Rukmalie  Jayakody 

photo of Rukmalie Jayakody

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Sociology

Contact Information

210 Health and Human Development Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-863-8342

Research Interests

Examining the nature of social changes and how social change impacts communities, families, and individuals; the impacts of television on attitudes and behavior; interventions aimed at improving population health;  mixed-methods research using mutually reinforcing qualitative and quantitative data; , research designs that pay careful attention to causation and selection; the impacts of poverty and social policies on families and children both in the U.S. and in developing countries.


B.A., 1989, Sociology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
M.S.W., 1990, Social Work (Social Policy), University of Michigan
M.A., 1992, Sociology, University of Michigan
Ph.D., 1996, Sociology, University of Michigan

Professional Experience

Present: Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Sociology, and Demography Research Associate, Population Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University

2004- Present: Research Affiliate, National Poverty Center, University of Michigan

2004-2005: Visiting Scholar, National Poverty Center, University of Michigan

Jan.-May, 2002 & 2003: Visiting Professor, Institute of Sociology, National Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi, Vietnam

Jan.-May, 2002-03, 2005: Sociology Faculty for Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Interdisciplinary Social Science Research Methods Training Program, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Summer 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000: Co-Instructor, Advanced Categorical Data Analysis Workshop, Inter-University Consortium for Social and Political Research (ICPSR)

1989: Summer Program in Quantitative Methods, University of Michigan

Honors and Awards

1989-1994: Michigan Merit Fellowship, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan

1989, 1990, 1993: Institute for Social Research Summer Programs Fellowship, University of Michigan

1992: Distinguished Research Partnership Award for "Kin Support to Single Mothers," Rackham Graduate School and the Office for the Vice-President of Research, University of Michigan

1994: Gerontological Society of American's Minority Predoctoral Leadership Development Program

2000-2005: W.T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholars Award

Selected Publications

Jayakody, R. & Heckert, J. (2010).  “Social change and its implications for Vietnam’s youth: Does media play a role? “  In Silbereisen, R. K. (Ed.), Social change and human development: Concepts and results, pp.227-244.  Sage: London.

Jayakody, R. (2008).  Social change, the meaning of aging, and television.  In Schaie, H.W. & Ables, R., (Eds). Social structures and aging, pp. 285-302.  New York: Springer.

Jayakody, R. , A. Thornton, & W.G. Axinn (Eds.) (2008). International Family Change: Ideational Perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Knodel, J., Loi, V. M., Jayakody, R., & Huy, V. T. (2005). Gender roles in the family: Change and stability in Vietnam. Asian Population Studies, 1(1), 69-92.

Jayakody, R., & Kalil, A. (2002). "Social fathering in low-income, African American families with preschoolers." Journal of Marriage and the Family , 64(2), 504-516.

Lichter, D., & Jayakody, R. (2002). "Welfare reform: How do we measure success?" Annual Review of Sociology , 28, 117-141.

Pollack, H.A., Danziger, S.H., Jayakody, R., & Seefeldt, K. (2002). "Drug testing welfare recipients: False negatives, false positives, unanticipated opportunities." Women's Health Issues , 12(1), 23-31.

Pollack, H.A., Danziger, S.H., Seedfeldt, K., & Jayakody, R. (2002). "Substance use among welfare recipients: Trends and policy responses." Social Service Review , 76(2), 256-274.

Strategic Themes

  • Contexts and Social Institutions