26th Annual National Symposium on Family Issues

Date 10/22/18 to 10/23/18
Location Nittany Lion Inn, University Park campus, State College, PA
Contact Carolyn Scott
Contact Email css7@psu.edu

Rural Families and Communities

Two story white home across a small four-way intersection with a stop sign and churchThe landscape of family life is ever changing. The strategies needed to maintain family economic stability, health and general well-being vary across space and place. Although the rural-urban divide is often portrayed as the most important geographic distinction, there is tremendous diversity across rural communities. Contrary to some depictions, families in rural areas come from diverse backgrounds. Further, some rural areas are resource constrained while others host opportunities that can support healthy families and child well-being. The 2018 National Symposium on Family Issues will focus on the challenges facing families in rural areas and the unique strategies invoked by families in rural areas today.


Monday, October 22 – Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom, lower level

8:15 am Check in; Coffee and lite breakfast

8:45 am Welcome and Introduction

Session 1: Family relationships and well-being: Family roles, relationships, and development pathways unique to those in rural areas

Velma McBride Murry, Lois Autrey Betts Chair, Education and Human Development; Professor, Human Development and Organization Development, Vanderbilt University; and Shauna M. Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Lynne Vernon-Feagans, The William C. Friday Distinguished Professor, Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, and Margaret M. Swingler, Research Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity, and Madison Memmot-Elison, Graduate student, Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri


12:00-1:30 Lunch on your own; Private lunch for speakers and graduate students in Penn State Room, first floor (Signup required; Signup will be sent to graduate students in early Oct.)



Session 2: Families and rural economies: How conditions of work and family life in rural communities impact well-being

Ann R. Tickamyer, Professor of Rural Sociology, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, Penn State

Beth Mattingly, Director of Research on Vulnerable Families, Carsey School of Public Health, University of New Hampshire

Mark Partridge, Professor and Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University


4:40-5:45 Reception for all attendees in Alumni Lounge, first floor


Tuesday, October 23 - Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom, lower level

8:45 am Check in; Coffee and lite breakfast

9:00 am - Noon

Session 3: Changing spaces and faces: The current economic and health challenges facing families across diverse rural areas

Shannon M. Monnat, Associate Professor of Sociology and Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Daniel Lichter, Ferris Family Professor of Life Course Studies in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Professor of Sociology, and Robert S. Harrison Director of the Institute for the Social Sciences, Cornell University; Mimmo Parisi, Executive Director, National Strategic Planning and Research Center (nSPARC), Mississippi State University; Yoselinda Mendoza, Graduate student, Department of Sociology, Cornell University

John Cromartie, Geographer with the Resource and Rural Economics Division of USDA, Economic Research Service


Symposium Registration - Pre-registration is required

Attendance is free for Penn State students and employees
$50 for students and post-docs from other universities
$90 for all others

We are not able to accept credit cards. Please make checks payable to "Penn State".

Mail check to: Carolyn Scott, Social Science Research Institute, Penn State, 114 Henderson, University Park PA 16802

Symposium Sponsors

The Symposium on Family Issues is sponsored annually by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R13 HD048150).

Thank you to our Penn State sponsors: Social Science Research Institute; Population Research Institute; Department of Sociology and Criminology; Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Department of Human Development and Family Studies; Department of Psychology; Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education; Prevention Research Center; and the Child Study Center.


A block of rooms is being held at the Nittany Lion Inn, where the Symposium will be held. Single occupancy rooms are $134 plus tax. The rate is not guaranteed after Sept. 21, 2018 or after the block is filled. Use reservation code FAMI18A. Contact the Inn at (800) 233-7505 or (814) 865-8500 or at www.pennstatehotels.com

For other lodging options visit statecollege.com and choose the Lodging tab. If you have questions, contact Carolyn Scott at css7@psu.edu


Parking is available in the Nittany Parking Deck next to the Nittany Lion Inn. Validation for free parking is available at the front desk.

(Please note that Penn State students are not allowed to park in the Nittany Deck.)

Family Care

If you need suggestions for family care, contact Carolyn Scott at css7@psu.edu

Also see:
Family Symposium Homepage
Family Symposium Books
official Twitter logo#PSUFamilySymp18

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