Jennifer H Elder PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor And PhD Program Director
About Jennifer H Elder
Dr. Elder has taught across all levels of the curriculum including both didactic and clinical courses. She currently focuses on directing the PhD program, teaching PhD students research methods, mentoring DNP students, teaching psychiatric/mental health nursing to undergraduate students, and providing research experiences for undergraduate honors students. She mentors PhD students whose dissertations focus on autism and related disorders, parent child interactions, in-home parent training, father-child interventions, and innovative technologies for promoting child and family health. Her teaching/mentoring has been recognized with a Howard Hughes Mentoring Institute Distinguished Mentor Award, two UF Superior Accomplishment Awards, and two UF Research Professorship Awards.
Dr. Elder has spent over 30 years studying autism and related child neuropsychiatric disorders and includes students from nursing and a variety of other disciplines in all of her research. Much of her family-focused work examines methods of educating families, enhancing family cohesion, and reducing caregiver stress of children with autism. Dr. Elder has been the primary investigator on four NIH/NINR grants totaling over $2.5 million dollars. She has given numerous international research presentations including an invited presentation in New Delhi by India’s president.
Dr. Elder is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and frequently reviews for NIH, Department of Defense, American Nurses Foundation, Southern Nursing Research Society, Sigma Theta Tau International and refereed journals both in and outside the field of nursing. She has served on a variety of committees both within the College of Nursing and university. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, Florida Nurses Association, Southern Nursing Research Society, International Society for Autism Research and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing. She is currently the director of grants for SNRS and the chair of AACN’s Research Leadership Network.
Dr. Elder received her BSN in Nursing at the Medical College of Georgia. She received her MSN in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing and her PhD in Nursing Science at the University of Florida
Honors & Awards
Main research program focuses on biobehavioral aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Other foci include research related to other child neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., ADHD), child development, parent-child interactions, family dynamics, and the role of fathers and typically developing siblings in treating chronic childhood disorders.
Dr. Elder has expertise in psychiatric/mental health nursing, pediatrics and child mental health, quantitative research methods including single subject experimental design, and ethical conduct of research. Her administrative experience has spanned ten years: five years as a department chair, five years as an associate dean for research, and current director of UFCON’s PhD program.