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Explore Health and Human Development

The family is central to HDFS. The family is a primary context in which individual socialization and development take place. It is, perhaps, the principal medium through which culture, society, and social change affect the individual. And it is a social fact in itself that feeds back and can accelerate or mitigate changes occurring in the broader society. Graduate study at Penn State offers students a unique opportunity to develop the substantive, methodological, and theoretical skills necessary to study human families.

David M. Almeida
Daily stress processes; adult development; family factors in mental health; work and family linkages; fatherhood; statistical techniques for measuring change.
Mayra Bamaca-Colbert
Immigrant youth and families, with an emphasis on how culture and parenting/parent-child relationships interact with other contexts (e.g., peer and neighborhoods) to affect adolescent adjustment.
Gregory M. Fosco
Family systems processes and children’s social-emotional development, family-centered preventive interventions for youth emotional and behavioral problems, interparental conflict and child development, emotion regulation and self-regulation.
Steffany J. Fredman
Individual psychopathology in a couple and family context; military couples and families; dyadic early intervention after trauma exposure; couple-based interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder
Rukmalie Jayakody
The impacts of poverty and social policies on families and children: welfare reform and barriers to self-sufficiency; family structure and child outcomes; living arrangements and family transitions.
Lynn M. Martire
Family relationships and management of chronic illness in adulthood; couple-oriented interventions; chronic pain; late-life depression.
Susan M. McHale
Family relationships and family roles (particularly gender roles) in childhood and adolescence; differential socialization of siblings.
Douglas M. Teti
Socioemotional development in infancy and early childhood; parenting and coparenting in bedtime/nighttime contexts, infant sleep, and infant development; family-based preventive interventions to promote early development and parent-child relations; role of child sleep, parenting, and co-parenting in the transition to kindergarten.