Katherine Allen

Katherine Allen

Katherine Allen



401C Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061





  • Family diversity over the life course
  • Family gerontology
  • Feminist family studies
  • LGBTQ families
  • Qualitative research methods

Professional Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Warm Hearth Village Retirement Community, Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Marriage and Family; Family Relations; Journal of Family Issues; Journal of Family Theory and Research; Journal of Sex Research
  • Faculty Affiliate, Virginia Tech: Faculty of Health Sciences; Center for Gerontology; Women’s and Gender Studies; Human Sexuality Studies
  • Inaugural Fellow, National Council on Family Relations
  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America


  • Ph.D. Syracuse University
  • M.A. Syracuse University
  • B.S. University of Connecticut

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    2016 - Ernest W. Burgess Award for Distinguished Career in Family Research, National Council on Family Relations

    2015 - Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising, Virginia Tech (University award)

    2014 - Alexis J. Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Feminist Family Studies, National Council on Family Relations (inaugural award)

    2014 - Felix Berardo Scholarship Award for Mentoring, National Council on Family Relations

    Selected Publications


    Allen, K. R., & Henderson, A. C. (2017). Family theories: Foundations and applications. Malden, MA: Wiley.

    Edited Books

    Goldberg, A. E., & Allen, K. R. (Eds.). (2013). LGBT-parent families: Innovations in research and implications for practice. New York: Springer.

    Lloyd, S. A., Few, A. L., & Allen, K. R. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of feminist family studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


    Zhang, J., & Allen, K. R. (2019). Constructions of masculinity and the perception of interracial relationships among young male Chinese international students and scholars in the United States. Journal of Family Issues, 40, 340-362. doi:10.1177/0192513X18809751

    Allen, K. R., & Henderson, A. C. (2018). Writing a family theories textbook: A pedagogical praxis. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10, 814-820. doi:10.1111/jftr.12292

    Allen, K. R., Gary, E. A., Lavender-Stott, E. S., & Kaestle, C. E. (2018). "I walked in on them": Young adults’ childhood perceptions of sex and nudity in family and public contexts. Journal of Family Issues, 39, 3804-3831. doi:10.1177/0192513X18793923

    McCann, B. R., & Allen, K. R. (2018). Romantic forecasts in later life: Older single women’s perspectives on family and kin relationships. Journal of Family Issues, 39, 747-770. doi:10.1177/0192513X16680011

    Goldberg, A. E., Allen, K. R., Ellawalla, T., Ross, L. E. (2018). Male-partnered bisexual women’s perceptions of disclosing sexual orientation to family across the transition to parenthood: Intensifying heteronormativity or queering family? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 44, 150-164. doi:10.1111/jmft.12242

    Allen, K. R. (2016). Feminist theory in family studies: History, biography, and critique. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, 207-224. doi:10.1111/jftr.12133

    Jaramillo Sierra, A. L., Kaestle, C. E., & Allen, K. R. (2016). Daughters’ anger towards mothers and fathers in emerging adulthood. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 75, 28-42. doi:10.1007/s11199-016-0599-9

    Allen, K. R., & Jaramillo-Sierra, A. L. (2015). Feminist theory and research on family relationships: Pluralism and complexity. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 73, 93-99. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0527-4

    Allen, K. R., & Lavender-Stott, E. S. (2015). Family contexts of informal sex education: Young men’s perceptions of first sexual images. Family Relations, 64, 393-406. doi:10.1111/fare.12128

    Goldberg, A. G., & Allen, K. R. (2015). Communicating qualitative research: Some practical guideposts for scholars. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77, 3-22. doi:10.1111/jomf.12153

    Additional Information

    Current Research:

    • Aging, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in families
    • Critical race, feminist, and global perspectives on pedagogy and scholarship
    • Family perspectives on cancer survivorship for older rural Appalachian women
    • Fictive kin processes among midlife and older adults
    • Gender and power in college students’ intimate and sexual relationships
    • LGBTQ-parent family relationships; consequences of parental divorce for adult children
    • Family agency in utilizing smart speaker technology