Position Title
Specialist in Cooperative Extension

  • Human Development & Family Studies
2327 Hart Hall

Interests: Social-Emotional, Family, Culture/Neighborhood/Society, Health and Mental Health, Prevention Research
Life Phases: Infancy, Early Childhood

Select Publications

Sitnick, S.L., Ontai, L.L., & Townsend, M.S. (2014). What parents really think about their feeding behaviors: Lessons learned from the development of a parental feeding assessment tool. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 2: 84-92.

Sitnick, S.L., Ontai, L.L., Masyn, K., & Conger, K.J. (2014). Mothers’ physical illness in one- and two-parent families. Journal of Family Issues, 5: Online.

Ontai, L.L., Lipscomb, S.T., Sitnick, S.L., Hatton, H., & Lamp, C. (2013). Healthy, Happy Families evaluation: Integrating parenting into child obesity prevention with low-income parents of young children. Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 18(3): Online.

Shilts, M.K., Sitnick, S.L., Ontai, L., & Townsend, M.S. (2013) Guided Goal Setting: A behavior change strategy adapted to the needs of low-income parents of young children participating in Cooperative Extension programs. Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 18: Online.

Ontai, L. L. & Virmani, E.A. (2010). Predicting elements of early maternal elaborative discourse from 12 to 18 months of age. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 98–111.

Ontai, L., Ritchie, L., Williams, S.T., Young, T., & Townsend, M.S. (2009). Guiding family-based obesity prevention efforts in children, Part 1: What determinants do we target? International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health, 2: 19-30.

Ontai, L., Sano, Y., Pong, H., & Conger, K.J. (2008) Low-income rural mothers' perceptions of parent confidence: Role of family health problems and partner status. Journal of Family Relations57: 324-334.

Ontai, L.L. & Thompson, R.A. (2008). Attachment, parent-child discourse and theory of mind development. Social Development, 17: 47-60.

Ontai, L.L., Lipscomb, S., Lamp, C., & Smith, D. (2007). An integrative approach to addressing childhood overweight: Inclusion of parenting information in nutrition education programs. Journal of Extension, 45: Online.


Ph.D. University of Nebraska.