Jason Hans
Professor, Department Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies, & Chellgren Endowed Professor for Research

Professional Profile

Dr. Hans has been in the Department of Family Sciences at UK since 2004, was the Department's Director of Graduate Studies (2011-2015), and has been Interim Department Chair since January of 2021. He was Editor of Family Relations (2015-2020), which is commonly regarded as the premier applied journal of family science, and he has authored over 50 scholarly publications. Dr. Hans has also served as editor of the Family Index Database and Graduate and Undergraduate Study in Marriage and Family, and held leadership positions at both the state and national levels within the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) such as serving as President of a statewide affiliate council, Chair of a national focus group of director of graduate student, and a member of NCFR's Future of Family Science Task Force.

A McNair Scholar (1998–1999) and two-time Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine (2010–2011 & 2017–2018), Dr. Hans has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. He received the 2009 United States Department of Agriculture's Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2008 Provost's Outstanding Teacher Award at the University of Kentucky, the 2013 Award of Excellence in Human Environmental Sciences for teaching, and has been recognized three times (2011, 2012, 2015) by the Teachers Who Made a Difference program at the University of Kentucky. In 2002 he was awarded the National Council on Family Relations Outstanding New Professional Award in recognition of his outstanding potential for contribution to family science, and the Rollins Society inducted him as a member in 2003 for his contributions to the family science community. Dr. Hans is the only student to receive awards as both the most outstanding graduate instructor (2002) and researcher (2004) at the University of Missouri, and he is also the only two-time recipient of the University of Missouri Parents Association Teaching Award (2002, 2004). The American Council on Consumer Interests Applied Consumer Economic Award was awarded to him in 2013 for his research article titled "Social Security survivors benefits: The effects of reproductive pathways and intestacy law on attitudes."
In 2014, Dr. Hans was invited to write about his career path as a family scientist for a special issue of Family Science Review, which he titled "Pathways and Turning Points in My Career as a Family Scientist." In recognition of his career accomplishments, Dr. Hans received the 2015 Citation of Merit Award from the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Missouri.

Course Instruction

FAM 253: Human Sexuality
FAM 652: Readings in Family Theory & Research
FAM 690: Research Methods in Family Science
FAM 775: Professional Development Seminar
FAM 777: Applied Statistics in Family science
UK 101: Academic Orientation


The majority of Dr. Hans’ research has focused on three content areas—reproduction, sexuality, and divorce—and he also has methodological expertise using multiple-segment factorial vignettes.

His primary research interest in the area of reproduction is posthumous reproduction, which has been described as “the most challenging, difficult, and sensitive [ethical conundrum] in the field of medicine” (Bahadur, 2002, p. 2769). Past work has primarily been based on experimental design methods to examine attitudes toward posthumous reproduction, drawing implications for policy and medical decision-making, but his work in this area is now transitioning toward using qualitative methods to examine motivations, meanings, and experiences associated with posthumous reproduction. Dr. Hans has also done research on abortion attitudes, reproductive technology, and birthing practices (e.g., midwifery).

His research on sexuality has been varied, but has included studies on the meanings associated with various sex terminologies, sexual self-disclosure within swingers' marriages, attitudes toward and correlates of various types of sexual behavior and orientations, sexting, infidelity, and the relationship between love styles and sexual behavior.

Divorce and Stepfamilies
His research on divorce and stepfamilies has often centered on issues associated with money that arise in the years following a divorce. For example, he has examined child support issues in the context of remarriage, as well as filial obligations among adult children following parental divorce and remarriage. Other studies have focused on child custody issues, such as custody evaluations in the context of domestic violence, coparenting following divorce, and stepparents’ roles and responsibilities following divorce.

Multiple-Segment Factorial Vignettes (MSFVs)
MSFVs are true-experiment survey designs wherein key circumstances are embedded and randomly manipulated within an extended vignette to test the effects of those manipulations on attitudes, beliefs, decisions, or judgments. Dr. Hans has used this method extensively in his research and is often sought out by both students and colleagues for his experience and expertise implementing this design to examine a wide array of issues.


Ph.D., Family Science, University of Missouri, 2004
M.A., Family Mediation, University of Missouri, 2001
B.S., Human Development & Family Studies, University of Missouri, 1999

Selected Publications

Kimberly, C., & Hans, J. D. (in press). From fantasy to reality: A grounded theory of experiences in the swinger lifestyle. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10508-015-0621-2

Frey, L. M., Hans, J. D., & Sanford, R. L. (in press). Where is family science in suicide prevention and intervention? Theoretical applications for a systemic perspective. Journal of Family Theory and Research.

