Each year, Penn State’s Population Research Institute and Social Science Research Institute, along with departments and centers in the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Health & Human Development, hold a two-day symposium focused on a key issue facing families. Each fall, about 200 scholars and policy experts attend what is now known as the National Symposium on Family Issues to consider a theme of multidisciplinary interest.

The Family Symposium is designed to focus on topics that appeal to (and are presented by) scholars from multiple disciplines who study family issues. Nine of the top scholars in the field of family research convene to present and critique research on the focal topic, consider future directions for research, and discuss how programs and public policy can effectively improve the state of families. The event gathers distinguished researchers, young scholars, and students in diverse fields such as family studies, child development, sociology, psychology, education, economics, anthropology, and policy studies, as well as health and human service providers and policy makers.

Past symposia have focused on issues such as: emerging methods in family research, African American families, diverging destinies of families in an era of increasing inequality, transitions to adulthood, and Hispanic children in immigrant families.

Attendees include Penn State students, faculty, and alumni; students and faculty from other institutions; community, state, and national policy makers; program staff; and social service administrators. The symposium is co-funded annually by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a number of Penn State departments and centers, including the Population Research Institute and the Social Science Research Institute.

Students are exposed to some of the most important issues in family science and become better scholars and practitioners by learning about the dimensions and complexity of problems facing families. Each symposium includes a reception designed to encourage students to network with world-renowned family scholars. Graduate students are also invited to attend a luncheon with their choice of presenters.

The symposium is organized by Susan M. McHale, Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; Valarie King, Professor of Sociology, Demography, and Human Development, and Director of the Family Demography Training Program at the Population Research Institute; and Jennifer Glick, Director, Population Research Institute and Arnold S. and Bette G. Hoffman Professor of Sociology.

NSFI Book Series

Books based on each symposium bring the event to an even wider audience. The volumes have received favorable reviews and are used as reference works by faculty, students, and practitioners. The symposium is a landmark event each year in the ongoing study of families. It reaches a wide audience and affects the national conversation on a very important topic. View previous symposia and books.

Next Symposium

30th National Symposium on Family Issues
2022 date to be announced
State College, PA or virtual TBD

For more information, please contact:

Carolyn Scott

The De Jong Lecture is supported by the Caroline M. and Gordon F. DeJong Lectureship in Social Demography Endowment. It is administered jointly by the Department of Sociology and the Population Research Institute.

Gordon F. De Jong is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Demography and Senior Scientist with Penn State’s Population Research Institute.

Caroline M. De Jong is a former middle school teacher and has been involved in numerous community, church, and university-related organizations, including the American Association of University Women, Stay-and-Play Nursery School, Presbyterian Women, and the Center County Board of Elections.

View list of De Jong Lectures since 2006

For more information, contact:

Carolyn Scott

The Integration Challenges of African Immigrants

Findings from an Ethnographic Study of Liberians in Pittsburgh

Date: Feb 16, 2021

Presented by: Dr. Yolanda Covington-Ward

The PSU Population Research Institute & Syracuse University CPR/Lerner Center Joint Symposium

Population Health, Children and Family Policy

Date: Jan 26, 2021

Presented by: Shannon Monnat, Leonard Lopoo, Christian Connell, Amy Schwartz, Andrew Fenelon, Erica Frankenberg, Colleen Heflin, Léa Pessin, Sarah Damaske

PRI Graduate Students Flash Talks

Date: Nov 10, 2020

Presented by: Matt Brooks, Marco Faytong-Haro, Joeun Kim, Jane Lankes, Saman Naz

Link-tracing designs for the study of migration

Results from the Chinese Immigrants in the Raleigh-Durham Area (ChIRDU) Study

Date: Oct 13, 2020

Presented by: Dr. Giovanna Merli

The Place-Based Turn in Federal Policy

Implications for Urban Demography & Inequality

Date: Sep 29, 2020

Presented by: Dr. Laura Tach

Have Changing Family Demographics Narrowed the Gender Wage Gap?

Date: Sep 15, 2020

Presented by: Dr. Alexandra Killewald

Wealth Inequality in Young Adulthood

Defining the Black Middle Class

Date: Feb 11, 2020

Presented by: Dr. Fenaba Addo

An Gene-Environment Study of the Unhealthy Assimilation Hypothesis of Obesity in US Hispanic/Latinos

Date: Jan 28, 2020

Presented by: Dr. Lindsay Fernandez-Rhodes

Population, Health & Environment Flash Talks

Date: Jan 21, 2020

Presented by: Yubraj Acharya, Guangqing Chi, Heather Randell, Asher Rosinger, and Alexis Santos

The Social Context of Influence, Coercion, and Control

Intimate Relationships and Reproductive Behaviors

Date: Dec 03, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Jennifer Barber

Gender Minority Parents

Family Creation, Child Outcomes, & Couple Dynamics

Date: Nov 12, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Samantha Tornello

A Demographer's Perspective on Longterm Social Change: 1972-2018

Date: Oct 29, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Michael Hout

Age at immigration, generational status, and death among children of immigrant mothers

A longitudinal analysis of siblings

Date: Oct 08, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Neil K. Mehta

Connecting the Dots

Using social network analysis to untangle the factors driving international migration

Date: Sep 24, 2019

Presented by: Cassandra McMillan

Childbearing and women's mid-life well-being in a low-income, high-fertility context

Date: Sep 10, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Sarah Hayford

Time to Mainstream Environment into Migration Theory?

