PhD in Family Studies

Director: Dr. Jonathan Caspi
Office: University Hall, Room 4182
Phone: (973) 655-6905
Email: phdfamily@montclair.edu

Overview

Family Studies is a multi- and interdisciplinary field, drawing on a range of social science disciplines including sociology, social work, education, gerontology, and community and developmental psychology. The Ph.D. in Family Studies program considers family life within larger socio-cultural contexts and explores how issues of power, privilege, and social justice interact to differentially impact family configurations. The program’s unique strengths include:

  • Individually focused areas of study sustained throughout the coursework
  • Integrating theory, research and practice with a focus on the local context
  • Preparation of scholars and practitioners as advocates for positive change for family well-being

The Ph.D. in Family Studies program prepares students to:

  • Bring an interdisciplinary, critical lens to the analysis of challenges and issues that impact the well-being of families across the life course;
  • Conduct research that furthers the field of Family Studies and contributes to the knowledge base of diverse family forms;
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of an area of Family Studies of their own choosing through focused study;
  • Be effective advocates in their chosen areas of expertise for policies, practices, and interventions that would support the development and well-being of families across the life course.

Due to the multi and interdisciplinary nature of the program, our students come from a variety of fields, including family studies, human development, education, social work, human services, psychology, disability and rehabilitation services, gerontology, and sociology. Family Studies professionals focus on the strengths and challenges of the family unit, examining a diverse range of family issues and seeking solutions to family problems. The applied, multidisciplinary focus of the discipline makes Ph.D. graduates very attractive to employers in higher education, government, and nonprofit and private sectors. Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue a wide range of professional opportunities as faculty members in colleges and universities, program administrators, researchers and evaluators, and policymakers, and positions in organizations focusing on children, youth, adults, older adults, and families.

Students admitted to the program will have the opportunity to work with faculty members pursuing research in a wide variety of areas related to families, including:

  • Cultural and social issues affecting parenting and families
  • Sibling relationships
  • Relational aggression and bullying among adolescents
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Immigrant families
  • Transition to young adulthood
  • Aging family relationships and intergenerational dynamics
  • Substance abuse, depression and suicide among young people
  • LGBT-headed families
  • Parenting
  • Family stress
  • African American families and first-generation college students
  • Evaluation research
  • Remarriage and stepfamily dynamics

For more information on our faculty members and their areas of research, please click here: Faculty Member Bios

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Family Studies (PhD) - Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program
Family Studies is a multidisciplinary field, drawing on a range of social science disciplines including sociology, social work, education, gerontology, and community and developmental psychology. The PhD in Family Studies program considers family life within larger socio-cultural contexts and explores how issues of power, privilege, and social justice interact to differentially impact family configurations.

View Program Brochure - Family Studies PhD