National Council on Family Relations

The NCFR Annual Conference is the premier international event for scholars and professionals dedicated to understanding and strengthening families. The conference convenes juried, cutting-edge research papers, methods, and practices, including research updates for practitioners sessions, and presentation of best practices in the field


Theme: “Family Expansions, Expanding Families: Contouring Family Science’s Negative Spaces”

The 2020 NCFR conference theme is rich with meaning, with a broad goal of using engagement with each other to better understand the dynamic nature of family life in ways that are inclusive, innovative, and waiting to be discovered. The theme places a particular emphasis on taking time to reflect and look for elements of family life that not only are present or emerging, but also those that become visible with the use of a new or yet to be discovered perspective or vantage point.

Family Expansions reflects the idea of our growing knowledge across the Family Sciences, partially as demonstrated by the recent closing of one decade of progress and the moving into a new decade. The use of family expansions also is a nod to the Gateway Arch of St. Louis, built as a symbol of the westward expansion—a time of growth and advancement that, certainly, came with many challenges and controversies.

Expanding Families reflects NCFR’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, and is intended to acknowledge families as dynamic, fluid, and diverse in forms and functions.

Contouring Family Science’s Negative Spaces suggests the need to be grounded in our historical and contemporary knowledge about the everyday experiences of families, but also engage a critical reflection that affords us opportunities to step back and ask unimaginable questions needed to drive the discipline forward. More simply, the theme suggests engaging the past, present, and future of all families. This also is a nod to the 1979 NCFR conference theme “Everyday Life in Families: Past, Present, and Future”, and accordingly, the 79 neighborhoods that make up our conference location, St. Louis.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 07:00 to Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 17:30
National Council on Family Relations
St. Louis, Missouri
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