Faculty Directory

Christine A. Fruhauf (Bubien)

Christine Fruhauf, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Director, HDFS Extension Programs
Coordinator, Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor

Contact Information

417 Behavioral Sciences Building
1570 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1570

Phone: 970-491-1118
Fax: 970-491-7975
E-mail: christine.fruhauf@colostate.edu
View Vita

Research Interests

I am a family gerontology specialist who studies multiple aspects associated with aging families. In particular, my research foci include three main areas: (1) grandparent - grandchild relationships - including grandparents raising grandchildren and GLBT grandparenting, (2) family caregiving - addressing young adult caregivers and the impact of respite care on caregivers' well-being, and (3) gerontological education and instruction. In addition to these three content related areas, I am particularly interested in the Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach to working with the community in conducting my scholarly work.

Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships. Recently most of my attention is focused on building my research program on grandparent-grandchild relations. For example, my publications and presentations concentrate on contemporary grandparenting issues, community mobilization addressing grandparents raising grandchildren, GLBT grandparenting, and grandchildren caregivers (this also connects with my research program on family caregiving issues). Focusing on grandparent-grandchild relationships, I have dedicated much of the past few years on understanding the health and well-being of grandparents who rear grandchildren. I am currently working with a team of researchers at CSU and the University of Northern Colorado to fund our work addressing mental health concerns of grandparents. Further, I continue to be an active member of the Larimer County Alliance for Grandfamilies where I am a member of the Leadership Council and Chair of the University Engagement Work Team (UEWT). As Chair of the UEWT my collaborative efforts have resulted in multiple internal grants and an external grant from eXtension. Through my work with the LCAG I have been able to apply a CBPR approach to working with the community to improve services and resources to grandfamilies (Fruhauf, Bundy-Fazioli, & Miller, 2012).

Family Caregiving. In addition to grandparent-grandchild relations, I am also interested in family caregiving issues. For example, I recently finished a grant for the Healthy Aging Initiative through the Colorado Trust Foundation. Through this grant in 2007 the Larimer County Caregiver Coalition (LCCC) received funding to provide respite care to family caregivers in Northern Colorado. The Center on Aging received funding for program evaluation where I then focused evaluation efforts on the impact respite care has on family caregivers, the usefulness of the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program, and an evaluation of the structure and effectiveness of the LCCC. In addition to this grant, I am building on my work addressing grandchildren caregivers to grandparents (i.e., Fruhauf, Jarrott, & Allen, 2006) that was recently cited in the Journal of Marriage and Family’s Decade Review (Silverstein & Giarrusso, 2010) by working with Dr. Nancy Orel on funding around grandchild caregivers’ decision to provide care to grandparents and the risks and rewards of caregiving.

Gerontological Education and Instruction. Building on my previous work (i.e., Fruhauf, 2005; Fruhauf, 2007; Fruhauf, Jarrott, & Lambert-Shute, 2004; Lambert-Shute, Jarrott, & Fruhauf, 2004) I have been interested in integrating global aging issues into gerontological education. In particular I worked with Dr. Alicia Cook on a linked course activity where we linked students in AHS 201: Perspectives in Gerontology at CSU with the Semester at Sea (SAS) students engaged in service-learning activities. We currently, have a paper in press at International Education discussing our project and its outcomes.


B.S., 1997, Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
M.S., 2000, Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Akron
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, 2000, University of Akron
Ph.D., 2003, Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Honors and Awards

2014 Fellow Status, Association of Gerontology in Higher Education
2013 Brabazon Award for Evaluation Research (Honoring Fruhauf, Bundy-Fazioli & Miller 2012 paper), Generations United
2012 Florence Hall Award, Second Place (Team Award, Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging, CSU Extension), Western Region, National Association of Family & Consumer Sciences
2012 Distinguished Team Award (for Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging, CSU Extension), Epsilon Sigma Phi Western Region
2011 Team Award (for Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging, CSU Extension), Epsilon Sigma Phi Zeta Chapter
2008 Service-Learning Instructional Innovation Award, Colorado State University.
2006 U.S. Fulbright Award: Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad, “Hungary: Old Traditions and New Life in the European Union,” U.S. Department of Education.

Current Research Projects

2010-2011, Interactive On-line Legal Program for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Bruce, A. (PI), Bundy-Fazioli, K. (Co-PI), Fruhauf, C. (Co-PI), & Miller, J. (Co-PI). Funded by eXtension, $2,000.

