Picture of Kristin Litzelman

Kristin Litzelman

Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Studies Department and Major
Office 4115
Office Hours
By Appointment
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.

–Margaret Mead

My interests center on how illness impacts families, primarily through the lens of family caregiving. Through my research, I seek to learn how individuals influence and are influenced by their family and community, and how these factors translate into health or “un-health” over the short and long term. The end goal of my research is to improve outcomes for families facing health problems and disability. I engage both undergraduate and graduate students in my research. To apply to our graduate program, see our application webpage.

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


Division of Extension (State Specialist in Family and Financial Well-being in Middle and Later Life)
Center for Child and Family Well-Being
Center for Financial Security
UW Carbone Cancer Center
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Center for Aging Research and Education

Recent press

Cancer caregiving and COVID-19: Challenges and coping, UW Health, April 16, 2020
Helping caregivers realize they need care too, UW Health, September 6, 2019

Theories and Perspectives in Human Ecology (Inter-HE 801)

Litzelman K. (2019). Family Caregiving and the Quality of Cancer Care. Seminars in Oncology Nursing. 35(4), 348-353.

Litzelman, K., Keller, A. O., Tevaarwerk, A., & DuBenske, L. (2018). Adequacy of depression treatment in spouses of cancer survivors: Findings from a nationally representative US survey. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 33(6), 869-876. doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4331-z. PMC5975149.

Litzelman, K., Kent, E. E., & Rowland, J. H. (2018). Interrelationships between health behaviors and coping strategies among informal caregivers of cancer survivors. Health Education and Behavior, 45(1), 90-100. doi:10.1177/1090198117705164. PMC5623644.

Litzelman, K., Kent, E. E., Mollica, M., & Rowland, J. H. (2016). How does caregiver well-being relate to perceived quality of care in patients with cancer? Exploring associations and pathways. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 34(29), 3554-3561. doi:10.1200/JCO.2016.67.3434. PMC5074348.

Litzelman, K., & Yabroff, K. R. (2015). How are spousal depressed mood, distress, and quality of life associated with risk of depressed mood in cancer survivors? Longitudinal findings from a national sample. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 24(6), 969-977. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1420. PMC4453017.

Selected Presentations and Publications

· Caregiving “how-to” sheets: https://www.coveringwi.org/caregiving

· Caregiving in Wisconsin: https://blogs.ces.uwex.edu/aging/files/2017/10/infographic-Brown-County-2017.pdf

· Caregiving-related resources: https://parenting.extension.wisc.edu/caregiving/

· Wednesday Nite @ the Lab (April 2016): https://wpt4.org/wpt-video/university-place/university-place-well-being-caregiver/

· Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time (February 2018): https://www.wpr.org/depression-and-caregiving


· North Central Region Aging Network (NCRAN): http://www.ncran.org/

· Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance: http://wisconsincaregiver.org/alliance

· UW–Madison ICTR Community Academic Partnerships (Faculty liaison to UW-Extension):

Community-Academic Research Partnerships



Litzelman K, Witt WP, Gangnon RE, Nieto FJ, Engelman CD, Mailick MR and Skinner HG. Association between Informal Caregiving and Cellular Aging in the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin: The Role of Caregiving Characteristics, Stress, and Strain. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Jun 1;179(11):1340-52.


Litzelman K, Skinner HG, Gangnon RE, Nieto FJ, Malecki K, and Witt WP. Role of Global Stress in the Health-Related Quality of Life of Caregivers: Evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin. Qual Life Res. 2014 Jun;23(5):1569-78.


A complete list of publications is available via PubMed or Google Scholar