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Libby Plowman

Libby Plowman

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Ph.D., Family Science - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
M.A., Family Social Science - University of Minnesota
B.A., English and Psychology - St. Olaf College

I've spent the majority of my career in Family Social Science learning how to think critically, find innovative solutions to long-standing problems, and incorporate values of social justice in quantitative research. During my Master's program, I explored family gerontology, intergenerational ambivalence, and family rituals. For my thesis, I collected data to learn about family rituals and intergenerational ambivalence in families experiencing a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Other highlights of my graduate education include authoring and coauthoring peer-reviewed journal articles, completing an internship abroad at Tranby Aboriginal College in Sydney, NSW, and speaking at President Bruininks' retirement reception after receiving the Bruininks-Hagstrum fellowship. I've also had the pleasure of working on several talented teams of researchers through assistantships - and co-teaching FSOS 1101: Intimate Relations was pivotal for my personal and professional development.

Since receiving my Master's degree, my research interests shifted from parent-child relationships in later life to parenting in middle childhood.  I'm particularly interested in learning about how parents interact with their children when they are experiencing stressful circumstances, how intervention and prevention programs can support these families, and how we accurately and effectively measure change in these families over time. For my dissertation, I will be conducting longitudinal analyses using data from the Early Risers/Parenting Through Change randomized control trial to examine parenting practices in formerly homeless families. Because I've been involved in observational coding of these families over all four years of the study, it is a natural capstone to my graduate career.

My other research interests include: parenting education and interventions, parenting as a mediator of stress and child outcomes, observational coding of family interaction, and innovative methods to increase quality and efficiency of longitudinal research (e.g., planned missingness designs). A methodologist at heart, I continue to broaden my statistical and methodological expertise by attending conferences and seminars around the country with the support of the department. In my leisure time, I love traveling, practicing Bikram yoga, spending time with friends and family, and reading (anything and everything!).