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 and is aimed at identifying novel directions for population and family research.


Monday, October 23 - Check-in and Coffee 8:15 am Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom (lower level)

8:45 am-noon

Session 1: Parent' role in children’s screen time

Moderator: Susan McHale, PhD, Director, Social Science Research Institute, Distinguished Professor of Human Development, Professor of Demography, Penn State University

Adolescents as innovators: Re-conceptualizing technology use in families - Jodi Dworkin, PhD, Associate Head and Professor, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota

Developing a research agenda for families and technologies in an era of migration - Lynn Schofield Clark, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Media, Film & Journalism, and Director, Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media, University of Denver


12:00-1:30 pm Private lunch for speakers and graduate students (signup required) in Penn State Room (1st floor)


1:30-4:30 pm

Session 2: Role of technology in relationship formation: Dating and mating in the internet age

Moderator: Diane Felmlee, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Penn State University

Online dating: Changing intimacy one swipe at a time? - Pepper Schwartz, PhD, Professor of Sociology, and Nicholas Velotta, Research Associate, Department of Sociology, University of Washington

Technology in relational systems: Changes to roles, rules, and boundaries - Katherine Hertlein, PhD, LMFT, Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Presentation Handout

How Tinder and the dating apps are and are not changing dating and mating in the US - Michael Rosenfeld, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University


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


Tuesday, October 24 - Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom (lower level)


Session 3: Technology and changing family ties

Moderator: Scott Yabiku, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Demography , Penn State University

Understanding television "effects" on international family change - Rukmalie Jayakody PhD, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University

Adult children's maternal contact increased: Did mobile phones play a role? - Judy K. Treas, PhD, Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology, University of California Irvine and Zoya Gubernskaya, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Albany

Toward a paradigm for reducing risk for mental health conditions associated with social media use: Encouraging "REAL" communication - Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, Dean, University Honors College, 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 check 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 & Criminology, Department of Human Development & Family Studies, Department of Psychology, Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, 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




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