Research Areas of Specialization: Intervention and Prevention

In HDFS, intervention research is the science of designing, implementing, and evaluating a broad array of approaches for improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Typically, interventions in HDFS are developmental in focus, meaning they are designed to prevent problems or to enhance healthy development, rather than to remediate long-standing personal, relational, or family problems. HDFS interventions often target the contexts in which people develop including families, schools, health and human service agencies, workplaces, and communities.

Linda Collins
Measurement and analysis of change in human behavior and ability; research methods; design, and statistics; mathematical models of adolescent substance abuse.
Max Crowley
Anthony D'Augelli
Community interventions; issues in the development of sexual orientation.
Diana Fishbein
Emerging prevention research demonstrates that individual differences in risk for behavioral health problems can only be understood by recognizing that an individual’s orientation to and processing of environmental inputs rely highly upon genetic and neurobiological mechanisms. These underlying mechanisms, in turn, interact with the quality of an individual’s psychosocial and environmental exposures and protective factors to alter trajectories either towards or away from poor overall outcomes. A parallel body of research further suggests that neural dysfunction underlying behavioral disorders, regardless of its origins, may be malleable and, relatedly, that compensatory mechanisms can be strengthened with the indicated psychosocial manipulations. Consideration of the interplay of these factors—both causative (impoverished environments) and consequential (effects of adversity on neurodevelopment)—presents new and exciting possibilities for the development of more effective interventions and promoting resilience.
Greogry Fosco
Family systems processes and children’s social-emotional development, family-centered preventive interventions for youth emotional and behavioral problems, interparental conflict and child development, emotion regulation and self-regulation.
Steffany Fredman
Individual psychopathology in a couple and family context; military couples and families; dyadic early intervention after trauma exposure; couple-based interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder
Scott Gest
Links between reading skills and social competence in elementary school; peer relations; early reading tutoring as a preventive intervention; longitudinal study of patterns of risk and adaptation from childhood to adulthood; behavioral inhibition and related internalizing dimensions of personality and psychopathology.
Mark Greenberg
Intervening in the developmental processes in risk and non-risk populations with a specific emphasis on aggression, violence, and externalizing disorders; promoting healthy social and emotional development; school-based prevention; development of deaf children.
Rukmalie Jayakody
The impacts of poverty and social policies on families and children: welfare reform and barriers to self-sufficiency; family structure and child outcomes; living arrangements and family transitions.
Jennifer Maggs
Adolescent social development and health; transition to adulthood; risk behaviors; prevention science; research methods; alcohol expectancies.
Jennie Noll
Bio-psycho-social consequences of childhood sexual abuse; pathways to teen pregnancy and high-risk sexual behaviors for abused and neglected youth; the long-term adverse health outcomes for victims of sexual abuse, and the propensity for abused and neglected teens to engage in high-risk internet and social media behaviors.
Robert Roeser
Contemplative practices (e.g., mindfulness, compassion) in education for staff and students; Schools as central cultural contexts for child and adolescent academic and social-emotional development; School reform and professional development; India, globalization and adolescent development
Lesley Ross
Cognitive aging; Cognitive interventions; Exercise interventions; Everyday functioning; Mobility; Driving; Adult development; Impact of cognition on everyday functioning, health, and wellbeing; Identification of older adults at risk for future declines; Technology
Chad Shenk
Longitudinal pathways from child maltreatment to the onset of psychological disorders in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Experimental and observational research to identify the mechanisms of various psychological disorders in the child maltreatment population across multiple levels of analysis.
Ed Smith
Adolescent development with a focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions to prevent problem behaviors.
Douglas Teti
Socioemotional development in infancy and early childhood; parenting and coparenting in bedtime/nighttime contexts, infant sleep, and infant development; family-based preventive interventions to promote early development and parent-child relations; role of child sleep, parenting, and co-parenting in the transition to kindergarten.