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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Bethany Letiecq
PhD, University of Maryland at College Park
Associate Professor
Research Methodology
Human Development and Family Science

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Letiecq

Phone: (703) 993-5076
Fax: (703) 993-4370
Email: bletiecq (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2102
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Bethany Letiecq is an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development, specializing in the utilization of community-based participatory action research approaches, anti-racist research methods (see, and mixed method designs (e.g., qualitative and quantiative methods) in partnership with minoritized and marginalized families. In her work, she documents the structural forces (law, policies, practices) that cause stressors, erode family health, and hinder family functioning. She also examines the ways families adapt and adjust to and resist structural forces, including structural racism and inequality, to achieve their goals. Guided by community partners, she works to translate research to action for systems change. 

Currently, she is working on several projects in Virginia: 1) documenting the lived experiences of Black families residing in public housing targeted for redevelopment; 2) conducting research and action with undocumented immigrant families mainly from Central America to document their health and family and community contexts, including housing and engagement within the public school system; and 3) evaluating family-based health and nutrition interventions with Central American and other immigrant families. Previosuly, she worked in partnership with Native American and White grandparents rearing grandchildren, successfully advocating for law changes in Montana to advance grandparent rights when providing primary care of their grandchildren. She also worked with Mexican migrants to Montana to support access to health care, education-based services, and migrant justice. With her community partners, she co-founded the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (, a statewide nonprofit working for immigrant rights, and Amigas de la Comunidad, a NOVA-based community advisory board. 

Dr. Letiecq primarily teaches family law and public policy and research methods courses. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marriage and Family and the Journal of Family Theory and Review and has published her research in such professional outlets as Family Relations, Journal of Family Theory and Review, Journal of Family and Community Health, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, and Health Education and Behavior. She is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations (President-elect 2021-2023; President 2023-2025), the Council on Contemporary Families, Law and Society Association, and the American Educational Research Association, among others. She also serves on the GMU Faculty Senate, is Vice-President of the GMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and President-elect of the VA Conference of the AAUP. 


Research Interests

Community-based participatory (action) research (CBPR/PAR) and scholar-activism

Anti-racist and decolonizing research methods

Immigration and family well-being

Family policies, family privilege, and structural inequalities

Family-school-university partnerships

Recent Publications

Letiecq, B., Vesely, C., & Goodman, R. (in press). Family-centered participatory action research: With, by, and for families. In K. Adamson, A Few-Demo, C. Proulx and K. Roy (Eds.), Sourcebook of Family Theories and Methodologies. Springer.

Gibson, T.A., Letiecq, B.L., & Finkelstein, J.H. (2021). Good Trouble in the Time of COVID-19. Health Communication, 22 (online). DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2021.1957214

Vesely, C., DeMulder, E., Sansbury, A., Davis, E., Letiecq, B., Willard, B., & Goodman, R. (2021). 'A place where my children could learn to read, write, and play': The Search for Early Care and Education among Undocumented Central American Immigrant Mothers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Sanchez, R., Letiecq, B., & Ginsberg, M. (2019). An integrated model of family strengths and resilience: Theorizing at the intersection of Indigenous and western paradigms. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 4(11), 561-575.

Kuvalanka, K. A., Newsome, W., Letiecq, B., Neff, J., Neubeiser, K., Snodgrass, J., & Valentic, G. (2019). Grandmothers raising their transgender grandchildren: An exploratory study. Journal of GLBT Family Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1550428X.2019.1630883

Letiecq, B. (2019). Family privilege and supremacy in family science: Toward justice for all. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 11(3), 398-411. DOI: 10.1111/jftr.12338

Letiecq, B.L., Mehta, S., Vesely, C.K., Marquez, M., Goodman, R.D., & Moron, L. (2019). Central American immigrant mothers’ mental health in the context of illegality: Structural stress, parental concern, and trauma. Journal of Family and Community Health, 42(4), 271-282. DOI: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000233, PMID: 31403988

Vesely, C., Letiecq, B., & Goodman, R. (2019). “Parenting across two worlds”: Low-income Latina immigrants’ adaptation to motherhood in the U.S. Journal of Family Issue, 40, 711-738. doi: 10.1177/0192513X18821398

Bailey, S., Letiecq, B., Visconti, K., & Tucker*, N. (2019). Resilience among Native American custodial grandparents. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 34(2), 131-148.

Vesely, C.K., Letiecq, B.L., Goodman, R.D., Marquez, M., Alves, L. Lazo, W., & Martinez, M. (2019).  “What does this mean to you?” Partnering with Amigas de la Comunidad to Analyze the Housing Conditions of Undocumented Latina immigrants.  In A. Humble and E. Radina (Eds.) How qualitative data analysis happensMoving beyond “themes emerged”. Taylor & Francis.

Allen, K. R., Letiecq, B.L., Roberto, K.A., Rosenblatt, P.C., & Wieling, E. (2019). Dialogue about reflexivity. In A. Humble and E. Radina (Eds.) How qualitative data analysis happensMoving beyond “themes emerged”. Taylor & Francis.

Goodman, R. D., Vesely, C. K., & Letiecq, B. L. (2018). Counseling refugees. In J. Webber & J. B. Mascari (Eds.), Disaster mental health counseling: A guide to preparing and responding (4th ed.).  Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association Foundation.

Goodman, R. D., Letiecq, B. L. Vesely, C. K., Marquez*, M., & Leyva, K. (2017). Community practice with immigrants and refugees.  In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds.), Models for practice with immigrants and refugees: Collaboration, cultural awareness and integrative theory. New York, NY: SAGE.

Letiecq, B. & Anderson, E. (2017). From education to advocacy and activism: Alternative roles for translating family science to policy. Family Relations, 66(4), 729-740(Special Issue on Translational Family Science).

Vesely, C., Letiecq, B., Goodman, R. (2017). Immigrant family resilience in context: Using a community-based approach to build a new conceptual model. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 9, 93-110.

Courses Taught This Semester