemic Through Facebook Group

A new set of resources designed to help families navigate daily challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic features contributions by several NCFR members.

“Families Tackling Tough Times Together” is a 10-week program developed by the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) at Purdue University. The new initiative coordinated by NCFR Fellow Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D., CFLE, offers materials and activities centered around aspects of family and child resilience.

Guided by scientific evidence about family resilience, this “pop-up” program is being developed by HHS along with contributing partners from Purdue and beyond, with the aim of helping families strengthen their resilience while they cope with the crisis. NCFR members and Family Scientists who contributed to the project include Abigail Gewirtz, Ph.D.; Daniel Perkins, Ph.D.; Mallory J. Lucier-Greer, Ph.D., CFLE, LMFT; and Catherine Walker O’Neal, Ph.D.

Families can access the resources by joining a public Facebook group ( All materials are carefully vetted and include engaging and fun activities that fit easily into daily life. Families with children, youth, young adults, and elders will find materials tailored for them. Additional features include podcasts with experts, live events and community engagement activities. Program materials will be released each week but can be used at any time. Families are also invited to share their experiences and messages of support. All families are welcome to join and participate in this group, especially military families. 

“Families are facing stress from numerous actions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth, a professor of human development and family studies and coordinator of the project. “Every family has strengths, but at times like this they can benefit from being encouraged and reminded of that.”

Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, where she also directs the Military Family Research Institute and the Center for Families.