Time to Add to Calendar 2018-10-22 00:00:00 2018-10-23 00:00:00 26th Annual National Symposium on Family Issues-Rural Families and Communities Nittany Lion Inn, University Park campus, State College, PA Population Research Institute css7@psu.edu America/New_York public
Location Nittany Lion Inn, University Park campus, State College, PA
Two story white home across a small four-way intersection with a stop sign and church.

Rural Families and Communities

The 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.

Book Citation

Book Cover for Rural Families and Communities in the United States

Glick, J. E., McHale, S. M., & King, V. (Eds.). (2020). Rural families and communities in the United States: Facing challenges and leveraging opportunities. New York: Springer

Book Access Information

If your university library subscribes to Springer's eBook package, you will now be able to read the book online, download chapters and/or purchase a $24.95 paperback version of the book through the service MyCopy. Check with your university library to find out if the eBook package has been purchased and if the MyCopy feature is turned on. Then search in your library's catalog system for the book title. You should be directed to www.springer.com.

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

8:15 am Check in; Coffee and lite breakfast

8:45 am Welcome and Opening Remarks

Session 1: Families and rural economies: How conditions of work and family life in rural communities impact well-being

This session focuses on the labor market realities facing families in rural areas. Rural poverty has persisted for decades. Yet, there is no one portrait of rural places and the challenges they face because economic and demographic shifts create a diverse landscape of rural communities. Families too have changed over time as they must adapt to the opportunities and conditions of work that also vary across rural communities. Research in this session highlights the multiple facets of family life impacted by work conditions across diverse rural communities, the policies of the past, and future policy directions needed to support rural families.

  • Trouble in the heartland: Poverty and the contradictions of rural America
    Ann R. Tickamyer, Professor of Rural Sociology, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, Penn State
  • Intersecting changes in rural America: Implications of the changing labor force and family demographics since the mid-century
    Marybeth J. Mattingly, Director, Vulnerable Families Research Program, Carsey School of Public Health, University of New Hampshire
  • Declining labor force participation and opportunity: Exploring changes in employment and wages in the places left behind
    Mark Partridge, Professor and Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

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

This session focuses on the developmental contexts of youth and families in rural areas in the United States. Research in this session addresses risks and resilience of Latino, African American and Anglo-American children and adolescents in several different regions of the country. Relying on unique, longitudinal and in-depth family data on the lived experiences of minority youth in different regions, the studies presented in this session demonstrate how and why the rural context shapes family processes and youth development.

  • Family relationships and well-being of African American families residing in rural spaces
    Velma McBride Murry, Lois Autrey Betts Chair, Education and Human Development, Professor, Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University, Shauna M. Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Marketa Burnett, Developmental Psychology Graduate Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Misha N. Inniss-Thompson, Doctoral Program, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University
  • Growing up in rural America: Family life and early schooling in low wealth communities
    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
  • Prosociality in rurality: Prosocial development in rural communities in the United States
    Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity and Madison Memmot-Elison, Graduate Student, Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri, and Lisa Crockett, Professor Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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

This session highlights the diversity of rural communities and the health and well-being of families living in rural America today. Presenters will address the variation in opioid use disorders and opioid mortality across rural areas, the challenges of population aging for the future of family and community support in rural areas, and the role of immigration in spurring rural population growth and possible resurgence of rural areas now and into the future.

  • Bifurcation and differentiation: How vulnerable are American communities to automation and trade?
    Emily J. Wornell, Research Assistant Professor, Indiana Communities Institute, Srikant Devaraj, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Business and Economic Research, Michael J. Hicks, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research, and George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics, Miller College of Business, and Dagney Faulk, Director of Research and Research Professor, Center for Business and Economic Research, Ball State University
  • The opioid crisis and other substance use challenges in rural America
    Shannon M. Monnat, Associate Professor of Sociology and Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Nonmetropolitan aging in the United States: How young-adult out-migration, retirement in-migration, and increased middle-age mortality lead to distinct aging environments
    John Cromartie
    , Geographer with the Resource and Rural Economics Division of USDA, Economic Research Service

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.

Also see:
Family Symposium Homepage
Family Symposium Books

Contact Person Carolyn Scott
Contact Email css7@psu.edu
Event Type