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Students working on a research study to track facial gestures.

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. To see what kind of research faculty and students are presenting at various research conferences this year click here.

Appointment Type
Accepting Graduate Students?
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Summary Statement

Daily stress processes; adult development; family factors in mental health; work and family linkages; fatherhood; statistical techniques for measuring change.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Summary Statement

Sunhye Bai researches daily family processes that shape adolescent development, with a focus on family-based risk and protective factors for youth internalizing problems.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Distinguished Professor, Human Development and Family Studies and Statistics
Director, Methodology Center
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family
Associate Director, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative
Summary Statement

Dr. Crowley is a prevention scientist investigating how to optimize investments in healthy development—with a focus on preventive strategies to reduce substance misuse and delinquent behavior.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
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
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Associate Director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
Summary Statement

Research interests include family systems processes underlying adolescent development (substance use, problem behavior, emotional distress, positive well-being) and understanding change processes in family-centered preventive interventions.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Karl R. Fink and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families
Pennsylvania State University
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Dr. Frances Keesler Graham Early Career Professor in Developmental Neuroscience
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Sociology
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Summary Statement

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. Dr. Martire teaches HDFS 418 and 546 (Family Relationships).

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
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
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Director, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Principal Investigator NICHD P50 Capstone Center for Healthy Children
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, and Psychology
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Bennett Pierce Professor of Caring and Compassion and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies/Department of Pediatrics
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor
Summary Statement

Studies education inequality and policy tools for its remediation.

 

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Director, Center for Healthy Aging

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Professor of Human Development and Psychology
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Department Head
Professor of HDFS, Psychology, and Pediatrics
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS