Our department aims to improve the health and well-being of youth, families, and their communities through applied research directed at the needs of these populations.

The charge for the Department of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences is to use research methods in development, implementation, and evaluation of programs to provide best practice/evidence-based programming and teach our students about research methods. Our department is seen as a leader in the translational research arena specific research areas include:

  • Healthy relationships and marriage education
  • Positive aging and family caregiving
  • Risky teen behaviors, dropout prevention and essential life skills for military families
  • Best Practices in synchronous and asynchronous family science practicums
  • The economic and health status of low-income rural families
  • A small steps change model for weight management
  • Impacts of home energy auditing
  • Dietary behavior and environmental impacts in African-American faith-based organizations
  • Local food systems and how local food impacts immigrant families
  • Food handling practices of amateur and professional food handlers
  • Food Insecurity
  • Tracking evaluation capacity in youth professionals
  • Child labor and occupational Injury
  • Race, inequality and childhood obesity

Our research informs our extension work, our research enriches the teaching and graduate student experience.

Our faculty have a long history of successful resource development from a variety of sources. With over $5M in funding for 2013 and over $18M in multi year commitments, our faculty are among the most successful in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in grants awarded. Our faculty also contribute to the scholarship of youth, families, and communities as evidenced by numerous papers published in the peer-reviewed literature, presentations at national meetings, and invited presentations in the US and internationally.