Date: Apr 23, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Lori Hunter

Labor shortage or labor strife?

Worker perspectives on the labor supply problem on Pennsylvania mushroom farms

Date: Apr 02, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Kathleen Sexsmith

Long-Term Decline in Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S. Since 1850

Date: Mar 19, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Xi Song

Is there a Global Second Demographic Transition?

World Trends and Education, Health, and Economic Correlates from 1960-2010.

Date: Feb 26, 2019

Presented by: Dr. David Baker, Dr. Ashton Verdery, Erik Hernandez, Anne Morse, Hyerim Kim

Exposure to Violence and Malnutrition of Children in Iraq

Date: Jan 29, 2019

Presented by: Dr. Yubraj Acharya

Data Collection as Disruption

Insights from a Longitudinal Study of Young Adulthood

Date: Nov 06, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Jennifer Trinitapoli

Networks, Diffusion and Inequality

Date: Oct 16, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Filiz Garip

Does the Transition to Grandparenthood Deter Gray Divorce?

A Test of the Braking Hypothesis

Date: Oct 09, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Susan Brown

Young Women's Unrealized Educational Expectations and Mental Health

Evidence from Malawi

Date: Sep 25, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Emily Smith Greenaway

Using Response Time to Model Cognition, Cognitive & Physical Decline and Mortality in Social Science Surveys

Date: Sep 11, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Seth Sanders

Beyond Discrimination: Why Vigilance Matters for Population Health

Date: Apr 17, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Hedwig Lee

Economic Volatility and Family Building Behaviors during the Transition to Adulthood

Date: Apr 03, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Shannon Cavanagh

Liminal Legality and Education

Evidence from Salvadoran Child Migrants

Date: Mar 27, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Matthew Hall

Demographic and Health Impacts of Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa

Date: Mar 13, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Brian Theide

Data Security at Penn State

Date: Feb 27, 2018

Presented by: Donald Welch

The PSU Administrative Data Accelerator

Date: Feb 13, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Daniel Max Crowley

Finding a Living Kidney Donor

Preliminary Evidence

Date: Jan 30, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Jonathan Daw

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Early and Nonmarital Fertility, and Women’s Health at Midlife

Date: Jan 09, 2018

Presented by: Dr. Kristi Williams

Where college graduates move

Human capital, locational attractivity, and interstate migration in the US

Date: Dec 05, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Richard A. Wright

The “Choices” that Individuals Make

Demography's Perspectives on Stratified Reproduction, Gender, and Choice in our Neoliberal World

Date: Oct 19, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Nancy Riley

Diverse Origins, Disparate Outcomes

The New Landscape of Black America

Date: Oct 17, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Tod G. Hamilton

A Real Disaster

How Rising Costs of Natural Hazards Are Increasing Social Inequality in America

Date: Oct 10, 2017

Presented by: Dr. James Elliott

Cohabitation Nation: Race, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships

Date: Sep 26, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Sharon Sassler

Dissolution, Conflict and Australian Children's Developmental Outcomes

Date: Sep 19, 2017

Presented by: Dr. David Ribar

Using mixed-methods to examine public beliefs about the link between housing affordability and health

Results from a national survey

Date: Sep 12, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Selena Ortiz

Life course employment patterns among Black, Hispanic, and White Women

Date: Apr 04, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Léa Pessin

Genetic Endowments, Educational Attainment, and Social Mobility

Date: Mar 28, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Jason Fletcher

Deporting the American Dream

Date: Mar 21, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Jacob Rugh

Where 'Old Heads' Prevail

Age and Inmate Status in Men's Prison Unit

Date: Feb 07, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Derek Kreager

Car Crashes, Drug Overdoses, Suicides, & MURDERS

Predictors of Early Death in High School & Beyond

Date: Jan 24, 2017

Presented by: Dr. Rob Warren

Demography in the Big Data Revolution

Date: Oct 18, 2016

Presented by: Dr. Stephanie Bohon

Population Dynamics After a Natural Disaster

Date: Apr 26, 2016

Presented by: Dr. Elizabeth Frankenberg

Constructing Crime and Justice

Eliciting, Engaging, and Evaluating Evidence about Mass Incarceration

Date: Apr 19, 2016

Presented by: Dr. Becky Pettit

A Structural Approach to Intergroup Contact

Implications for Health Behavior and Attitudes

Date: Feb 09, 2016

Presented by: Dr. Sarah Cowan

Extensive Evidence of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Disability Identification in U.S. Schools

