Dr. Karina Shreffler, associate professor of human development and family science at OSU-Tulsa, has been selected as the 2017 OSU-Tulsa President's Fellows Faculty Research Award recipient for her groundbreaking research on teen mothers and her proposal to include fathers in the project.
The award recognizes exceptional faculty research and provides funding to enable them to continue their work. Shreffler, a research associate at the Center for Family Resilience at OSU-Tulsa, will be recognized during a “Researchers’ Reception” on Feb. 22 in Stillwater.
Shreffler will use the $15,000 award to build upon her research on pregnant teens and their babies funded by the National Institutes of Health. The additional funding will enable her to include fathers of the babies in her research project, broadening the scope of the project by providing information on factors that affect a father’s involvement and commitment to his child.
“This is critical to understand because early father involvement plays an important role in a child’s development, health and well-being,” Shreffler said. “There remains a paucity of research on young fathers of children born to teen mothers. A better understanding of young fathers’ needs, obstacles and successes will allow for a more successful approach to enhancing the father-child relationship for this high-risk population.”
Shreffler leads the Holistic Assessment of Tulsa’s Children’s Health (HATCH) Project and earned her doctorate degree in sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University. She won the OSU-Tulsa President’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 2012 and is a member of the National Council on Family Relations, the American Sociological Society, the Population Association of America and the Council on Contemporary Families. Shreffler’s research is widely published in academic journals. Her research interests include reproductive health, family demography, work and family, teen pregnancy and fertility trends.