Cultural Diversity

Faculty in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies are committed to the inclusion and understanding of diverse racial-ethnic and socio-economic populations in their research endeavors. Students in HDFS have the opportunity to work with faculty who are involved in a variety of research projects on ethnically diverse populations, including African American, Asian American, European American and Latino American participants from heterogeneous socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition to studies taking place at various sites within the United States, international research is currently being conducted in several countries (see International Studies). Our department also houses the Center for Diverse Families and Communities, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to research on the ways in which race, ethnicity, culture, and socio-economic status interact to influence health and human development.

Faculty conducting research with a focus on diverse populations and the influence of race, ethnicity, and other sociocultural factors in human and family development include:

The examination of parent-infant relationships among low-income African American mothers and preterm infants (Doug Teti);

The efficacy of family and school-based interventions across diverse populations (Scott Gest);

Low-income and dual earner families (Ann Crouter); and the role of racial socialization practices in family dynamics and child/adolescent development (Susan McHale);

Adolescent development and adjustment among minority youth (Mayra Bamaca); as well as work that examines adolescent risk behavior and alcohol use (Jennifer Maggs)

Implementation, design and evaluation of school-based programs to improve adolescent lives domestically and internationally among South African youth (Ed Smith);

Sexual relationships during adolescence and the transition to adulthood in diverse populations (Eva Leftkowitz);

Challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents and adults ages 60 and over (Tony D'Augelli);

The impact of poverty and social policies on families and children both in the U.S. and in developing countries (Ruk Jayakody).