Research Areas of Specialization: Intervention and Prevention
In human development and family studies, intervention research is the science of designing, implementing, and evaluating a broad array of approaches for improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Typically, interventions in HDFS are developmental in focus, meaning they are designed to prevent problems or to enhance healthy development, rather than to remediate long-standing personal, relational, or family problems. HDFS interventions often target the contexts in which people develop, including families, schools, health and human service agencies, workplaces, and communities.
- Linda M. Collins: Measurement and analysis of change in human behavior and ability; research methods; design, and statistics; mathematical models of adolescent substance abuse.
- Christian Connell: 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.
- Daniel Max Crowley: Family- and school-based intervention, policy analysis, investing in healthy development across the lifespan, translating prevention science for evidence-based policymaking.
- Diana Fishbein: Emerging prevention research demonstrates that individual differences in risk for behavioral health problems can only be understood by recognizing that an individual’s orientation to and processing of environmental inputs rely highly upon genetic and neurobiological mechanisms. These underlying mechanisms, in turn, interact with the quality of an individual’s psychosocial and environmental exposures and protective factors to alter trajectories either towards or away from poor overall outcomes. A parallel body of research further suggests that neural dysfunction underlying behavioral disorders, regardless of its origins, may be malleable and, relatedly, that compensatory mechanisms can be strengthened with the indicated psychosocial manipulations. Consideration of the interplay of these factors—both causative (impoverished environments) and consequential (effects of adversity on neurodevelopment)—presents new and exciting possibilities for the development of more effective interventions and promoting resilience.
- 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.
- Mark T. Greenberg: 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; development of deaf children.
- 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.
- Jennifer L. Maggs: Adolescent social development and health; transition to adulthood; risk behaviors; prevention science; research methods; alcohol expectancies.
- Jennie Noll: Bio-psycho-social consequences of childhood sexual abuse; 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, and the propensity for abused and neglected teens to engage in high-risk internet and social media behaviors.
- Robert Roeser: 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.
- Lesley A. Ross: Cognitive aging; Cognitive interventions; Exercise interventions; Everyday functioning; Mobility; Driving; Adult development; Impact of cognition on everyday functioning, health, and wellbeing; Identification of older adults at risk for future declines; Technology.
- Chad E. Shenk: Dr. Shenk conducts clinical trials research on the optimization of behavioral interventions applied with the child maltreatment population by targeting risk mechanisms identified in basic science research more directly and effectively.
- Ken Shores: Program evaluation, effects of local context (school quality, neighborhood, family) on student outcomes.
- 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.