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Elaine Anderson

Elaine Anderson

Professor Emerita, Family Science

Dr. Elaine Anderson is a professor emerita in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, University of Maryland. She is also the co-director and founder of the Maryland Family Policy Impact Seminar, University of Maryland.



Areas of Interest


Dr. Anderson is a nationally recognized leader and scholar in the field of family policy and is a Fellow in the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) in recognition of enduring contributions to the field of family studies.  She is the Past-President of the NCFR (November 2011-November 2013).   She has authored more than 100 publications on such policy topics as homeless families, nonresidential fathers, rural low-income women, welfare reform, deinstitutionalization, Head Start and child care, work policy, and obesity, and presented her work in over 200 invited and refereed presentations nationally and internationally.  Dr. Anderson has been awarded approximately $2.3 million in grants to conduct her research. 

Dr. Anderson has consistently served on multiple editorial boards for the past 25 years and currently is a Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, published by Human Sciences Press and a Member of the Editorial Board, Family Relations, published by the National Council on Family Relations.  From 2003-2005 she was a National Head Start Fellowship Mentor.  Dr. Anderson has mentored many graduate students and has served on the thesis/dissertation committee of 190 students, of which 20% of these committees she has chaired. She has been honored by her colleagues at the University of Maryland with all 3 outstanding Mentor, Teacher and Research Awards.

Ph.D., Individual and Family Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 1979.

  • Awarded Fellow Status for the National Council on Family Relations.
  • Awarded Distinguished Service to SPSSI (Division 9, APA)
  • Author of more than 100 articles and chapters, with publications in such journals as Journal of Marriage and the Family, Family Relations, Journal of Family Issues, and Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Editor of two family policy educational curricula books (1993, 2004).
  • Author of The Reconstruction of Family Policy (1991).
  • Congressional Science Fellow (1985-86); conducted policy analysis/research for the US Senate, the Minnesota and Connecticut State Legislatures, and for two presidential campaigns.
  • Author/co-author of grants totaling over $2.7 million.
  • Participant in University of Maryland Curriculum Transformation Project and Polyseminar for the World's Women: Agenda for Action.
  • Editorial board member currently for the Journal of Family Relations and the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.
  • Vice President for Public Policy of the National Council on Family Relations (1996).
  • Council Member, Division 9 of the American Psychological Association (1994-1998).
  • Outstanding Teacher in School of Public Health (1997).
  • Annual Conference Program Chair of the National Council on Family Relations (2000).
  • Outstanding Research and Development Award, School of Public Health (2003).
  • President-Elect of National Council on Family Relations (2009-2011).
  • President of National Council on Family Relations (2011-2013).
  • Editor of National Council on Family Relations Policy and Research Briefs (2018-Present).

Anderson, E.A.  (2019). Family policy: Rooted in inequities, striving for social justice.  Journal of Family Theory & Review, 11(1), 57-58.

Anderson, E.A. & Leteicq, B.L. (2015).  Family policy through a human rights lens.  In Arditti, J. A. (Ed), Family problems: Stress, risk, and resilience. (pp. 290-304). Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Leteicq, B. A., Anderson, E. A., & Joseph, A. (2012). Social policy and families. In Peterson, G. W. & Bush, K. R. (Eds.), Handbook of marriage and the family (3rd Ed.). New York: Springer Publishing.

Braun, B., Kim, J, & Anderson, E. A. (2009). Family health and financial literacy – Forging the connection. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences, 101(3), 51-56.

Vesely, C. K. & Anderson, E. A. (2009). Child Care and Development Fund: A thematic policy analysis. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 36(1), 39-59.

Simmons, L.A., Anderson, E.A., & Braun B. (2008). Health needs and health care utilization among rural, low-income women.  Women & Health, 47(4), 53-69.

Quach, A. S., & Anderson, E. A. (2008). Implications of China's Open Door Policy for families. Journal of Family Issues, 29(8). 1089-1103.

Liechty, J. M., & Anderson, E. A. (2007). Flexible workplace policies: Lessons from the Federal Alternative Work Schedules Act. Family Relations, 56, 304-317

Anderson, E. A., Kohler, J. K., & Letiecq, B. A. (2005). Predictors of depression among low-income, non-residential fathers. Journal of Family Issues, 26, 547-567.

Anderson, E. A., Braun, B., & Walker, S. K. (2005). Teaching family policy: Advocacy skills education. Journal of Marriage and Family Review, 38, 61-76.

Anderson, E. A., & Letiecq, B. L. (2005). Situating fatherhood in Responsible Fatherhood programs: A place to explore father identity. In W. Marsiglio, K. Roy, & G. L. Fox (Eds.), Situated fathering: A focus on physical and social spaces. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kohler, J. K., Anderson, E. A., Oravecz, L., & Braun, B. (2004). Relationship constellations and dynamics of low-income rural mothers. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 19, 160-173.

Anderson, E. A., Kohler, J. K., & Letiecq, B. A. (2002). Low-income fathers and "Responsible Fatherhood" progams: A qualitative investigation of participants' fathering experiences and perceptions of program efficiency. Family Relations, 51, 148-155.