Family Research Group

To advance family science that enhances nursing and interprofessional care of families, the Family Research Group (FRG) was launched in 2019.  The FRG creates and conducts studies that highlight the family’s role in health, as well as studies that develop and test innovative interventions, all with potential impact to improve the lives of families.    

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”  –Jane Howard, journalist and author of the book, Families


Families play a crucial role in the health and illness of their members, and therefore are an important focus for nursing and interprofesssional research. Research of families addresses individuals within the context of the family, family relationships, and the family as a system.   


The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing (FCN) launched this initiative to promote and support the development of a cohesive group of family researchers within FCN and the University to address key issues in family science, facilitate collaboration, conduct funded studies, and build interprofessional partnerships with national and international family scientists. Additionally, the group promotes utilization of innovative study designs, methods, and data analysis, with members serving as research advocates and mentors for other group members. The scientists are also addressing policy issues and implications of family research.


“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”  Michael J. Fox, actor, advocate

Members of the group are leading studies that address the needs of families experiencing chronic illness, COVID-related stressors, depression and suicide risk, violence, trauma, and homelessness and the needs of families of older adults and pregnant urban-dwelling Puerto Rican women.  



Director of the Family Research Group

Professor Helene Moriarty, PhD, RN, FAAN, Diane L. & Robert F. Moritz Jr. Endowed Chair in Nursing Research, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing and Nurse Scientist, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Philadelphia

Recognized as an international nursing leader and expert in family science, Dr. Moriarty is a tireless champion for families. Her program of research focuses on families experiencing severe stressors, with a special emphasis on military veterans and their families. Over her career, she has conducted research with families facing death of a child, cancer, chronic illness, violence, trauma, divorce, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Currently, Dr. Moriarty and Dr. Laraine Winter are Principal Investigators on an NIH-funded randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of an innovative in-home rehabilitation intervention for veterans and civilians with chronic TBI and their families (Award Number: R01NR018655). 

For questions or inquiries regarding your interest in supporting the Family Research Group, please contact Dr. Moriarty at or 610.519.5735.



Interested in donating to the Family Research Group? Please contact Robert Hill, director of Major Giving, at 267-455-8071 or