Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD

Research Interests

Parenting education, parenthood, family life education, the cultural context of children and families, peace education and the impact of war and peace on children and families, talking to children about difficult topics, supporting parents in difficult situations

Biography

I came from a background in psychology and special education to get Master’s and doctoral degrees from CDFS (the former name of HDFS). I then joined the department as a full-time faculty member with the title of Extension Specialist, translating research for the general public and for family professionals. I devoted significant effort to curriculum development, delivery, and evaluation and to mass media educational efforts. Beginning in 2003, my assignment changed to also include classroom teaching. Altogether, I was a member of the CDFS community for 31 years.

Consistent with my assignment to Cooperative Extension, my research has concentrated on applied topics. In the earlier years, my research dealt with adolescent parenting and methods of delivering educational materials to parents in different situations. Later, my research concentrated primarily on how parents and children talk about difficult topics, especially disasters and war and peace. I also spent a significant amount of effort on examining the cultural context of child development and parenting.

At the end of my active tenure, I continued with a half-time assignment to the Cooperative Extension Service, building on web-based outreach efforts, including reaching parents through child care providers. I also assisted county offices with their program evaluation efforts and provided training opportunities that prepared professionals to deliver curricula I have developed.

One of the exciting opportunities to explore the cultural context of families from 2006 through 2012 was Study Abroad. In the summers of 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012 I co-led summer trips to India. The experience was open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

In retirement, I continue to pursue many of the same interests listed above by writing curricula for a commercial online parenting education company, reviewing manuscripts for journals, and writing manuscripts and curricula on my own. I also have been editing articles for a publication for the National Council on Family Relations.

Recent Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Lewsader, J., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2016). Developmentally appropriate peace education curricula. Journal of Peace Education. doi:10.1080/17400201.2016.1228527

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Lewsader, J. (2015). A qualitative approach to identifying the developmental progression of children’s understanding of peace. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 21(3), 508-514.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., Ballard, S. M., Darling, C., & Myers-Bowman, K. S. (2011). Reconceptualizing the boundaries and domain of family life education. Family Relations, 60, 357-372.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., Frias, L. V., Kwon, K. A., Ko, M. J., & Lu, T. (2011). Living life in two worlds: Acculturative stress among Asian international graduate student parents and spouses. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 42, 455-478.

  • Walker, K., Myers-Bowman, K. S., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2008). Supporting young children’s efforts toward peacemaking: Recommendations for early childhood educators. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 377-382.

  • DeBord, K., Bower, D., Goddard, H. W., Wilkins, J. K., Kobbe, A. M., Myers-Walls, J. A., Mulroy, M., & Ozretich, R. (2006, June). A professional guide for parenting educators: The national extension parenting educators’ framework. Journal of Extension, 44(3), Article No. 3FEA8. (www.joe.org/joe/2006june/a8.shtml)

  • Myers-Bowman, K. S., Walker, K., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2005). Differences between war and peace are big: Children from Yugoslavia and the U.S. describe peace and war. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 11, 177-198.

  • Myers-Walls, J. (2004). Children as victims of war and terrorism. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma, 8(1/2), 41-62.

  • Myers-Bowman, K. S., Walker, K., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2003). A cross-cultural examination of children’s understanding of "the enemy." Psychological Reports, 93, 779-790.

  • Walker, K., Myers-Bowman, K. S., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2003). Understanding war, visualizing peace: Children draw what they know. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 20(4), 191-200.

Books and Book Chapters

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2018). When war and terrorism enter the lives of young children. In J. Szente (Ed.), Assisting young children caught in disasters: Multidisciplinary perspectives and interventions (pp. 25-35). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Dworkin, J. (2016). Parenting education without borders: Web-based outreach. In J. J. Ponzetti (Ed.), Evidence-based parenting education: A global perspective (pp. 123-139). New York: Routledge.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Myers-Bowman, K. S. (2016). War and families. In C. Sheehan (Ed.) The encyclopedia of family studies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2012). Court-mandated parents and families. In A. Taylor and S. Ballard (Eds.). Family life education with diverse populations. Newbury Park: Sage.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Frias, L. V. (2007). Family, school, and community: Finding green lights at the intersection. In B. Sharif Trask & R. R. Hamon (Eds.), Cultural diversity and families: Expanding perspectives. Sage.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., Myers-Bowman, K. S., & Posada, G. (2006). Parenting practices worldwide. In B. Ingoldsby & S. Smith (Eds.), Families in global and multicultural perspectives (2nd edition) (pp. 147-167). Newbury Park: Sage.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2004). Children as victims of war and terrorism. In J. Mullings, J. Marquart, & D. J. Hartley (Eds.), Emerging issues in the victimization of children: Trends, patterns, and problems. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Somlai, P. (Eds.) with Rapoport, R. N. (2001). Families as educators for global citizenship. Aldershot, Hants: Ashgate.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2001). How families teach their children about the world. In J. A. Myers-Walls & P. Somlai with R. N. Rapoport (Eds.), Families as educators for global citizenship (pp. 3-12). Aldershot: Ashgate.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2001). The parents' role in educating about war and peace. In J. A. Myers-Walls & P. Somlai with R. N. Rapoport (Eds.), Families as educators for global citizenship (pp. 191-202). Aldershot: Ashgate.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (1999). Family diversity and family life education. In D. H. Demo, K. R. Allen, & M. A. Fine (Eds.), Handbook of family diversity, (pp. 359-379). New York: Oxford University PressReports

