Ashley BerghoffGraduate Student

I am interested in how chronic illness impacts families from an ecological perspective. My research focuses on adolescent and young adult chronic illness, and the transition adolescents undertake when they move from pediatric to adult-based care. I am passionate about understanding the barriers and gaps that exist for adolescents with chronic conditions, particularly relating to identity development and sense of self. In the long term, I aim to increase research-based materials for adolescents to use to navigate the healthcare system and the challenges that come with having a chronic illness. My passion is rooted in my own experiences as a member of the disabled community, and I aim to use my strengths as a researcher to create a lasting positive impact for this population.

I graduated from the University of Arkansas in May of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science. During my undergraduate career, I worked as a research assistant in the Adolescent to Adult Risk and Resilience Co-Op, led by Dr. Amanda Terrell and Dr. Jennifer Becnel. During this time, I completed my undergraduate honors thesis, titled “Parental Autonomy Granting and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents with Chronic Conditions.” I also worked on studies involving learning disabilities, obesity, and adolescent media behavior using qualitative and quantitative methods. I have presented my work at the Southeastern Conference on Family Relations and the National Conference on Family Relations. I am currently advised by Dr. Kristin Litzelman, and I have been working on research relating to caregiving and family outcomes.

Awards and Recognition

  • Southeastern Conference on Family Relations 2019 — Most Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Presentation
  • “Linking Learning Disabilities and Depressive Symptoms”
  • University of Arkansas Undergraduate Poster Competition (Education and Health) “Parental Autonomy Granting and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents with Chronic Conditions” — Second place
  • University of Arkansas Senior of Significance & Razorback Classic, 2021
  • University of Arkansas First-Ranked Senior Scholar, 2021
A white woman with glasses smiling, with blonde hair, wearing a red dress and black pants.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies


  • BS, Human Development and Family Science, University of Arkansas


Phone: 314-952-5248