Office location: 2121
Phone number: 217-265-0577
Professor Liechty received her PhD in Family Studies from the University of Maryland in College Park, an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore, and a B.A. in Social Work from Goshen College. She has worked for over 14 years as a licensed Social Worker in hospitals, clinics, and health promotion programs with families and adolescents, adults with developmental disabilities, and persons with physical disabilities and chronic illness. She also maintained a private practice and consulting business for 10 years prior to joining the faculty at UIUC in 2007. She holds a joint appointment with the School of Social Work and College of Medicine.
Research and Practice Interests
Professor Liechty’s primary research interests are aimed at understanding the interplay between family processes and psychosocial dimensions of health and well-being, disability and chronic illness, and gender and health. Of particular interest is how family processes influence healthy and disordered eating and food behaviors, weight regulation concerns, perceptions of normal weight, the construction of body image, and resistance against hegemonic and/or unsound media ideals for body shape and appearance. A second area of research interest is the study of healthcare interdisciplinary team practices, cultural competency, and patient-provider relationship characteristics that facilitate optimal patient participation in healthcare decisions, sustained engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviors, and quality of life in the presence of illness and/or disability.
Professor Liechty's current research projects include: 1) Examination of the roles of gender socialization and family processes in hypothesized pathways of risk and resilience against body image distortion, disordered eating, overweight, and extreme dieting among adolescents, and how these differ by race/ethnicity, age, gender, and SES. She is currently using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to pursue this line of inquiry. 2) Investigating socialization factors, models, and pedagogies that facilitate the development of Cultural Competency among health and human service providers, students, educators, and families.
Liechty, J.M. (in press). Health Literacy: Emerging opportunities for Social Work leadership in healthcare settings. Health and Social Work.
Duncan, A., Liechty, J.M., Miller, C. Chinoy, G., & COL Ricardi, R. (in press). Employee use and perceived benefit of a CAM wellness clinic at a major military hospital: Evaluation of a pilot program.
Liechty, J.M. (2010). Body image distortion and three types of weight control behaviors among non-overweight girls in the U.S. Journal of Adolescent Health, 47, 176-182.
Harrison, K., Bost, K.K., McBride, B.A., Donovan, S.M., Grigsby-Toussaint, D.S., Kim, J., Liechty, J.M., Wiley, A., Teran-Garcia, M., & Jacobsohn, G.C. (in press). Toward a developmental conceptualization of contributors to overweight and obesity in childhood: The Six-C’s Model. Child Development Perspectives.
Liechty, J.M., & Liao, M.*, Pegarraro-Schull, C. (2009). Accelerating dissertation completion among Social Work doctoral students. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(3), 481-497.
Liechty, J.M. & Bires-Cook, C.** (2008, December). Families and healthy eating. National Association of Social Workers, Help Starts Here. Available at www.socialworkers.org
Liechty, J.M. (2007). Families and body image. National Association of Social Workers, Help Starts Here. Available at www.socialworkers.org
Liechty, J. M., & Anderson, E. (2007). Flexible workplace policies: Lessons from the Alternative Work Schedules Act. Family Relations, 56(3), 304-317.
Manlove, J., Moore, K., Liechty, J., Ikramullah, E., & Cottingham, S. (2005). Sex between young teens and older individuals: A demographic portrait. Child Trends Research Brief. Washington, DC: Child Trends.
Liechty J.M. (2005). Coming home from the hospital with a new disability: Challenges for elderly spouses and families. National Council of Family Relations Report, 50(3), 26-27.
Liechty, J.M. (2010, July). Do body image distortion and weight control practices during adolescence predict eating disorders in young adulthood? Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Paper presented at the bi-annual Add Health Data Users conference, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.
Harrison, K., Bost, K. K., McBride, B. A., Donovan, S. M., Grigsby-Toussaint, D. S., Kim, J., Liechty, J. M., Wiley, A., Teran-Garcia, M., & Jacobsohn, G. C. (2010, June). Toward a developmental conceptualization of contributors to overweight and obesity in childhood: The Six-Cs Model. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Singapore.
Liechty, J.M. (2009, January). Body image distortion in relationship to onset of three types of weight control behaviors among adolescent girls in the U.S. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Social Work Research, New Orleans, LA.
Liechty, J.M. , Liao, M.* (2009, January). Estimating adolescent weight status from CDC’s age-adjusted growth charts: The importance of age precision in obesity and weight-related research. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Social Work Research, New Orleans, LA.
Liechty, J.M., (2008, November). Family support and safe and unsafe weight control behaviors among girls in the U.S. Paper presented at the 70th annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Little Rock, AR.
Liechty, J.M. , Grutzmacher, S. K. (2008, October). Health Literacy: Emerging opportunities for Social Work leadership in hospitals. Paper presented at the annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Philadelphia, PA.
Grutzmacher, S.K., Liechty, J.M. (2008, October). Developing and evaluating an experiential approach to teaching Research Methods. Workshop presented at the annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Philadelphia, PA.