Primary Extension Curriculum Packages and Websites

  • Purple Wagon website. (2007-2019). Children's understanding of peace and political violence develops gradually. We used the vivid purple wagon imagery from one young child's early understanding to represent our attempt to bring you research-based information, recommendations, and activities to help children understand political violence, cope with fears and sadness when groups are in conflict, and learn how to make peace.

  • Provider-Parent Partnerships website. (2004-2019). The website was dedicated to helping providers and parents give better support to children as they grow. It was written for childcare providers—those who take care of infants and toddlers, preschoolers, or school-age children. It explained how providers can work with parents and talk with them about many different issues. To support parents, the site included materials that providers could print out and share with them.

  • Family Life Education Materials Quality Assessment Tool (FLEMat-QAT) website. (2008-2019). This Quality Assessment Tool was designed to help family life educators and others who work with families to judge the quality of written and online materials aimed at families. What makes Family Life Education materials good? High quality materials are based on a strong information base (content), are constructed well (construction), and make a difference for the families they seek to educate (effectiveness).

  • Parenting Piece by Piece curriculum. (1999, 2009). Designed for parents mandated to attend programming due to abuse and neglect and also used with incarcerated parents; with Terri Newcom, County Extension Educator.

  • Mentor Mother curriculum. (1990, 1995). A program matching teen mothers with older adult volunteers; with Janet Wakefield, county Extension Educator and Janet Mix, graduate assistant.

Recent Presentations

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Ferraro, A. J. (2018, November). Looking toward the future: A mixed-method assessment of online divorce education. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, San Diego.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2016, November). Exploring effective family life education and educators in the cyber age. Arcus Award Address presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, Minneapolis.

  • Berke, D., Myers-Walls, J. A., & Menakem, R. (2016, November). Trauma-informed approaches through the family science kaleidoscope. Special Session delivered at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, Minneapolis.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Lewsader, J. (2013, November). A qualitative approach to identifying the developmental progression of children’s understanding of peace. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, San Antonio, TX.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., Ballard, S., Darling, C., & Myers-Bowman, K. S. (2010, November). Reconceptualizing the domain and boundaries of family life education. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, Minneapolis.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2010, August). Children and the stress of disasters and political violence. Presented at Development and Equity for a Global Society: Emerging concerns for social work, Madras School of Social Work, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A. (2010, January). Parenting Piece by Piece. Training for program facilitators (45 participants); Training of trainers (10 participants). Little Falls, MN.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., & Myers-Bowman, K. S. (2009, November). Children's reactions to war from a distance: Parent and child perspectives. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, San Francisco.

  • Myers-Walls, J. A., Kwon, K. A., Ko, M. J., Frias, L. V., & Lu, T. (2009, April) Developing research-based and culturally sensitive parenting programs for international graduate-student parents. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Denver.

  • Frias, L. V., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2008, November). Shared and unique themes of children's drawings of war and peace across cultures. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting. Little Rock, AR.

  • Kwon, K. A., Ko, M. J., Frias, L. V., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2007, November). Developing a parenting program for Asian international graduate students. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Kim, S. H., Kwon, K. A., Ko, M. J., Frias, L. V., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2007, November). Living on the outskirts of U. S. life: Asian graduate student mothers. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Frias, L. V., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2007, November). Parents’ attitudes and children’s drawings of war. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Kwon, Y. I., Hong, S. Y., Myers-Walls, J. A., & Ko, M. J. (2007, March/April). Understanding war and peace: South Korean children’s views and their parents’ attitudes. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Boston.

  • Kwon, K. A., Ko, M. J., Frias, L. V., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2007, March/April). Strengths and needs of Asian international student couples and parenting in the U.S.A. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Boston.

