NCCC52: Family Economics Coordinating Committee
(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)
NCCC52: Family Economics Coordinating Committee
Duration: 10/01/2020 to 09/30/2025
Statement of Issues and Justification
Individuals and families have been on the receiving end of a "great risk shift" (Hacker, 2006) for many years. Examples of this shift include movement away from government and employer-provided fixed benefit programs (e.g., health care and retirement plans) toward employee-managed health benefits (Flexible Savings Accounts, Health Savings Plan) and retirement accounts (e.g., 401k). This shift requires today’s adults to become more engaged and take greater responsibility for their long-term health and financial well-being than past generations. During this same time, the range of available financial products and services increased in both number and risk, adding to the complexity individuals and families face in making financial choices (West, Drew, Bianchi, & Walk, 2013). The exponential growth in technology, including the use of smart phones and wearable apps, makes access to information and services easier, but may further complicate even routine financial decisions made by everyday people (e.g., GoogleShopper, GoodGuide, RedLaser; Kalnikaite, Bird, & Rogers, 2013).
Financial self-reliance is an important developmental goal of emerging adulthood and a distinctive marker of adult status (Arnett, 2004). However, life choices and outcomes for young adults depend on available opportunities (e.g., stable employment) and constraints (e.g., high student loan debt), as well as individual resources and capabilities (Cote 2014). Because the opportunities and social norms for today’s young adults may differ from those of previous generations, their transition to adulthood may require more time than in the past (Arnett 2014). Delays in labor market entry, barriers to career advancement, increased cost of living, and student loan debt have been found to be associated with marital delay (Furstenberg et al. 2004; Settersten and Ray 2010).
Whether focusing on the financial and economic challenges of children, emerging adults, mid-life adults, or older adults, family economists have the expertise to confront the issues they face. The field of family economics explores the relationship between individuals and families and the larger economy. It examines how individuals and families obtain and use resources such as money, time, human capital, material resources, and community services. It also studies the impact of financial issues, policies, and programs on family economic well-being.
The North Central Coordinating Committee (NCCC) on Family Economics (NCCC052), previously called NCR-52, was first organized in 1965 (Liston, 1993). From its inception, it has provided a forum in which issues related to effective research on the economic well-being of individuals and families are examined in depth from the perspectives of the researchers from multiple disciplines. Over the next five years, the committee will continue to promote rigorous and relevant research in family economics. The committee will renew its efforts toward linking its work with researchers in other disciplines and other states. In addition, the committee will work to increase the overall quality, quantity, and competitiveness of family economics research by strengthening the research infrastructure of the profession through conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and professional development opportunities for personnel. It also plans to identify critical/key research and education issues in family economics and serve as a catalyst to generate additional multi-state, multidiscipline research projects to address them.
Conduct a census of 1862 and 1890 land-grant institutions to identify those scientists currently engaged in family economics-related research, teaching, and/or extension activities.
Set research priorities for multi-state and national work on issues relevant to the economic well-being of families.
Provide an opportunity for scholars to build partnerships and develop grantsmanship skills to secure research funding from competitive grant programs.
Promote the use of rigorous and relevant research methodology and empirical techniques in the field of family economics.
Organize research sessions at major conferences related to family and consumer economics for the purposes of communicating impacts of family economics research and educating professionals on issues relevant to improving family economic well-being and the sustainability of family and community systems. Examples of conferences include the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI), The Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), and American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), as well as public policy oriented meetings such as the Association for Public Policy, Analysis and Management (APPAM).
Increase the number of multi-state, multi-disciplinary research projects on current and emerging family economics issues such as: the relationship between health and financial well-being, health insurance literacy, student loan debt, best practices in financial education, retirement income adequacy, financial decision making, and behavioral finance.
Procedures and Activities
The NCCC052 meets formally once per year using video-conferencing technology for its annual meeting. During that meeting a review of the previous year’s activities is conducted and plans for the coming year’s activities are finalized. Members communicate via email and video-conference meetings throughout the year as they refine, execute, and complete activities.