2007-2011, Larimer County Caregiver Coalition, Larimer County Office on Aging (Co-PI), The Colorado Trust Foundation – Healthy Aging Initiative, $28,000.

2007, Risks and Benefits of Young Adult Caregiving, Department of Human Development & Family Studies mini-grant, Colorado State University, $3,500.

2004, Attitudes and Comfort Level Working with Individuals who have Alzheimer’s Disease, Corporation for National & Community Services, Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, $525.00

2003, The Coming Out Process of Gay Grandfathers to Their Grandchildren. Scholarship Advancement Award, College of Health and Human Sciences, $500.00.

Professional Experience

2013-Present: Director, HDFS Extension Programs, Colorado State University

2010-2013: Director, Undergraduate Program, Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado State University

2009-Present: Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies (Graduate Faculty), Colorado State University

2006-Present: Joint Appointment, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University

2006-Present: Program Coordinator, Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor, Colorado State University

2006-2009 : Associate Director, Center on Aging, Colorado State University

2005-2006 : Director, Center on Aging, Colorado State University

2004-2005: Co-Director, Center on Aging, Colorado State University

2003-2009: Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies (Graduate Faculty), Colorado State University

Adjunct Instructor, Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Adjunct Instructor, Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Akron

Activity Coordinator, Kethley House, Benjamin Rose Institute, Cleveland, Ohio

Physical Therapy Aide, Margaret Wagner House, Benjamin Rose Institute, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Selected Publications

Fruhauf, C. A., & Pevney, B., & Bundy-Fazioli, K. (in press). The needs and use of programs by service providers working with grandparents raising grandchildren. Accepted for publication in September 2012. Journal of Applied Gerontology

Bundy-Fazioli, K., Fruhauf, C. A., & Miller, J. (2013). Grandparent Caregivers' Perceptions of Emotional Distress and Well-Being. Journal of Family Social Work, 16, 447-462. [Special Issue: Understanding Kinship Care: Implications for Policy and Practice.]

Fruhauf, C. A., & Hayslip, B., Jr. (2013). Understanding collaborative efforts to assist grandparent caregivers: A multileveled perspective. Journal of Family Social Work, 16, 382-391. [Special Issue: Understanding Kinship Care: Implications for Policy and Practice.]

Fruhauf, C. A., & Bundy-Fazioli, K. (2013). Grandparent caregivers' self-care practice: Moving towards a strengths-based approach. In B. Hayslip, Jr. & G. C. Smith (Eds.), Resilient grandparent caregivers: A strengths based perspective (pp.88-102). New York, NY, Routledge.

Orel, N. A., & Fruhauf, C. A. (2013). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Grandparents: Addressing an overlooked characteristic of diversity in the grandparent – grandchild relationship. In A. E. Goldberg & K. R. Allen (Eds.), LGBT-Parent Families: Possibilities for New Research and Implications for Practice (pp.177-192). New York, NY: Springer.

Fruhauf, C. A., Bundy-Fazioli, K., & Miller, J. (2012). The Larimer County Alliance for Grandfamilies: An innovative approach to meeting a community need. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 31, 193-214. doi:10.1177/0733464810385094

Lambert-Shute, J., & Fruhauf, C. A. (2011). Aging issues: Unanswered questions in marital and family therapy literature. Journal of Marital Family Therapy, 37(1), 27-36 doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2009.00152x.

Stelle, C., Fruhauf, C. A., Orel, N. A., & Landry-Meyer, L. (2010). Grandparenting in the 21st Century: Issues of diversity in grandparent-grandchild relationships. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 53, 682-701.

Miller, J., Bruce, A., Bundy-Fazioli, K., & Fruhauf, C. A. (2010). Mobilizing a community to address the needs of grandparents raising grandchildren. Journal of Extension, 28(2), 1-5.

Fruhauf, C. A., Orel, N. A., & Jenkins, D. (2009). The coming out process to grandchildren: Grandfather’s perceptions of their adult-children’s influence [Special Issue]. Journal of GLBT Family Studies: Innovations in Theory, Research and Practice, 5, 99-118.

Fruhauf, C. A., & Orel, N. A. (2008). Developmental issues of grandchildren who provide care to grandparents. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 67, 209-230.

Fruhauf, C. A., Jarrott, S. E., & Allen, K. R. (2006). Grandchildren’s perceptions of caring for grandparents. Journal of Family Issues, 27, 887-911.

Thematic Research Areas

  • Adult Development & Aging