Registration now open for Penn State’s 24th annual Family Symposium

Kristie Auman-Bauer
May 24, 2016

Decades of research point to the crucial role that sleep plays in human health and well-being. Despite its importance, recent data suggests that many adults and children sleep fewer than the recommended hours.

To help address this important issue, the symposium, “Sleep across the Lifespan: Family Influences and Impact”, will be held October 24-25 at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.

According to Susan McHale, director of Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute and symposium co-organizer, the conference aims to stimulate research by family scholars on the roles families can play in fostering healthy sleep patterns among their members. “Sleep quality, quantity, and timing can have major implications affecting brain function and emotional and mental health. Sleep disruptions can exacerbate health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”

Conference sessions will focus on establishing healthful sleep patterns in childhood, families’ roles in healthful sleep patterns in adulthood, and the social ecologies of healthful sleep. The conference will also include a workshop on sleep study methodologies.

“Sleep problems—or good sleep—can affect individuals’ quality of life as well as the well-being of other family members,” noted Orfeu Buxton, associate professor of biobehavioral health and symposium co-organizer.

For more information on the conference and to register, visit

The Family Symposium series is funded in part by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Last Updated May 26, 2016