Marilyn Frenn
Professor & Director of the PhD Program
Office Phone
(414) 288-3845

Obesity prevention in youth, nursing education.

Highest Degree & Institution
Postdoctoral research fellowship, University of Michigan

Brief Statement of Scholarly Interests
My research is with 4-8th grade children and their parents to prevent obesity, using a tailored online intervention and testing a prebiotic. I also have investigated teaching excellence qualitatively.

Titles of Courses Recently Taught

Selected Publications

Davison, K.K.,  Mâsse, L.C., Timperio, A., Frenn, M.D., Saunders, J.,  Mendoza, J.A., Gobbi, E., Hanson, P.,  & Trost, S.G. (2013). Physical activity parenting measurement and research: Challenges, explanations, and solutions. Childhood Obesity, 9, S103-9.

Frenn, M., Pruszynski, J.,  Felzer,H., & Zhang, J. (2013). Authoritative feeding behaviors to reduce child BMI through online interventions. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 18 (1), 65-77.

Polfuss, M., & Frenn. M. (2012). Parenting and feeding behaviors associated with school-aged African American and Caucasian children. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 34, 677-96.

Frenn, M., Felzer,H., Zhang, J. & Pruszynski, J. (In press). Authoritative feeding behaviors to reduce child BMI through online interventions. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing.

Polfuss, M., & Frenn. M. (in press). Parenting and feeding behaviors associated with school-aged African American and Caucasian children. Western Journal of Nursing Research. First published online ahead of print on March 22, 2011 as doi:10.1177/0193945911402225.

Polfuss, M., & Frenn. M. (2012). Parenting Behaviors of African American and Caucasian Families:  Parent and Child Perceptions, Associations with Child Weight and Ability to Identify Abnormal Weight Status. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 27 (3), 195-20.

Frenn, M., Heinrich, A., Schmidt, C. , & Pruszynski, J.E.  (2011). What can parents do to reduce youth obesity? An initial study with a diverse sample. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 26, 428–434.

Lerret, S & Frenn, M. (2011). Challenge with care: Reflections on Teaching Excellence. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27, 378-384.

Johnson, N., Frenn, M., Feetham, S. & Simpson, P. (2011). Autism spectrum disorder: Parenting stress, family functioning and health related quality of life. Families, Systems and Health, 29(3), 232-252.

Duffy, J., Frenn, M., Patterson, B. (2011). Advancing Nursing Education Science: An Analysis of NLN's Grant Program 2008-2010. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(1),10-13.

Farmer, B.J., & Frenn, M. (2009). Teaching Excellence: What Great Teachers Teach Us.  Journal of Professional Nursing, 25, 267-272.

Havice, M., Malin, S., Schweizer, H., & Frenn, M. (2007). Engaging students through collaboration: How Project FUN works.  Nursing Education Perspectives, 28, 203–208.

Frenn, M., Malin, S., Villarruel, A.M., Pearson, K., McCarthy, S., Freeman, J., & Nee, E. (2005). Determinants of physical activity and low-fat diet among low income African American and Hispanic middle school students. Public Health Nursing, 22, 89-97.

Frenn, M., Malin, S., Brown, R.L., Greer, Y., Fox, J. Greer, J., & Smyczek, S. (2005). Changing the tide: An Internet/video exercise and low fat diet intervention with middle school students. Applied Nursing Research, 18, 13-21.       

Frenn, M., Malin, S., Bansal, N., Delgado, M., Greer, Y., Havice. M., Ho, M., & Schweizer, H. (2003). Addressing health disparities in middle school students' nutrition and exercise. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 20(1), 1-14.

Frenn, M., & Malin, S. (2003).  Diet and exercise in low income, culturally diverse middle school students. Public Health Nursing, 20, 361-368.     

Frenn, M., Malin, S., & Bansal, N.K. (2003). Stage based interventions for low fat diet with middle school students. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 18, 1-10.

Robbins, L.B., Pender, N.J., Conn, V.S.,  Frenn, M.D.,  Neuberger, G.B., Nies, M.A., Topp, R.B., & Wilbur, J.E. (2001). Physical activity research in nursing. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 33, 315-321.

Grants or Awards

The effect of combining prebiotic treatment with a diet/physical activity educational program on body composition and intestinal microbiota among predominately overweight and obese children. Clinical and Translational Science Institute of SE Wisconsin

Family Health Through Worksite Wellness: A Planning Grant. Northwestern Mutual Foundation subaward through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of SE WI

Improving health through support for nursing education among highly qualified nursing students: LPN through Doctoral levels.

Regner Research Award to Advance Faculty Research with High Potential: Pilot Testing of the Project FUN with Parents online intervention

Will an Online Exercise and Nutrition Program Work with 4th and 5th Grade Students in Urban and Rural settings? Delta Gamma Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

Exercise and Nutrition: What Works Best for Low Income, Culturally Diverse Middle School Students? Children’s Hospital Foundation

Disparity Elimination Using Care and Exercise, U.S. Tennis & Education Foundation

Guiding Health Professions Students in Preparing Peer Models for Low Fat Diet and Physical Activity in Middle Schools. Milwaukee Area Health Education Center

Professional Memberships



College of Nursing Mission Statement

Through a transformational Catholic, Jesuit education, Marquette University College of Nursing prepares nurse leaders to promote health, healing and social justice for all people through clinical practice and development of nursing knowledge.