In pediatric healthcare settings, children are typically seen with their parents, which only provides a window into the rest of the family. Understanding children in the context of their family is important, as the family is the most important and proximal influence on the health and well-being of the child. This goes beyond parenting to include family communication, relationships, and functioning. There is a critical need to account for the family system in pediatric research to inform clinical care and health policy.

Researchers across Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Atrium Health are collaborating in areas key to child and family health, conducting studies in obesity and lifestyle behaviors, social determinants of health, and adherence to treatment regimens. To further these efforts, Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s CTSI has developed the innovative Center for Prevention Science in Child and Family Health to provide infrastructure and support to explore the complex family systems involved in prevention and child and family health.