Frey, L. M., Hans, J. D., & Cerel, J. (in press). Perceptions of suicide stigma: How do social networks and treatment providers compare? Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000358

Frey, L. M., & Hans, J. D. (in press). Attitudes toward assisted suicide: Does family context matter? Archives of Suicide Research. doi:10.1080/13811118.2015.1004477

Frey, L. M., Hans, J. D., & Cerel, J. (in press). Suicide disclosure in suicide attempt survivors: Does family reaction mediate disclosure’s effect on depression? Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. doi:10.1111/sltb.12175

Hardesty, J., Hans, J. D., Haselschwerdt, M. L., Khaw, L., & Crossman, K. A. (2015). The influence of divorcing mothers’ demeanor on custody evaluators’ assessment of their domestic violence allegations. Journal of Child Custody, 12, 47–70. doi:10.1080/15379418.2014.943451

Hans, J. D., Hardesty, J., Haselschwerdt, M. L., & Frey, L. M. (2014). The effects of domestic violence allegations on custody evaluators’ recommendations. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 957–966. doi:10.1037/fam0000025

Hans, J. D. (2014). Pathways and turning points in my career as a family scientist. Family Science Review, 19(2), 31–39. Available at http://www.familyscienceassociation.org

Hans, J. D. (2014). Posthumous gamete retrieval and reproduction: Would the deceased spouse consent? Social Science & Medicine, 119, 10–17. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.010

Hans, J. D., & Kimberly, C. (2014). Abortion attitudes in context: A multidimensional vignette approach. Social Science Research, 48, 145–156. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.06.001

Hans, J. D. (2014). Whither famology? Department name trends across four decades. Family Relations, 63, 323–332. doi:10.1111/fare.12075

Hans, J. D., & Dooley, B. (2014). Attitudes toward making babies... with a deceased partner’s cryopreserved gametes. Death Studies, 38, 571–581. doi:10.1080/07481187.2013.809033

Hans, J. D., & Frey, L. (2013). American attitudes in context: Posthumous use of cryopreserved gametes. Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics, S1, 006. doi:10.4172/2155-9627.S1-006

Hans, J. D., & Yelland, E. (2013). American attitudes in context: Posthumous sperm retrieval and reproduction. Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics, S1, 008. doi:10.4172/2155-9627.S1-008  

Hans, J. D., & Gillen, M. (2013). Social Security survivors benefits: The effects of reproductive pathways and intestacy law on attitudes. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 41, 514–524. doi:10.1111/jlme.12059

Washington, K. N., & Hans, J. D. (2013). Romantic attachment among young adults: The effects of parental divorce and residential instability. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 54, 95–111. doi:10.1080/10502556.2012.752684

Hans, J. D., Kersey, M., & Kimberly, C. (2012). Self-perceived origins of attitudes toward homosexuality. Journal of Homosexuality, 59, 4–17. doi:10.1080/00918369.2012.638547

Hans, J. D., & Kimberly, C. (2011). Abstinence, sex, and virginity: Do they mean what we think they mean? American Journal of Sexuality Education, 6, 329–342. doi:10.1080/15546128.2011.624475

Hans, J. D., & Kimberly, C. (2011). An educational intervention to change planned behavior concerning midwife-assisted out-of-hospital childbirth. Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, 56, 371–375. doi:10.1111/j.1542-2011.2011.00036.x

Haselschwerdt, M. L., Hardesty, J., & Hans, J. D. (2011). Custody evaluators' beliefs about domestic violence allegations during divorce: Feminist and family violence perspectives. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 1694–1711. doi:10.1177/0886260510370599

Ashurst, K. L., Hans, J. D., Smith, D. R., & Jones, K. R. (2010). Positive youth development in the midst of coping with parental cancer: Implications for youth development research and practice. Journal of Youth Development, 5(3), 45–56. Available at http://www.nae4ha.com/assets/documents/JYD_100503final.pdf 

Hans, J. D., Gillen, M., & Akande, K. A. R. (2010). Sex redefined: The reclassification of oral-genital contact. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42, 74–78. doi:10.1363/4207410

Hans, J. D., & Coleman, M. (2009). The experiences of remarried stepfathers who pay child support. Personal Relationships, 16, 597–618. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2009.01241.x

Hans, J. D. (2009). Beliefs about child support modification following remarriage and subsequent childbirth. Family Relations, 58, 65–78. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3729.2008.00535.x

Hans, J. D., Ganong, L. H., & Coleman, M. (2009). Financial responsibilities toward older parents and stepparents: The effect of divorce and remarriage on filial obligations. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 30, 55–66. doi:10.1007/s10834-008-9137-4

Ashurst, K. L., Hans, J. D., & Smith, D. R. (2009). The resilience factor: What extension can learn from adolescents coping with parental cancer. Journal of Extension, 47, Article 2RIB3. Available at http://www.joe.org/joe/2009april/pdf/JOE_v47_2rb3.pdf

Hans, J. D. (2008). Attitudes toward posthumous harvesting and reproduction. Death Studies, 32, 837–869. doi:10.1080/07481180802359789

Hans, J. D. (2008). Should child support continue for children attending college? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 48(3/4), 109–125. doi:10.1300/J087v48n03_07

Hans, J. D. (Ed.). (2008). Graduate and undergraduate study in marriage and family (2008–2010): A guide to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in the United States and Canada. Lexington, KY: Family Scholar Publications. Available at http://history.ncfr.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/GUS-2008.pdf