Eastern Michigan University logo

Christina Marsack-Topolewski

Assistant Professor

marsack 206 H Marshall




PhD - Social Work, Wayne State University  Dual Title in Gerontology
MSW - Social Work, University of Michigan, Aging Fellow  Concentrations: Interpersonal Practice
BS - Special Education, Wayne State University

Professional Summary

Areas of interest-

Disability and Aging; Quality of Life and Caregiving; School-Based Services for Students with Disabilities; Autism Spectrum Disorder

Practice experience-

Special Education teacher consultant and teacher in the public school system (10 years)

Counseling for kids, adolescents, and families

Scholarly activities

Dissertation Title: An Examination of Quality of Life of Parents of Adult Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Conducted a national follow-up qualitative study using one-on-one interviews with parents of adult children diagnosed with autism


Current, research is focused on parents and grandparents of children and adults with disabilities.




Professional association memberships

  • AGESW chapter member
  • Gerontological Society of America chapter member
  • International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Representative Courses Taught

  • SWRK 488L4: Field Experience I
  • IHHS 260: Aging to Infancy: A Life Course

Selected Presentations and/or Publications

Marsack-Topolewski, C.N., & Church, H. L (2019) Impact of Caregiver Burden on Quality of Life for Parents of Adult Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  American Journal on Intellectual and Development Disabilities, 124(2), 145-156.  doi:  10.1352/1944-7558-124.2.145 

Marsack-Topolewski, C.N., & Graves, J. M. (2019) "I worry about his future!" Challenges to future planning for adult children with ASD.  Journal of Family Social Work, 1-15.  doi:  10.1080/10522158-2019.158714

Marsack, C.N., & Perry, T.E. (2017) Aging in place in every community: Social exclusion experiences of parents of adult children with autism spectrum disorder. Research on Aging. DOI:10.1177/0164027517717044

Marsack, C.N., & Samuel, P.S. (2017). Mediating effects of social support on quality of life for parents of adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, 47(8), 2378-2389. DOI:10.1007/s10803-017-3157-6

Samuel, P.S., Tarraf, W., & Marsack, C.N. (2017). Family quality of life survey (FQOLS- 2006): Evaluation of internal consistency, construct and criterion validity for socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 31(1), 1-18. DOI:10.1080/01942638.2017.1311393

Samuel, P.S., Marsack, C.N., Johnson, L.A., & Lichtenberg, P.A. (2017). Grandchild caregiving impact on African American grandparents. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 31(1), 1-19. DOI:10.1080/07380577.2016.1243821

Brisebois, K., Trzcinski, E. &, Marsack, C. (2015). The relationship between caseworker assessments of clients’ social networks and child welfare placement outcomes. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 18(2), 90-105.
DOI: 10.1606/1044-3894.2015.96.4

Hopp, F.P., Marsack, C., Camp, J.K., and Thomas, S.  (2014).  Go to the hospital or stay at home? A qualitative study of expected hospital decision making among African Americans with advanced heart failure.  The Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 57, 4-23. DOI: 10.1080/01634372.2013.848966

Additional Information

Contact Us: School of Social Work | 317 Everett L. Marshall Building | Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | Tel.: 734.487.0393 | Fax: 734.487.6832

Explore the College's Schools: Health Sciences | Health Promotion & Human Performance | Nursing | Social Work