Family Measurement

Led by Todd Jensen, PhD MSW
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The concept of family is more than the aggregate of each member. Families have their own developmental trajectory. To date, the construct of family has been conceptualized as qualities of a family, typically conceptualized cross-sectionally rather than longitudinally. We propose a new construct that examines and measures family ages and stages.

Our Mission

To use user-centered design to develop and pilot test a new measurement construct to understand the dynamic nature of families, how they develop over time, and how that might influence prevention or intervention. 

Draft family development concept model; Todd Jensen and Sarah Verbiest 2020
Draft family development concept model; Todd Jensen and Sarah Verbiest 2020

Products and Publications


Compendium of family functioning measures : 40 validated family functioning tools that measure different aspects of how families function, including organizational processes, belief systems, and communication.


Ramaswami SB, Jensen T, Berghaus M, De-Oliveira S, Russ SA, Weiss-Laxer N, Verbiest S, Barkin S. Family Health Development in Life Course Research: a Scoping Review of Family Functioning MeasuresPediatrics (Suppl). May 2022; 149: S410-24

Next Steps

1. Ground truthing our family ages and stages concept model with a diverse group of families

2. Development of a suite of measurement tools (for research, clinical, policy use)

3. Pilot testing data on usability

Collaborative partners

Shari Barkin (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Ali Crandall (Brigham Young University)

Clarissa Hoover (Family Voices)

Todd Jensen (UNC)

Karen Kuhlthau (Harvard/Boston University)

Elizabeth Ozer (UCSF)

Sash Ramaswami (UCLA)

Edward Schor (Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health)

Vivian Tamkin (Santa Clara University)

Sarah Verbiest (UNC)

Nomi Weiss-Laxer (Buffalo)

If you are interested in joining, please contact