Faculty Research

Macdonald Institute Stained GlassIn the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition (FRAN), we expect a lot from our students, and our role as faculty and staff is to help them achieve their diverse goals. Relationships often begin in the classroom, but they don't end there: advising, counseling, coaching, mentoring and supporting - our faculty and staff make it all possible. How do they do so much? The answer starts with our excellent student-to-faculty ratio, and that's not even counting our support personnel and everyone else who makes the FRAN community work. We all play different roles on campus, but we share a common goal, to offer FRAN students the best educational experience we can.

You'll find our professors are available for discussion both in and out of the classroom. This personal emphasis and the first-rate quality of our instruction result in recognition of our faculty at the international, national and provincial levels. Browse our web page listings to learn more about some of our outstanding faculty members.

Faculty interests and research programs

Faculty interests and research programs provide for a range of thesis topics within each program area. The multidisciplinary faculty represents education, family therapy, nutrition, psychology, sociology, and social work. Faculty share a common interest in expanding and applying knowledge about nutrition, family relations and human development, especially in relation to the economic, emotional, nutritional, psychological, and social well-being of individuals and families across the life cycle. Three primary research themes cut across the entire department:

1.    Health & Well Being

  • Physical health and well-being
  • nutrition, diet, exercise, and other health behaviours
  • obesity prevention
  • body composition
  • assessment and amelioration of risks
  • psychosocial determinants of health
  • human sexuality
  • health concerns at specific stages in the lifespan
  • Social and mental health
  • causes and prevention of problem gambling
  • family violence
  • depression
  • stress and psychological well-being
  • health in couple and family relationships

2.    Parenting, Parent-Child Relationships

  • bidirectional influences in parent-child relationships; child as active agent
  • factors influencing parenting: sibling relationships; peer relationships
  • father involvement in parenting and child development
  • work-family influences: negotiating time; impact of work-family stress on couple relationships and parent-child relations
  • strategies for co-parenting
  • intergenerational relationships
  • supports for parents of children with disabilities/health problems

3.    Community Programs & Services

  • early childhood education and child care
  • program evaluation
  • primary prevention to support low income families and children
  • community supports for parenting; children at risk
  • older volunteers dietetics in primary care
  • community nutrition
  • delivery of couple and family therapy programs.

Explore faculty research interests at the Faculty page