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Adolescent development faculty in human development and family studies pursue programs of research that span the transition into adolescence through emerging adulthood. Their work cuts across all areas of the department, including family relationships, prevention, and methodology, and utilizes a range of methods, including surveys, diaries, interviews, and observations.

Research topics include community-based violence prevention in adolescents; heavy alcohol use among college students; gender, ethnicity, and sexual behavior among college students; links between parenting practice and adolescent dieting and eating problems; the development of sexual orientation; and family relationships and adolescent gender socialization.

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Last Name
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Karl R. and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families
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
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Professor-in-Charge, Undergraduate Programs
Summary Statement

Bo Cleveland studies individual differences in substance use and misuse as well as how individuals’ characteristics modify the impact of experiences on substance use and addictive behaviors. His work focuses on person-context and person-experience interactions.

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
Research Professor, 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
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Professor-in-Charge, Graduate Program
Dr. Frances Keesler Graham Early Career Professor in Developmental Neuroscience
Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Summary Statement

Jones' work addresses the syndemic of substance use disorders, violence, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV/STIs, as well as evaluation of structural and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing substance use and associated harms.

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

Dr. Rulison's work focuses on how peer networks shape substance use and related health-risk behaviors and how program developers can build more potent interventions and promote the diffusion of intervention effects.

Department
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (joint)
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