Year 1 Activities (October 2020 – September 2021): Conduct a census of scientists as described in Objective 1. In addition, conduct a systematic review of research published in family economics journals from 2014 to 2019 to identify authors actively publishing in the field and compile a high level snapshot of the topics investigated. Disseminate the results of the census and systematic review through conference presentations and a journal publication.
Year 2 Activities (October 2021 – September 2022): Using the insights gained from the activities in Year 1, identify gaps that exist. Once identified, these gaps will be disseminated through conference presentations and other outlets with the goal of gathering input and consensus in the setting of research priorities for future multi-state and national work as described in Objective 2.
Year 3 Activities (October 2022 – September 2023): Organize a research session at a major conference related to family economics. The session will address Objectives 4, 5, and 6. Using the research gaps identified in Year 2, partner with appropriate funders to offer an opportunity for scholars to build partnerships and develop grantsmanship skills as described in Objective 3.
Year 4 (October 2023 – September 2024): Review and assess progress toward project objectives. Revise as needed. Amplify the dissemination efforts of existing multistate projects by promoting their efforts and/or working with them to create blog posts and podcasts that can be distributed through professional organizations and other appropriate outlets. Plan a celebration of 60 years of the Family Economics multi-state research committee in 2025.
Year 5 (October 2024 – September 2025): Celebrate 60 years of the Family Economics multi-state research committee. Organize a research session at another major conference related to family economics. The session will address Objectives 4, 5, and 6. Using the research gaps identified in Year 2, partner with additional funders to offer an opportunity for scholars to build partnerships and develop grantsmanship skills as described in Objective 3. NCCC052 Committee completes planning and paperwork to reauthorize its work from October 2025 to September 2030.
Expected Outcomes and Impacts
- Improved communication and coordination among groups interested in the success of investments in family economics-related research, teaching, and/or extension activities.
- Identification of critical/key research and education issues in family economics.
- Deliberate creation and planning of opportunities to connect family economists with each other and with research funders to increase the number of multi-state, multi-disciplinary research projects on current and emerging family economics issues and their funding.
- Amplified dissemination of research results of existing multistate projects through the exchange of ideas, information and data.
- Generate interest in family economics through the celebration of the field’s history at land grant institutions and its impact..
Projected ParticipationView Appendix E: Participation
Information generated by the committee is made available through conference sessions, published proceedings, peer-reviewed publications, and email communication with the family economics network and stakeholders.
The Family Economics Coordinating Committee has an elected chair and secretary. The chair convenes meetings, leads the project renewal process, and is responsible for the final report. The secretary is responsible for compiling and submitting the annual report. Officer elections are held as needed, but at least every five years. The committee meets formally once per year via video conference for its annual meeting. Members communicate via email and video conference throughout the year as they refine, execute, and complete activities.
Arnett, J. J. (2014). Presidential address: The emergence of emerging adulthood: A personal history. Emerging Adulthood, 1-8. Retrieved from http://eax.sagepub.com.ezp3.lib.umn.edu/content/early/2014/07/02/2167696814541096.full.pdf+html
Cote, J. E. (2014). The dangerous myth of emerging adulthood: An evidence-based critique of a flawed developmental theory. Applied Developmental Science, 18(4), 177-188. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2014.954451
Hacker, J. S. (2006). The great risk shift: The assault on American jobs, families, health care, and retirement and how you can fight back. New York: Oxford University Press.
Kalnikaite, V., Bird, J., & Rogers, Y. (2013). Decision-making in the aisles: informing, overwhelming or nudging supermarket shoppers? Personal Ubiquitous Computing, 17, 1247–1259.
Liston, M. I. (1993). History of family economics research: 1862–1962, A bibliographical, historical, and analytical reference book. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Research Foundation.
Settersten, R. A., & Ray, B. (2010). What’s going on with young people today? The long and twisting path to adulthood. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/49668/ray-settersten-future-children.pdf
West, J., Drew, M., Bianchi, R., & Walk, A, (2013). Financial product complexity and the limits of financial literacy: A special issue of the Journal of Financial Services Marketing; Journal of Financial Services Marketing 18, 153–157.