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The world-class faculty in Penn State’s Human Development and Family Studies Department actively engage in cutting-edge research that expands the body of knowledge in our field, while also acting as mentors to our graduate students.

In keeping with our innovative and interdisciplinary mission in Human Development and Family Studies, the research possibilities here are extensive and diverse, covering domains such as adjustment among ethnic minority youth, development of risky behaviors in childhood and adolescence, infant sleep patterns and behaviors, gender socialization, preventing illness and criminal behavior — and much more.

David M. Almeida

dalmeida@psu.edu

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

Daily stress processes; adult development; family factors in mental health; work and family linkages; workplace interventions; biological markers of health and well-being

Center for Healthy Aging

Mayra Bamaca-Colbert

myb12@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

Adolescent development and adjustment among ethnic minority youth, with an emphasis on Latino adolescents living in the United States

Timothy Brick

tbrick@psu.edu

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Methodology

Research Interests:

Methodology; structural equation modeling; affect across the lifespan; dynamics of conversational interaction; computer vision; interactive avatars; use and management of scientific data; data mining in the social sciences

Sy-Miin Chow

symiin@psu.edu

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Methodology

Research Interests:

Development and adaptation of modeling and analysis tools that are suited to evaluating linear and nonlinear dynamical systems models, including longitudinal structural equation models and state-space modeling techniques

H. Harrington (Bo) Cleveland

hhc10@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Adolescent risk behaviors in community samples — including drinking, smoking, and other externalizing behaviors — and adolescents who experience enhanced environmental risk; how individuals’ characteristics, such as genes, can change the impact of social experiences; homeless adolescents and substance use addicts, the daily challenges they encounter, and why some overcome these challenges

Linda M. Collins

LMCollins@psu.edu

Distinguished Professor, Human Development and Family Studies and Statistics; Director, Methodology Center

Areas: Domains of Health and Behavior, Methodology

Research Interests:

Research methods; experimental and non-experimental design, particularly for building and evaluating behavioral interventions; models for longitudinal data; latent class analysis

Methodology Center

Christian Connell

cmc128@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family; Associate Director, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network

Areas: Domains of Health and Behavior, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

Individual Development (Childhood and Adolescence): Effects of maltreatment, trauma, and other adverse experiences on child and adolescent behavioral health outcomes; effects of services, supports, and system involvement on behavioral health outcomes; social-ecological and contextual influences on child and adolescent well-being; development of risky behaviors in childhood and adolescence

Prevention and Intervention Research: Effects of community-based services and interventions on behavioral health outcomes for at-risk child and adolescent populations (e.g., child protection and child welfare populations; juvenile justice-involved youth); system-level research and evaluation to improve system-level outcomes and reduce system contact for at-risk populations

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Shannon Corkery

sac301@psu.edu

Director of HDFS World Campus Programs

Research Interests:

Human development

Sherry Corneal

ccc3@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development

Areas: Methodology

Center Affiliations:

Research Interests:

Family systems theory and family therapy; individual counseling; methodologies to study the individual in depth

Molly Countermine

msc7@psu.edu

Associate Teaching Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development

Research Interests:

Infant sleep patterns and behaviors; parenting

Jennifer L. Crissman

jxc51@psu.edu

Senior Instructor in Human Development and Family Studies

Research Interests:

First year seminars, assessment in student affairs, gender issues

Ann C. Crouter

ac1@psu.edu

Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean, College of Health and Human Development and Professor of Human Development

Areas: Human Development, contexts, and social institutions

Research Interests:

Inter-relationships of parents' employment situations, family processes, and children's and adolescent's social development; gender socialization in middle childhood and adolescence

Daniel Max Crowley

dmc397@psu.edu

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Director of Prevention Economics Planning and Research Labs

Research Interests:

Economics of investing in healthy development; preventing illness and criminal behavior through evidence-based investments in childhood and adolescence; utilizing advanced analytic designs, administrative data and technological solutions to optimize preventive strategies

Prevention Economics Planning and Research Labs

Diana Fishbein

dvf5211@psu.edu

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Director of the Program for Translational Research on Adversity and Neurodevelopment, and President of the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Behavioral neuroscience; translating scientific findings to practice and policies designed to prevent mental health, emotional, and behavioral problems

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Gregory M. Fosco

gmf19@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; Karl R. and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families

Research Interests:

The influence of family systems on adolescent social-emotional development, psychopathology and substance use risk, and positive well-being, with emphasis on interparental family-level, and parent-adolescent relationships; family-centered preventive interventions for youth emotional and behavioral problems, with emphasis on family change processes during interventions, optimization of intervention effectiveness, and translation of interventions to real-world settings

Steffany J. Fredman

sjf23@psu.edu

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; Karl R. and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families Pennsylvania State University

Areas: Domains of Health and Behavior, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

PTSD and other mental health conditions within a couple/family context; military couples and families; couple-based interventions for PTSD

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Alyssa Gamaldo

aag46@psu.edu

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Domains of Health and Behavior, Contexts and Social Institutions, Populations of Special Interest

Research Interests:

Lifespan development; cognitive aging; health disparities; minority aging; influence of sleep on cognitive functioning, health, and well-being; socio-demographic and environmental influences on health; within-person changes in cognition and health; identifying early signs of cognitive impairment

