Meet the Lurie College Faculty | Dina Izenstark

Dina earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.  She is an applied, interdisciplinary scholar with a program of research that explores how engagement in the natural environment positively influences youth development and family relationships.  Read Dina’s full profile below and listen to her personality playlist on the Lurie College Spotify account!

Assistant Professor, Child & Adolescent Development
Ph.D., Human Development & Family Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S., Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.S., Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Recent Publications
Izenstark, D. & Ebata, A. T. (2019). Why families go outside: An exploration of mothers’ and daughters’ family-based nature activities. Leisure Sciences. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2019.1625293
Izenstark, D. (2019). Sustaining family relationships over time through family-based nature activities. Family Focus, 81, 14-15.
Izenstark, D. & Ebata, A. (2017). The effects of a walk in nature on attention and family cohesion: An experimental design study. Children, Youth & Environments, 27(2), 93-109.
Izenstark, D. & Ebata, A. (2016). Theorizing family-based nature activities and family functioning: The integration of attention restoration theory with a family routines and rituals perspective. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, 137-153.
Izenstark, D., Oswald, R.F., Holman, E.G., Mendez, S. & Greder, K. (2016). Rural, low-income mothers’ use of family-based nature activities to promote family health. Journal of Leisure Research, 48(2), 134-155. doi:
Recent Presentations
Izenstark, D. & Crossman, K.A (March, 2019). Teaching strategies for active engagement in the classroom. Poster presented at the CSU Symposium on Teaching and Learning, Fresno, CA.
Izenstark, D. & Ebata, T. (November, 2018). Perceived health benefits of mothers’ and daughters’ time spent in nature. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations, San Diego, CA.
Izenstark, D. & Tu, K.M. (February, 2018). Family-based nature activities as a context for positive parent-child communication. Poster presented at The Academy of Leisure Sciences Conference, Indianapolis, IN.
Noteworthy Grants and Awards
Undergraduate Research Grant for Natalee Devine ($1000); San José State University; Fall 2019-Spring 2020
Undergraduate Research Grant for Sarah Rodriguez ($1000); San José State University; Fall 2018-Spring 2019
Areas of Research Interest
Areas of Research Interest
Attention restoration theory
Family-based nature activities
Family leisure
Natural environment
Parent-child interactions
Routines and rituals
Recommended Reading

About the Author

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