25th Annual National Symposium on Family Issues - Families and Technology

Date 10/23/17 to 10/24/17
Location Nittany Lion Inn, Boardroom, University Park, PA
Contact Carolyn Scott
Contact Email css7@psu.edu

Families and Technology

New communication technologies such as smart phones and social media are rapidly diffusing across the globe among both children and adults.  Fifteen percent of U.S. adults have used an online dating site. American teens spend an average of nine hours a day engaged in social media such as online videos or music. Ninety-one percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone, as do 89% of adults in Nigeria, 83% in Ghana, 76% in Bangladesh and 65% in Uganda.  As of the fourth quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.86 billion monthly active users worldwide. Technological changes such as these are rapidly changing how couples meet and form relationships, how parents raise their children, and how family members remain connected across long distances. The 2017 National Symposium on Family Issues focuses on how these dramatic changes are shaping and changing families and family life in both positive and negative ways.


Monday, October 23 - Check-in and Coffee 8:15 am

8:45 am-noon

Session 1: Role of technology in relationship formation: Dating and mating in the internet age

Pepper Schwartz, PhD, Professor of Sociology, and Nicholas Velotta, Research Associate, Department of Sociology, University of Washington 

Belinda Robnett, PhD, Professor of Sociology, and Jess Lee, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, University of California, Irvine

Michael Rosenfeld, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University 


1:30-4:30 pm

Session 2: Screens and screams: How parents shape their children’s use of technology

Amy Nathanson, PhD, Professor, School of Communication, Ohio State University

Jodi Dworkin, PhD, Associate Head and Associate Professor, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota

Lynn Schofield Clark, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Media, Film & Journalism, and Director, Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media, University of Denver

4:30-5:45 pm Reception for all attendees in Alumni Lounge 

8:30 am-12:15 Tuesday, October 24

Session 3: Technology and Changing Family Ties

Rukmalie JayakodyPhD, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University

Katherine Hertlein, PhD, LMFT, Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Judy K. Treas, PhD, Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology, University of California Irvine and Zoya Gubernskaya, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Albany

Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science; Director, Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health, University of Pittsburgh

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 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, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Department of Psychology, and 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 $135 plus tax. The rate is not guaranteed after Sept. 22, 2017 or after the block is filled. Use reservation code FAML17A. 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

Download iCal