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Parenting Education Lab


The Parenting Education Lab was founded in fall 2006 by Dr. Heidi Stolz and Denise Brandon. It is a collaborative effort between the Department of Child and Family Studies and UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. The mission of the Parenting Education Lab is to strengthen parent-child relationships by coordinating and enriching existing parent education efforts in Tennessee. The lab is housed on the first floor of the Jessie Harris Building, Room 102-A, located at 1215 West Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1912. More contact information is available below.


    • To link parent educators and parents to each other and to resources
    • To translate current parenting research for multiple audiences
    • To facilitate and recognize best practice programs and practices
    • To professionalize parent education in Tennessee
    • To educate UT students in family programming and research
    • To conduct basic and applied research on parenting and parent education

Engaged Scholarship

  • The Parenting Education Lab plans and sponsors three regional conferences each year, offering networking opportunities, keynote speakers, and research updates to parenting educators and other family professionals across Tennessee.
  • We research, write, and distribute quarterly electronic newsletters to parenting educators and other family professionals.

Opportunities for Student Involvement

Graduate Opportunities

  • Graduate Assistantship in the Parenting Education Lab: Assist with ongoing research projects, data collection, and manuscript preparation.

Undergraduate Opportunities

  • Directed Studies (CFS 481): 3 credit hours; Assist with ongoing projects and engaged scholarship.
  • Research Practicum (CFS 490): 6 credits per semester for two semesters. The practicum experience is a supervised research experience contributing to engaged scholarship aspects of the Parenting Education Lab.

Current Projects

  • External Evaluator, Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee Parent Leadership Initiative Project
  • Tennessee Dads Project

Selected Publications

  1. Stolz, H. E. (2011). Parenting education. In S. F. Duncan and H. W. Goddard (Eds.), Family life education: Principles and practices for effective outreach (2nd ed., pp. 191-210). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  2. Stolz, H. E., Henke, T. M., Brandon, D. J., & Sams, J. M. (2010). Professional preparation systems for parenting educators: Identification, perceived value, and demand for a national credential. Journal of Extension, 48(6).
  3. Stolz, H. E., Vargas, L., Clifford, L. M., Gaedt, H. A., & Garcia, C. F. (2010). Evaluating “Parent Project:” A multi-site inquiry. Family Science Review, 15(1), 1-12.
  4. Stolz, H. E., Brandon, D. J., & Wallace, H. S. (2009). The practices, populations, and programs of parent educators in Tennessee. Family Science Review, 14(2), 31-45.
  5. Stolz, H. E. (2009). “I want to be a better parent:” Examining an applied approach to an undergraduate parent-child course. Family Science Review, 14(1), 81-92.

Manuscripts in Preparation

  1. Stolz, H. E., Brandon, D. B., Wallace, H. S., & Roberson, P. N. E. (2012). Parenting education in Tennessee: Identifying strengths and challenges. Manuscript in preparation.
  2. Stolz, H. E., Brandon, D. B., & Roberson, P. N. E. (2012). Teaching child safety to pregnant and parenting teens: A program evaluation of Child and Parenting Skills. Manuscript in preparation.
  3. Rector, M.I., Stolz, H. E., & Brandon, D. B. (2012). Reducing conflict and triangulation during divorce: A longitudinal evaluation of Parenting Apart: Effective Co-Parenting. Manuscript in preparation.
  4. Stolz, H. E., & Brandon, D. J., Wallace, H. S., & Carmino, K.  (2012). Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome: Evaluation of a multiple setting program. Manuscript in preparation.
  5. Stolz, H. E. (2012). Behaviorism and parenting education: When and for whom are reinforcement and punishment effective? Manuscript in preparation.

Contact Information

Heidi Stolz

Heidi E. Stolz, PhD
Child and Family Studies
1215 Cumberland Avenue, Room 102-A
865-974-2742 (fax)




Heather S. Wallace, PhD
Family and Consumer Sciences
119 Morgan Hall
865-974-3234 (fax)