Kristin LitzelmanAssociate Professor of Human Development & Family Studiesshe/her/hers

My program of research focuses on the impact of illness on families. My research can be considered across three interconnected themes: (1) the dyadic interrelationships between caregivers and care recipients; (2) the context of caregiving; and (3) caregiver access to formal and informal supports. Much of my work focuses on cancer caregiving, as well as caregiving experiences and impacts at the population-level. The overarching goal of my work is to improve the policies, systems, and environment surrounding patients and caregivers, to better support their well-being and to prevent or mitigate adverse sequalae related to the caregiving role.

To undertake this work, I make use of large, secondary datasets that contain rich, longitudinal household-level or dyadic data (e.g., data on the caregiver and care recipient dyad). I employ a range of analytic approaches including multivariable logistic and linear regression, dyadic data analyses (e.g., actor-partner interdependence modeling), and generalized additive modeling. Disseminating my research findings to end users — families, clinicians, and policymakers — has been a central part of my work in the form of outreach presentations, materials development, and media participation. This outreach has equally informed my research and my conceptualization of the experiences and impacts of caregiving.

Selected Publications

Litzelman, K., Berghoff, A., Stevens, J., & Kwekkeboom, K. (2023). Predictors of psychoneurological symptoms in cancer caregivers over time: Role of caregiving burden, stress, and patient symptoms. Supportive Care in Cancer, 31(5), 274.

Choi, H., Reblin, M., & Litzelman, K. (2023). Conceptualizing family caregivers’ use of community support services: A scoping review. The Gerontologist. Online ahead of print.

Litzelman, K., & Al Nassar, N. (2022). Partner effects on caregiver and care recipient depressed mood: heterogeneity across health condition and relationship type. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 45(5), 750-759.

Litzelman, K., Choi, H., Maher, M., & Harnish, A. (2021). Role of cancer survivor health and health service use in spouses’ utilization of mental health-related care. Cancer, 127(7) 1146-1153.

For a full list of publications, see Litzelman’s PubMed listings.

A white woman with brown, curly hair, smiling, wearing a blue dress.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • BS Human Development & Family Studies
  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies



  • PhD, Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • BA, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Office: 4115 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-262-3314