Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN

Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor
Family, Qualitative & Mixed-Methods Research Methodology, Research



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 408

Currently Accepting PhD Students

Kathleen (Kathy) Knafl is the Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A sociologist who has spent her entire academic career in nursing, Dr. Knafl’s research addresses family response childhood chronic conditions. With funding from three National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, she led the development of the Family Management Style Framework, including development of a structured measure of family management (Family Management Measure – FaMM). Further information on the development, testing, and scoring of the FaMM can be found at: https://nursing.unc.edu/research/office-of-research-support-consultation/resources/family-management-measure-famm/.

Much of Dr. Knafl’s work has involved mixed-methods designs and entailed treating the family/dyad as the unit of analysis. Her current NIH grant is a mixed-methods synthesis of research on the intersection of family life and childhood chronic conditions. Drawing on data from over 1000 research reports, the study addresses the nature and efficacy of family-focused interventions and the will the relationships among parent, child, and family variables in the context of childhood chronic conditions. The following website provides information on the methods and outcomes of the study: http://familysynthesis.unc.edu/home.  Dr. Knafl has served as a consultant on multiple NIH grants, most often providing guidance of data collection and analysis in family studies. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Family Nursing, Research in Nursing & Health, and Nursing Outlook. She is a founding member of the International Family Nursing Association.

2009, Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor, University  North Carolina – Chapel Hill

2007, Distinguished Contributions to Family Nursing Research Award. Journal of Family Nursing

2005, Elizabeth N. Gray Distinguished Professor, Oregon Health & Sciences University

2001, Honorary Fellow American Academy of Nursing

1997, Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing and Health Care, American Academy of Nursing

1997, Alumni Association University of Illinois at Chicago Flame Award for Teaching Excellence

1993, Honorary Membership, Society for Pediatric Nurses

1990, 2000, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing Graduate Student Organization Award for Faculty Excellence

1989,  Honorary Membership Sigma Theta Tau International

1978, 1980, American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award


Selected Refereed Publications from past 10 Years

Knafl, K., Leeman, J., Havill, N., Crandell, J., & Sandelowski, M. (2015). Delimiting family in syntheses of research on childhood conditions and family life. Family Process, 54, 173-184.

Havill, N., Leeman, J., Shaw-Kokot, J., Knafl, K., Crandell, J., & Sandelowski, M. (2014). Managing large-volume literature searches in research synthesis studies. Nursing Outlook, 62, 112-118.

Knafl, K., Deatrick, J, Knafl, G., Gallo, A. Grey, M., Dixon, J. (2013). Patterns of family management of childhood chronic conditions and their relationship to child and family functioning. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 28, 523-535.

Sandelowski, M., Leeman, J., Knafl, K., & Crandell, J. L. (2013). Text-in-Context: A method for extracting findings in mixed-methods mixed research synthesis studies. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69, 1428-1437.

Swallow, V., Knafl, K., Santacroce, S., Hall, A., Smith T., Campbell, M. & Webb, N. (2012). The online parent information and support project, meeting parents’ information and support needs for home-based management of childhood chronic kidney disease: research protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68, 2095-2102.

Knafl, A., Deatrick, J., & Havill, N. (2012). Continued development of the Family Management Style Framework.  Journal of Family Nursing, 18, 11-34.

Knafl, G., Dixon, O’Malley, J., Grey, M., Deatrick, J., Gallo, A., & Knafl, K. (2012).Scale development based on likelihood cross-validation. Statistical Methods for Medical Research, 21, 599-619.

Rearick, E., Sulllivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C., & Knafl, K. (2011). Parents of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes: Experiences with social support and family management. Diabetes Educator, 37, 508-18.

Knafl. K., Deatrick, J., Gallo, A., Dixon, J., Grey, M., Knafl. G., O’Malley, J. (2011). Assessment of the psychometric properties of the Family Management Measure. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36, 494-505.

Knafl, K., Darney, B., Gallo, A., Angst, D. (2010). Parental perceptions of the outcome and meaning of normalization. Research in Nursing & Health, 33,87-98.

Gallo, A., Knafl, K., & Angst, D. (2009). Information management in families with a child with a genetic condition. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 24, 194-204.

Gallo, A., Angst, D., & Knafl, K. (2009). Disclosure of genetic information to family members. American Journal of Nursing, 109, 65-69.

Knafl, G., Dixon, J., O’Malley, J., Grey, M., Deatrick, J., Gallo, A., & Knafl, K. (2009). Analysis of cross-sectional univariate measurements for family dyads using linear mixed modeling. Journal of Family Nursing, 15, 130-151.

Knafl, K., Deatrick, J., & Gallo, A. (2008). The interplay of concepts, data, and methods in the development of the family management style framework. Journal of Family Nursing, 14, 412-428.

Weigand, D., Deatrick, J., & Knafl, K. (2008).  Family management styles related to withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy from adults who are acutely ill or injured. Journal of Family Nursing, 14, 16-32.

Knafl, K, Deatrick, J., Gallo, A., Holcombe, G., Bakitas, M., Dixon, J., & Grey M. (2007). The analysis and interpretation of cognitive interview for instrument development. Research in Nursing & Health, 30, 224-234.

Knafl, K., Knafl, G., Gallo, A., & Angst, D. (2007). Parents’ perceptions of functioning in families having a child with a genetic condition. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 16, 481-492.

Knafl, K., & Deatrick, J. (2006). Family management style and the challenge of moving from conceptualization to measurement. Journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses, 23, 12-18.

Snethen, J., Broome, M., Knafl, K., Deatrick, J., Angst, D. (2006). Family patterns of decision making in clinical trials. Research in Nursing and Health, 29, 223-232.

Davidson, M., & Knafl, K. (2006). Dimensional analysis of the concept of obesity. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54, 342-350.

Weine, S., Knafl, K., Feetham, S., Kulauzovic, Y., Klebic, A., Sclove, S., Besic, S., Mujagic, A., Muzurovic, J., Spahovic, D. (2005). A mixed-method study of refugee families engaging in multiple-family groups. Family Relations, 54, 558-568.

Whittemore, R., & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrative review: Updated methodology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52, 546-553.

Principal Investigator, “How Families Define and Manage a Child’s Chronic Illness,” (RO1 NR01594), funded by National Center of Nursing Research, NIH, 5/1/87‑8/31/92, $382,504 (last two years funded by competitive continuation award), Minority Supplement, 1991-1992.

Co-investigator, “Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in High Risk Teens,” (R21 DK59248 awarded to M. Grey) funded by National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, 10/1/00-9/30/02.

Co-investigator, “Parents’ Interpretation and Use of Genetic Information (R01HG02036 awarded to A. Gallo) funded by the National Institute of Human Genome Research, 7/1/01–6/30/07.Principle Investigator, Assessing Family Management of Childhood Chronic Illness” (R01 NR08048), funded by National Institute for Nursing Research, 04/01/03-03/31-07, $1,111, 312.

Co-investigator, “Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in At-Risk Youth” (R01 NR008579 awarded to M. Grey), funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, 09/01/03-06/30/05.

Co-investigator, “Measuring Self-Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Youth” (R01NR08579 awarded to L. Schilling), Funded by the National Center for Nursing Research, 2004-2007.

Principal Investigator, “Mixed-Methods Synthesis of Research on Childhood Chronic Conditions and Family” (R01NR01445), Funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research, 2011-2016, $1,347,026.

Co-investigator, “Retention in Cancer Clinical Trials: Modeling Patient-Participants’ Risk-Benefit” (R01CA196131 awarded to C. Ulrich), Funded by the National Institute of Cancer 2014-2019.