Family Psychology Section

Family Psychology Section
Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz

Chair: Dr. Jen Theule, Ph. D., C. Psych.


  • Vice-Chair – Kristene Cheung
  • Secretary – Cathy Costigan
  • Treasurer – Kelly Schwartz
  • Member-at-large – Maria Rogers
  • Student Representative – Cindy Quan


The realm of family psychology deals with the multiple ways in which family relationships, societal institutions, biological factors, and cultural factors mutually influence one another throughout the life span. Family psychologists have interests in a number of domains, including marital, parental, and sibling relationships, the impact of normative and non-normative stressors on family functioning, and the treatment of psychological and medical problems within a family context.

The mission of the Family Psychology Section of CPA is to encourage and promote:

  1. awareness of the importance of interpersonal/systemic factors in understanding the human experience,
  2. conceptually sophisticated, methodologically rigourous, and contextually sensitive research on families,
  3. psychosocial interventions to assist families in effectively responding to stress, illness, and disability, and
  4. scientifically informed government and private sector policies that are sensitive to the realities of current family forms in Canada.


Family Psychology Section Awards

In alternating years the Family Psychology Section offers an Outstanding Contribution to Family Psychology Award or a dissertation award (depending on availability) to present at CPA’s annual convention. Dissertation awards are presented in even years and Contributor awards in odd years. In 2020, a dissertation award will be offered. We encourage all who have recently completed their dissertation (completion in 2018 or 2019) to apply by submitting a 3-5 page abstract of their dissertation, their contact information, a letter of recommendation from their advisor, evidence of section membership, and a link to the full dissertation to the Section Chair by March 1st of the year of application.

Every year the Family Psychology Section also offers one or more Student Poster Award(s) for high-quality submissions presented at the annual conference.

Awards Winners in 2019

  • Outstanding Contribution to Family Psychology – Dr. Maria Rogers (University of Ottawa)
  • Family Psychology Section Student Poster Award – winners: Kristene Cheung (University of Manitoba) and Sarah Cabecinha-Alati (McGill University).