FAMNET Family Well-being Research Summit

small colorful squares with drawings across a white background

The Family Well-being Research Network (FAMNET), an NIH-funded research network advancing the science of emotional well-being, hosted an interdisciplinary research summit in Cambridge, MA, this June. The event brought together FAMNET grantees, mentors, experts in family well-being, representatives from the National Institutes of Health, and members of partner emotional well-being networks EMOT-ECON and M3EWB. Attendees discussed the state of the field, ongoing research, and gaps in knowledge, with the goal of outlining a research agenda to guide the field of family well-being measurement going forward.

FAMNET hosted a dinner in Cambridge the night prior, where attendees had the opportunity to meet in person, many for the first time. The summit opened with participants diagraming their own family structure on colored paper that was posted on a wall to challenge existing definitions of “family.” Later sessions included small group discussions to tackle concepts of family-level outcomes within the context of measurement. Kim Ling Murtaugh, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA, provided a capsule commentary via zoom on the family as an organization from an organizational behavior framework, remaining afterwards for discussions with the group on the need for movement despite challenges. During the day-long meeting, attendees took a break for an origami session, offering a much-needed respite that aligned with the focus of emotional well-being. Later discussions examined how perspectives on family and associated outcomes informs attendees’ research and considered ways to expand the perspective to be more inclusive while still valuable to the field. The summit concluded with a forward-looking discussion on a future research agenda.

Meeting proceedings will be published in an online format; follow-up conversations among FAMNET investigators and grantees will focus on disseminating the “state of the science” of family well-being measurement and translating proceedings into recommendations and guidelines for the field.

Learn more: Read about FAMNET funded projects
Learn more: View the FAMNET family well-being instrument repository

Read more: FAMNET Online Instrument Repositories
Read more: FAMNET Scholar Receives Early Career Award