Faculty and Research
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.
Sunhye Bai researches daily family processes that shape adolescent development, with a focus on family-based risk and protective factors for youth internalizing problems.
Director, Methodology Center
Dr. Collins is a methodologist and intervention scientist. She is the primary developer of the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) for optimization of behavioral and biobehavioral interventions. She has worked in both prevention and treatment.
Dr. Crowley a prevention scientist investigating how to optimize investments in healthy development—with a focus on preventive strategies to reduce substance misuse and delinquent behavior.
Karl R. and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families
Pennsylvania State University
Lynn Martire’s research aims to identify the ways in which close relationships in adulthood affect health and chronic illness management, and the effects of chronic illness on close relationships.
Director, Social Science Research Institute
Associate Director, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Director, Network on Child Protection and Wellbeing
Principal Investigator NICHD P50 Capstone Center for Health Children
Jennie G. Noll, Ph.D., is a professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, and PI of the NICHD P50 Capstone Center for Healthy Children.
Zita Oravecz's research work has been focused on developing and disseminating innovative computational and statistical techniques for addressing questions related to emotional and cognitive functioning and development.
Studies education inequality and policy tools for its remediation.
Dr. Tornello has three major research interests: Family, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The majority her work has focused on the role of family composition and parental sexual orientation and gender in the family system.