  • Frias, L. V., & Myers-Walls, J. A. (2006, November). Parents’ attitudes and their definitions of war and peace. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Minneapolis.

  • Boss, P., Landau, J., Myers-Walls, J. A., Braun, B., & Paulison, R. P. (2005). Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill: Homeland Security Issues and the Family. Invited panel presentation at the National Council on Family Relations Public Policy Conference, Washington DC.

Education

  • PhD, 1979, Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University

  • MS, 1977, Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University

  • BA, 1974, Psychology, Manchester College, North Manchester, Indiana

Courses Taught

  • CDFS 441: Working With Parents

  • CDFS 442: Family Life Education

  • CDFS 590: Development and Parenting in a Global Context (informal graduate seminar)

  • CDFS 398/590: Families and Culture in India (study abroad)

  • P-250: Teaching Peace with Children (intensive course taught as an adjunct faculty member at Bethany Theological Seminary)

Honors

  • 2017: Jan Trost Award for Compartive Family Studies, International Section, National Council on Family Relations

  • 2014: Margaret E. Arcus Outstanding Family Life Educator Award, National Council on Family Relations

  • 2010: Meritorious Service Award, NCFR Affiliated Councils

  • 2008: Named a Community of Service Learning Faculty Fellow, Purdue University

  • 2002: Special Award, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialist Association, for Children and Terrorism Website, shared with Agricultural Communication Service

  • 2000: National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Fellow, awarded for career achievement and service in the family studies field and contributions to NCFR

  • 1996: Career Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Extension Specialist (national award), awarded at the Family Life Specialist Conference, November

  • 1995: Senior Recognition Award, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialist Association

Internal and External Grants

  • Study Abroad and International Learning (SAIL) Grant. Supports planning trips to India and Ireland, $5300, 2006-2008.

  • Understanding war and peace: A view for Filipino immigrant parents and children. Purdue Research Foundation research grant, to support a graduate research assistant (Larissa Frias), $14,040, 2006-2007.

  • Service Learning Faculty Development Grant. Offices of the Provost and Engagement, $6,000, 2005-2007; 2007-2009.

  • Parent care through child care. 21st Century Initiative Grant, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, to support the development of web-based resources to help child care providers deliver parenting information, Provider-Parent Partnerships website, $33,796, 1999-2000; $35,000, 2000-2001.

  • Parents, children, war, and peace. Grant-in-aid from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues to support interviews with children and parents in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, regarding their thoughts and reactions to the war there in 1999, $1250. (With Smiljka Tomonovic, University of Belgrade, and Karen Myers-Bowman, Kansas State University).

  • Healthy Families Indiana Outcome Evaluation. Family Social Services Administration, State of Indiana. Myers-Walls and Yvonne Bryan, co-principal investigators, 1993-94: $24,950, 1994-95: $37,000. Myers-Walls and Jim Elicker, co-principal investigators, supplemental funding, 1995: $14,900, 1995-96: $43,202, 1996-97: $60,000, 1997-98: $65,000, 1998-99: $70,000.

Professional Service

National Council on Family Relations

  • Editor, Family Focus, 2016-

  • Family Life Education Practitioner Resources Council, 2009-2011

  • Fellowship award selection committee, 2007-2010 (Chair, 2007-2009)

  • Vice President for Program, 1997-98 (responsible for planning 1998 Annual Meeting)

  • Vice President for Program-Elect, 1996-97

  • Member, Board of Directors, 1996-98, 1990-92, 2001-2004

  • Association of Councils Program Chair, 1994-95

  • Education and Enrichment Section Chair, 1990-92

  • Chair, Task Force to review the Certified Family Life Educator Program, 1990-91

  • Education and Enrichment Section Secretary/Treasurer, 1988-90

  • Affiliated Councils Program Chair, 1985-86

Indiana Council on Family Relations

  • Member, planning committee, 2000

  • Program Co-Chair, 1983, 1989

  • Past President, 1986-87

  • President, 1984-86

  • President-Elect, 1983-84

  • Secretary, 1981-83

Indiana Council on Adolescent Pregnancy

  • Secretary, 2000-2005

  • Advisor, Purdue student chapter, 2003-2006

Indiana Association for Education of Young Children

  • Member of Conference Planning Committee, 1983

Indiana Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition

  • Membership Chair, 1986-90

Judith A. Myers-Walls

Professor Emerita of Human Development & Family Studies, Human Development Extension Specialist, & Certified Family Life Educator

(PhD, Purdue University)

jmyerswa@purdue.edu

Website:

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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