NCFR Awards 2 Innovation Grants for 2016

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 initiative, which awards up to two $10,000 research grants per year. The recipients will report on their research at the 2017 NCFR Annual Conference, planned for Nov. 15 -18 in Orlando, Florida.

The 2016-17 NCFR Innovation Grant recipients, chosen from 26 submitted projects, are:

"Helicopter Parenting of College Students: Strengthening Family Well-Being with an Interdisciplinary Approach"

Principal investigators: Ming Cui, Ph.D., Florida State University; Catherine Coccia, Ph.D., Florida International University; Carol A. Darling, Ph.D., Florida State University and Mallory Lucier-Greer, Ph.D., Florida State University.

Helicopter parenting has emerged as a growing trend in contemporary society. From a family systems perspective, such parenting behavior could affect each family member. Despite the growing trend and overwhelming media attention, research in this area is limited and fraught with methodological issues. Investigators propose to collect data from 800 college students and their parents in a longitudinal study to (1) develop knowledge about the current state of helicopter parenting and its impact on the health of young adult children and parents, (2) disseminate research-based information about the practice of helicopter parenting, and (3) inform family life educators and practitioners of parenting programs to reduce the practice of helicopter parenting.

Dr. Cui has been working on the topic of parental overinvolvement for the past decade. She is also a research methodologist with expertise in advanced modeling. Dr. Coccia is a registered Dietician and an assistant professor of public health. Dr. Darling is a professor emerita and is actively involved in grants, research, and publications related to helicopter parenting. Dr. Lucier-Greer is an assistant professor who studies vulnerable family systems and the processes families use to manage stress.

"Evaluation of Strong Through Every Mile (STEM), a Structured Running Program for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Psychological, Social, and Physical Well-Being Outcomes"

Principal investigators: Janel M. Leone, Ph.D., The Sage Colleges and Dayna M. Maniccia, Ph.D., The Sage Colleges.

While considerable scholarship has examined the prevalence and consequences of intimate partner violence against women, physical activity-based interventions designed to counter these consequences are sparse. To date, no studies have evaluated the effectiveness of a structured running program as a mechanism to improve survivors' psychological, social, and physical well-being and/or their interpersonal relationships with their children or other family members. The proposed study is the second phase of a program evaluation currently being conducted. In the first phase of the evaluation, the research team conducted focus groups, reviewed program material and scientific literature to identify potential program outcomes and develop a theory- and data-driven program logic model. The second phase of the evaluation is the proposed study, which is designed to evaluate program outcomes through a pre-test/post-test design.

Dr. Leone is an associate professor of Law and Society. Dr. Maniccia is an assistant professor and director, Health Services Administration Graduate program and Undergraduate Public Health program.

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The NCFR Board spearheaded the exciting Innovation Grants 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.

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The recipients of the 2015-16 Innovation Grants presented their research at the 2016 NCFR Annual Conference, held in November 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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 3,000 family researchers, practitioners, and educators. For more information on the National Council on Family Relations or its scholarly publications, visit the NCFR website at