Family Science provides unique and important perspectives on understanding and working with families.

While research in psychology and sociology focuses on observing and describing individuals or groups, the focus in
Family Science is specifically on families and understanding the distinct dynamics we find within them
— in relationships, interactions, and more.

Our Work is…

Family Science focuses on strengthening healthy interpersonal relationships within all types of families — between parents, romantic partners, parents and their children, siblings, and other family relationships — at all stages of life.


Family Science focuses on strengthening healthy interpersonal relationships within all types of families — between parents, romantic partners, parents and their children, siblings, and other family relationships — at all stages of life.

Family Science has evolved into its own discipline, but pieces of it stem from other social sciences, like sociology, psychology, anthropology, family and consumer sciences, and demography.  


Family Science has evolved into its own discipline, but pieces of it stem from other social sciences, like sociology, psychology, anthropology, family and consumer sciences, and demography.  

Family Science professionals use research findings to create programs that will best serve families, and they implement evidence-based practices when working with families. 


Family Science professionals use research findings to create programs that will best serve families, and they implement evidence-based practices when working with families. 


Family Science professionals believe all families have strengths. A strengths-based approach is about developing sustainable, self-sufficient families by helping identify and establish additional strengths — not by saving, doing for, or fixing families.


Family Science professionals believe all families have strengths. A strengths-based approach is about developing sustainable, self-sufficient families by helping identify and establish additional strengths — not by saving, doing for, or fixing families.

Family Science professionals strive to prevent problems within families before they occur, or minimize existing problems, using education and a strengths-based approach. 


Family Science professionals strive to prevent problems within families before they occur, or minimize existing problems, using education and a strengths-based approach. 

Family Science professionals have the knowledge and skills to apply theory and research findings through an educational, preventive, and supportive approach when working directly with families in a variety of contexts. 


Family Science professionals have the knowledge and skills to apply theory and research findings through an educational, preventive, and supportive approach when working directly with families in a variety of contexts. 


Understanding Family Science 

A family isn't just a collection of individuals — as a whole, a family is greater than the sum of its parts.

Dr. Stephan M. Wilson, a professor of Human Development and Family Science and dean at Oklahoma State University, explains what sets family apart from other groups and why the Family Science lens is so important.

Unique Skills

Like many other professionals, Family Science professionals know how to think critically and analytically, and how to work in and lead teams. They’ve learned skills in program development, grant writing, and research, and they have strong communication and problem-solving abilities.

With a Family Science education and background, however, Family Science professionals are uniquely positioned to: 

  • understand family research findings as they apply to evolving families
  • recognize what healthy family functioning and relationships look like
  • prevent problems within families before they occur
  • use an educational approach to help families identify and build on their strengths
  • positively impact society by empowering families to enrich their own well-being