Date: Jan 19, 2016

Presented by: Dr. Paul Morgan

Heterogeneity at Birth, Obesity in Childhood and Hypertension in Adults

A Population Level Approach to Developmental Programming

Date: Oct 20, 2015

Presented by: Dr. Timothy Gage

Motivating the Family Migration and Early Life Outcomes Project

Date: Oct 13, 2015

Presented by: Dr. Jennifer Glick

School Performance and Mortality

The Role of Work and Family Trajectories Across the Life Course

Date: Sep 29, 2015

Presented by: Dr. James Raymo

The Social Stratification of Aging and Health

Combining Race, Gender, SES and Age to Test Multiple-Hierarchy Stratification and Life Course Hypotheses

Date: Apr 21, 2015

Presented by: Dr. Tyson Brown

The Consequences of Concentrating Former Prisoners in the Same Neighborhoods

A Natural Experiment

Date: Apr 14, 2015

Presented by: Dr. David Kirk

Marriage, Cohabitation, and Health

Date: Mar 24, 2015

Presented by: Dr. Paul Amato

Casual Effects of Single-Sex Schools on Adolescents' Weight

Date: Mar 03, 2015

Presented by: Dr. Hyunjoon Park

Dr. Clogg was nationally and internationally known for his work in quantitative methods and demography, particularly on the analysis of rates, standardization methods, and latent structure analysis. Contributions from friends and colleagues led to the creation of the Clifford C. Clogg Memorial Lectureship fund. The fund was endowed in 1996. Leo Goodman gave the inaugural lecture on September 27, 1996.

A native of Oberlin, Ohio, Clifford C. Clogg earned his B.A. in sociology from Ohio University in 1971, an M.A. in sociology and an M.S. in statistics in 1974, and his Ph.D. in sociology in 1977, all from the University of Chicago. He joined Penn State as an assistant professor of sociology in 1976 and rapidly moved through the ranks until he was designated a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Professor of Statistics in 1990.

Dr. Clogg wrote extensively on the statistical analysis of categorical data, covering loglinear models, cohort analysis, association models, and mobility tables. His research had received continuous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 1979. Dr. Clogg served on the NSF advisory panel for the sociology program and on the NSF advisory panel for measurement, methods and statistics in the social sciences.

His honors included being named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.  He was elected a member of the Sociological Research Association in 1987 and received the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award from the Methodology Section of the American Sociological Association for his technical contributions to social research. He also received a Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation and a Significant Achievement Award from Ohio University.

Dr. Clogg provided considerable editorial service to the Journal of the American Statistical Association culminating in the coordinating and applications editorship (1989-1991). In addition, he was an active member of the American Sociological Association, the Population Association of America, and numerous other professional societies. This extraordinary level of external involvement did not keep Professor Clogg from being a key contributor to his two departments at Penn State. Besides fulfilling a double set of department duties, he supervised a total of twelve master degree students and thirteen Ph.D. students in statistics and sociology. These students now hold a variety of positions in government and academe.

Organized by the graduate students in the Dual-degree in Demography program

The Population Research Institute (PRI) Graduate Student Methodology Workshops were initiated in 1994 by Dennis Hogan, PRI Director, and Gordon De Jong, Director of the Demography Program, to enhance the breadth and depth of training in demographic methods for PRI's Dual-Title Graduate Degree students. The goals of the workshop series are to empower students to identify important methodological issues, to expand their analytical skills related to those issues, and to take responsibility for inviting noted lecturers with whom they ordinarily would not interact. In addition, the workshop gives students experience in developing and managing a scientific conference.

Previous workshop topics have included:

  • Population Projections, 26th Annual Workshop, May 14, 2019
  • Hard to Reach Populations, 25th Annual Workshop, May 16, 2018
  • Mixed Methods, 24th Annual Workshop, May 16, 2017
  • Agent-Based Modeling, 23rd Annual Workshop, May 17, 2016
  • Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity, 22nd Annual Workshop, June 15, 2015

PRI Family Demography Working Group

This group provides a forum for scholars focused on family adaptations to shifting social and economic conditions such as changing cultural and gender norms, global economy, and the nature of the workforce. This group also addresses the importance of demographic processes that shape social and kinship networks that in turn influence family member’s well-being and caregiving capacity.

Contact Molly Martin for more information.

PRI Population Health Working Group

This working group brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers using multiple methodological tools and cutting-edge data collection to understand the biopsychosocial determinants of health and health trajectories across the life course. Researchers also discuss ongoing projects addressing social disparities in health across the life course and wellbeing along multiple time scales.

Contact JD Daw for more information.

PRI Grant Writing Working Group

This group is for those who are actively planning or writing an external grant with a PDB (Population Dynamics Branch) focus.

Contact Jen Glick for more information.

PRI Environmental Demography Working Group

The goal of this working group is to bring together researchers with interests in relationships between the natural environment and population processes broadly defined. Monthly meetings will offer opportunities for members to present work in progress, discuss new and innovative publications in the field of environmental demography, and develop collaborative research ideas.

Contact Heather Randell for more information.

PRI Communities and Place Working Group

The goal of the group is to facilitate discussion on this topic and provide a venue for faculty members and graduate students to share and receive feedback on related projects which they seek to turn into publications.

Contact John Iceland for more information