The faculty of Mississippi University for Women’s Family Sciences program, which is part of the Department of Psychology and Family Studies, presented their research at the National Council on Family Relations’ (NCFR) Conference in Orlando, Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Dr. Dorothy Berglund, department chair, Dr. Cecilia Brooks
Dr. Dorothy Berglund and Dr. Cecilia Brooks

The faculty consists of Dr. Dorothy Berglund, department chair, Dr. Cecilia Brooks and Dr. Youn Mi Lee.

“As faculty, we are evaluated annually on teaching, research and service. So, presenting at conferences helps fulfill this requirement. Beyond that, our field is translational, which means that we use research to inform work with families. Our symposium specifically focuses on better practices for student internships, which are a requirement for FSC programs that are Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) approved programs—while this may not seem like it has a direct impact on families, it does have an indirect impact, in that our students complete internships prior to beginning professional work in the field,” Berglund said.

She added, “We are discussing practices that we started during the pandemic such as how to use remote work as an opportunity for family science interns with FSC interns and which are research-based and evidence-informed. Our research and program assessments show these practices work with students to prepare them for professional work with families.”

Brooks, will present “Which moderates the relationship between alternative financial services usage and financial anxiety: Parental financial dependence or parental rescue from debt?”

The presentation is the culmination of two years’ worth of research for Brooks and Dr. Brandan Wheeler, assistant professor at Alabama A&M University.

“Our research showed that parental financial dependence influences college students’ financial behaviors, as some may believe their parents will rescue them from debt. Even when students are enrolled in courses that detail the benefits of financial management behaviors, such as avoiding overspending, saving and budgeting, some students keep their behaviors the same because they can use alternative financial services or their parents to fill financial gaps. The prolonged financial dependence on parents or overuse of alternative financial services can negatively impact the development of digital financial literacy that is necessary to navigate more complex financial services.”

Dr. Youn Mi Lee
Dr. Youn Mi Lee

Lee will give two different presentations. She is the primary author of “College Students’ Cultural Competence and Attitude toward Older Immigrants: Intersection with COVID-19 and Racial Issues.” She is the second author on “Korean Adult Children’s Experience of Recovery from Intergenerational Transmission of Alcoholism: A Qualitative Meta summary.”

Lee has been began studying the primary topic since 2016, and it bled over into the second study.

“I have been studying college students’ cultural competence and attitudes towards older immigrants since late 2016 and early 2018. I have decided to continue this study by incorporating COVID-19 related factors after 2022 to determine if external stressors have an impact on students’ quality of life. I will present the comparison study between Study 1 and Study 2 at the American Society on Aging Conference in March. One interesting finding is that students who were less negatively affected by COVID-19 showed higher levels of avoidance and discrimination, as well as lower levels of tolerance towards older immigrants. Considering that group tightness is higher in Mississippi and Alabama compared to other states, it is hoped that these results will encourage colleges to focus on improving cultural competence and attitudes towards marginalized populations in the U.S.,” Lee said.

Brooks and Lee will present virtually, with Berglund present in person to present as well as lead discussions following presentations.

“I will be serving as a discussant, the person who introduces the symposium and the presenters and who facilitates audience discussion when the presenters complete their presentations. Our session is on ‘Examining and improving experiential learning experiences for family science internship/practicum students : Adapting to the syndemic,’” Berglund said.


The National Council on Family Relations, founded in 1938, is the oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary professional association focused solely on family research, practice, and education.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

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