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Marcia Van Riper, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor & Chair, Family Health Division

Phone: (919) 966-4284
Specialty Area: Children’s Health, Disability Ethics, Healthcare Communication, Primary Care/Family Nurse Practitioner

Currently Accepting PhD Students

Office: 433

Marcia Van Riper RN, PhD, FAAN is the Chair of the Family Health Division. She has a joint appointment in the School of Nursing and the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences. The primary focus of her program of research is the family experience of being tested for and living with a genetic condition, with special emphasis on families of individuals with Down syndrome. To date, other conditions she has focused on include Sickle Cell Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Huntington Disease, and Factor V Leiden.  Marcia and her international colleagues are currently conducting a mixed-methods, cross-cultural study designed to address existing gaps in knowledge concerning how cultural scripts and a variety of family factors (i.e., family demands, family appraisal, family resources, family problem solving communication, family coping, and family management styles) contribute to adaptation and resilience in families of individuals with Down Syndrome. To date, over 1200 parents of individuals with Down syndrome from over 10 countries have participated (e.g., Brazil, Ireland,  Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States). Each spring Marcia teaches a required undergraduate course, Family Centered Genomic Health Care. In 2012, Marcia was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to spend 6 months at the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland, collaborating with faculty on family research, teaching, and publishing.