College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Extension collaborations

The Department of Family Social Science includes faculty from the University's Extension Service who ensure research is translated into programs that support and improve the lives of families and communities. Learn more about them below.

    Jodi Dworkin

    Jodi Dworkin’s research and outreach focuses on risk-taking among adolescents and college students, promoting positive family development, parenting adolescents and college students, and the role of technology in these relationships. A critical piece of her work is developing research-based outreach services to promote positive family development.

    Current projects

    Parenting College Students: When your child goes to college
    This website provides research-based comprehensive resources to parents of college students to support and empower successful transitions to college, increasing responsibility, and good decision-making skills.

    Parenting 2.0
    A collaborative project designed to gain a better understanding of the ways in which, and the reasons that parents use technology; and to better understand the outcomes from parents’ use of technology.

    U Connect
    A collaboration between the University of MN, Kentucky State University, and Tennessee State University, U Connect uses a three state model to address the critical concerns of middle school-aged children in historically vulnerable and marginalized populations.

    Families with Teens
    The Families with Teens program helps parents meet the challenges of raising teens. There are resources for parents and professionals (in English and Spanish) designed to build family strengths and more confident parenting, including better family communication and decision-making, and parent-teen relationships.

    Seminar for Parents: Alcohol Use on Campus
    Free online course designed to provide parents of college students with information about alcohol use, and provide tools to support and empower successful transitions to college, increasing responsibility, and good decision-making skills.

    Seminar for Parents: Finances
    Free online course for parents to understand how to talk with their college student children about making responsible decisions when it comes to managing their finances.

    Jenifer McGuire

    Jenifer McGuire’s extension focus in family development considers individuals well-being within the context of family and social structures, and seeks to create systems that can best support structures for optimal development. Her research areas have focused predominantly on adolescent sexual identity and health, and the health and well-being of transgender youth.

    Her current focus is on gender identity development across a broad spectrum and family relationships among transgender and genderqueer identified youth and young adults. She has collaborated closely with the Parent Education team in family development and the Center for Sexual Health over the last several years in the development of new assessment and research protocols.

    Current projects

    Children Youth and Families Consortium (CYFC)
    In her work, McGuire collaborates with Extension to help Minnesotans make informed decisions leading to better health and well-being. Additional materials included:

    National Center for Gender Spectrum Health
    This UMN center expands longitudinal cross-site data collection opportunities for clinics serving transgender clients.

    Parents Forever coparent education program
    This program provides in person and online education to families in transition to support parents through changes in custody arrangements.

    Joyce Serido

    Joyce Serido is one of the first scholars to situate her research at the intersection of family financial processes and changing economic conditions, with particular focus on youth and young adults. As principal investigator for the APLUS research initiative, she leads a multidisciplinary research team studying how young people develop their financial behaviors, and how these behaviors change as young people mature and take on more adult roles and responsibilities. This research provides a foundation for Extension programming to apply scholarly insights to help youth and families make informed financial decisions in the face of change and uncertainty.

    Current projects

    Fostering Achievement and Connection to Engage Students (FACES)
    With funding provided by a USDA grant through the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture, this collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC), and Bolder Options, provided opportunities for youth to practice decision-making about everyday choices (e.g., spending, eating, and exercise).Two self-discovery toolkits are available for use in after-school youth programs:

    • Booshke Giin (It’s up to you; it’s your decision) , uses Ojibwe legends to emphasize how financial lesson related to Native culture
    • Make Money Make Sense, an activity-based toolkit

    Peer$ are undergraduate students who conduct campus workshops and discussion sessions to engage students in discussions and provide resources to help youth connect the financial choices they make with the outcomes of those choices.

    Student Loan TIPS (Texting Intervention Project)
    Family Finance Extension specialists from ten states in the North Central Region developed an educational toolkit that includes a series of four educational podcasts on student loan repayment. The toolkit was made possible by an Association of Financial Counseling & Planning Education Mary O'Neil Grant.