Family Policy

The specialization in family policy will enable the doctoral graduate to assess the impact of public and private policy on children and families and consequently on the larger society.

Depending on the interests and preparation of the student, specific issue areas may vary.  The study of the history of family policy concerning children and families will provide a context for present policies and will clarify possibilities for the future.

Specialization Faculty

Specialization Coordinator: Dr. Anna Zajicek

  • Kameri Christy CV, Ph.D. (University of Kansas), Professor, Social Work
  • Alishia Ferguson, Ph.D. (University of Texas), Associate Professor, Social Work
  • Jennifer Henk, Ph.D. (University of Missouri-Columbia), Assistant Professor, Human Environmental Sciences
  • Lori Holyfield CV, Ph.D. (University of Georgia), Professor, Sociology
  • Yvette Murphy-Erby CV, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina), Professor and Associate Dean, of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
  • Marcia Shobe CV, Ph.D. (University of Kansas), Director & Professor, Social Work
  • Anna Zajicek CV, Ph.D. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Professor and Department Chair, Sociology

Course of study (12 hours):

  • PUPB 6123  Research Problems in Policy -- collaborative research with core faculty in specialty area.
  • SOCI 5043 Public Policy, Children and Families (taught in sociology) -- the study of the impact of public policy on children and families, and the ways in which policy can be created, modified and changed. Includes the history of public policy concerning children and families.
  • HESC 5403 Advanced Family Relations -- subtle elements in marriage, parent-child, and other relations among family members and between the family and the larger community. Recent cultural change as it affects the family. Recent research and literature. Prerequisite: psychology, sociology, family relations.

In addition, three hours of approved electives must be taken. This course will be chosen in consultation with the Ph.D. course committee, to fit the particular needs of the student. The following courses would meet these requirements:

  • Law 5073 Domestic Relations -- this is the basic course about the legal problems generated by family relationships.
  • Law 5063 Education Law -- this course examines legal issues in public education, including the rights of students and parents.
  • Law 7012 Juvenile Justice Seminar -- an examination of the juvenile justice system.
  • Law 6013 Alternative Dispute Resolution -- deals with the alternatives to formal litigation for resolving various types of disputes, including those involving domestic relations-an area where mediation is common.