Lisa Gatzke-Kopp

lmk18@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Developmental neuroscience of psychopathology, with a particular focus on how children develop behavior problems such as aggression, hyperactivity, and substance abuse; understanding the neurobiological dysfunction that informs the identification of experiential and environmental factors that exacerbate or ameliorate risk; identification of these factors in order to implement changes in the environment that may alter these trajectories and improve developmental outcomes

Charles F. Geier

cfg2@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Developmental cognitive neuroscience, with particular focus on reward processing, basic cognitive control abilities, and their interaction; understanding the relationship between adolescent neurodevelopment and risk-taking behavior; nicotine dependence in adolescent and young adult smokers

Scott D. Gest

gest@psu.edu

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and Professor-in-Charge of the HDFS Undergraduate Program

Areas: Human Development, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

Peer relations in school contexts from preK-12, with a focus on elementary grades; peer influences on academic adjustment, self-concept, and problem behavior; teacher influences on classroom social dynamics; school-based preventive interventions; applications of social network analysis to study these issues

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Mark T. Greenberg

mxg47@psu.edu

Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

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

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Rukmalie Jayakody

jayakody@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Sociology

Areas: Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

International population health; community randomized trials; the impacts of development on culture change, social change, and families; mixed methods research; the impacts of poverty on child development

Sarah Kollat

sxh345@psu.edu

Associate Teaching Professor in Human Development and Family Studies

Research Interests:

Interrelations between family climate, children's self-views, and children's peer relationships; behavioral therapy in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jennifer L. Maggs

jmaggs@psu.edu

Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior, Methodology

Research Interests:

Adolescent social development and health; transition to adulthood; risk behaviors, particularly alcohol use; prevention science; research methods

Lynn M. Martire

lmm51@psu.edu

Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Family relationships and management of chronic illness in adulthood; couple-oriented interventions; chronic pain; late-life depression

Center for Healthy Aging

Marc McCann

mhm137@psu.edu

Internship Director

Areas: Human Development

Susan M. McHale

mchale@psu.edu

Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Professor of Demography Director, Social Science Research Institute Associate Director, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Areas: Human Development, Contexts and Social Institutions, Populations of Special Interest

Research Interests:

Family relationships and family roles (particularly gender roles) of siblings in the child, adolescent, and young adult; sociocultural contexts of family relationships

Peter Molenaar

pxm21@psu.edu

Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Methodology

Research Interests:

Single-subject time series analysis, optimal guidance of developmental processes, optimal control of disease processes, structural equation modeling, dynamic factor analysis and P-technique

Jennie Noll

jgn3@psu.edu

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; and Director, Network on Child Protection and Wellbeing

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Bio-psycho-social consequences of child maltreatment, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect; 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; midlife reversibility of neurocognitive deficits in stress-exposed populations; the propensity for abused and neglected teens to engage in high-risk Internet and social media behaviors; policies and programs for the prevention of child maltreatment

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Zita Oravecz

zita@psu.edu

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Methodology

Research Interests:

Individual differences from a process modeling perspective; developing and applying state-of-the-art statistical approaches to particular areas of substantive research (i.e., emotion and cognition) that would be difficult or impossible to study without novel methods of analysis

Nilam Ram

nur5@psu.edu

Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, and Psychology

Areas: Human Development, Methodology

Research Interests:

Changes in the psychological processes of emotion, personality, and cognition; how they develop over the course of the lifespan; and how intraindividual change and variability study designs can contribute to our understanding of human behavior

Robert Roeser

rwr15@psu.edu

Bennett Pierce Professor of Caring and Compassion and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

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

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Lesley A. Ross

lross@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Maintaining and improving the everyday functioning of older adults through the investigation of contributing factors to trajectories of change in everyday functioning, and the translation of these factors into evidence-based interventions to maintain everyday functioning; epidemiological studies of health and aging; Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs); everyday functional abilities assessment; driving/mobility, cognitive development and aging; human factors; and longitudinal research design and analyses

Center for Healthy Aging, Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Chad E. Shenk

ces140@psu.edu

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

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

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Martin J. Sliwinski

mjs56@psu.edu

Director, Center for Healthy Aging; Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Domains of Health and Behavior

Research Interests:

Cognitive aging; adult development; stress, health, and cognition; early detection of dementia; web-based survey research and cognitive testing; intensive measurement designs (measurement bursts, daily diaries and experience sampling); statistical methods for analysis of intraindividual variability and change

Center for Healthy Aging

Cynthia A. Stifter

tvr@psu.edu

Professor of Human Development and Psychology

Areas: Human Development

Research Interests:

Socio-emotional development in infants, toddlers, and preschool children, specifically focused on temperament, emotion regulation, and its impact on early behavior problems and physical health; developmental psychophysiology; infant crying and colic; parental regulation strategies; positive emotions

Douglas M. Teti

dmt16@psu.edu

Department Head, Human Development and Family Studies, and Professor of HDFS, Psychology, and Pediatrics

Areas: Human Development, Contexts and Social Institutions

Research Interests:

Socioemotional development in infancy and early childhood; parenting in bedtime/nighttime contexts, infant sleep, and infant development; intervention strategies designed to promote early development and parent-child relations; role of sleep and parenting in the transition to kindergarten

Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Samantha L. Tornello

slt35@psu.edu

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Areas: Human Development, Contexts and Social Institutions, Populations of Special Interest

Research Interests:

Parenting among LGBTQA+ populations; family psychology; sexual orientation and gender diversity; social development in diverse families; developmental psychology; fatherhood