Dr. Jennifer Young is a trained couples and family therapist working across the fields of public health, mental health, family systems, and genetics. She completed her PhD in Family Science at the University of Maryland in June 2018. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she received a BA (Psychology and Chinese) from the University of Wisconsin Madison, an MA (East Asian Languages and Literature) from The Ohio State University, and an MS in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. She recently completed a four-year fellowship at the NIH in the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Genetics Branch where she worked as a psychosocial qualitative research specialist and mental health clinician. At the NCI, her dissertation research outlined the unique social and psychological needs of families with a Li Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare cancer predisposition syndrome. Her research currently focuses on advocacy for culturally competent mental health resources for families undergoing genetic testing for inherited health conditions.

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Maryland College Park (2018)
  • Master of Science, University of Maryland College Park (2014)
  • Master of Arts, Ohio State University (2012)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin Madison (2009)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Legacies and Relationships: Diverse Social Networks and BRCA1/2 Risk Management Decisions and Actions. Journal of family nursing Ersig, A. L., Werner-Lin, A., Hoskins, L., Young, J., Loud, J. T., Peters, J., Greene, M. H. 2018: 1074840718815844


    In families with hereditary breast/ovarian cancer, complex disease histories challenge established patterns of family communication and influence decision-making for clinical surveillance, genetic testing, and risk management. An interdisciplinary team examined longitudinal interview data from women with identified BRCA1/2 mutations to assess interactions within family and social networks about risk information communication and management. We used interpretive description to identify motivation, content, and derived benefit of these interactions. Participants discussed risk information and management strategies with biological and nonbiological network members for multiple purposes: discharging responsibility for risk information dissemination, protecting important relationships, and navigating decision trajectories. Evolving interactions with loved ones balanced long-standing family communication patterns with differing personal preferences for privacy or open sharing, whereas interactions with nonbiological network members expanded participants' range of choices for sources of risk management information. Ongoing assessment of social networks may help support engagement with risk management by aligning with patient social needs.

    View details for PubMedID 30537877