Natalie Williams, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies

Natalie Williams’ program of research is broadly concerned with promoting physical and psychosocial wellbeing in vulnerable child populations and their families. This work is rooted in a socio-ecological theoretical framework that assumes children’s outcomes are influenced not only by characteristics of individuals, but also by features of their home, school, and community environments. Over the past ten years, she has conducted research focusing on injury prevention in toddlers, psychosocial adjustment of children with cancer, the impact of childhood food allergy of parenting practices and caregiver quality of life, and family and child influences on childhood obesity.

At UNL, Williams continues to conduct research related to child and family health. One line of inquiry focuses on child nutrition and obesity prevention, and emphasizes collaborations with other members of the Healthy Humans cluster (e.g., influences on food-related parenting in infants and preschoolers, child characteristics that affect obesity risk). A second line of inquiry focuses on promoting the wellbeing of children and families coping with chronic or life-threatening medical conditions.

Williams received a joint doctoral degree in developmental and child clinical psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. These experiences provided broad training in both normative and problematic social/emotional, physical and cognitive development in childhood, as well as focused training in pediatric psychology research and clinical practice.