In concert with increasing sophistication in medical screening and intervention technologies, our basic human connection to others remains a key determinant of our individual health and longevity. The crucial role of connection to, and support from, others in promoting health and longevity is well established and family members represent a source of support that is unique from other social groups. Thus, the Center for Families at Purdue University proposes a series of annual thematic conferences focused on family dynamics and health that will address the following primary objectives: 1) accelerate scientific understanding of the influence of family dynamics in promoting health and preventing disease, 2) address family contexts for promoting health and preventing disease among individuals across the lifespan, 3) unite researchers representing distinct health and human science disciplines and theoretical approaches in the study of family dynamics and health. Our proposed conference series on "Emerging Research in Families and Health" is organized to advance recognition and understanding of family processes in the promotion of individual health and well-being. Each meeting will include presentations and workshops by nationally-recognized scholars, research posters by conference participants, and interactive discussions between speakers and participants. Importantly, presentations and workshops at each annual meeting will be designed not only to provide state-of-the-science knowledge, but to identify the gaps in this knowledge that present challenges and opportunities for advancing research on family dynamics and health. Our lead conference "Research with Dyads and Families: Challenges and Solutions in Working with Interdependent Data" will prepare family and health researchers with state-of-the-science methods for designing projects involving multiple family members and for appropriately analyzing the resulting interdependent data. This conference will be held over two days in May, 2010 (May 18 and 19). Additional meetings proposed in our series will feature family influences on individual health including dynamics around diet and nutrition choices, communication about adopting healthy habits throughout life, and military families'adaptation to the physical and psychological sequelae of combat experience. Although related health and social science meetings address these health-related behaviors, the critical role of families in promoting individual health across the lifespan is not often given center stage. This series of annual meetings will be supported, in part, by the Center for Families at Purdue University. We also will collect a nominal registration fee from participants. In addition, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University has agreed to sponsor its graduate student scholars to attend each conference.
Our proposed conference series on Emerging Research in Families and Health is organized to advance recognition and understanding of family processes in the promotion of individual health and well-being. Meetings proposed in our annual series will feature family influences on individual health in such contexts as diet and nutrition choices and communication about adopting healthy habits throughout life, as well as military families'adaptation to physical and psychological wounds of veterans. Our lead conference will prepare family and health researchers with state-of-the-science methods for designing projects involving multiple family members and for appropriately analyzing the resulting interdependent data.