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The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University has a long and distinguished record of doctoral training in developmental methods and the analysis of change. Faculty are working on both analytical and design innovations and on innovative applications to substantive research questions. Students can develop specializations in one or more areas, including latent variable modeling, time series modeling, non-stationary autoregressive moving average models, missing data analysis, hierarchical linear modeling, item response theory, mixture modeling, integrating variable and person-oriented analytic approaches in the analysis of change, experimental design, and methods for optimizing behavioral interventions. Our methodology faculty include:

David M. Almeida

Daily diary methods; stress processes; multilevel modeling; assessment and modeling of biological markers; work and family linkages.

Timothy Brick

Application of modern technology and computational methods in the study of processes of interaction and change across the lifespan.

Sy-Miin Chow

Longitudinal structural equation models; linear/nonlinear dynamic systems and state-space modeling techniques; mixture and regime-switching models; analysis of intensive longitudinal data.

H. Harrington (Bo) Cleveland

Behavioral genetic methods, twin designs and association studies; experience sampling methods for studying substance use recovery.

Linda M. Collins

Quantitative methods for developing and optimizing behavioral interventions; experimental design; analysis of change in behavior and ability.

Daniel Max Crowley

Cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analyses, experimental design and causal analyses, optimizing behavioral interventions, fiscal impact of change across the lifespan.

Jennifer L. Maggs

Adolescent social development and health; transition to adulthood; risk behaviors; prevention science; research methods.

Peter Molenaar

Dynamic systems analysis, analysis of neuro-cognitive (e.g., fMRI, EEG/MEG) data in collaboration with the Social, Life and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center (SLEIC) and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, person-specific and EMA data analysis.

Zita Oravecz

Study of individual differences from a process modeling perspective.

Nilam Ram

Analysis of longitudinal data; integration of variable and person-oriented approaches in the analysis of change; intraindividual study design.

Martin J. Sliwinski

Analysis of longitudinal, daily diary and experience sampling data; web-based survey and cognitive assessment; detection of early dementia.

Ken Shores

Causal analysis, quasi-experimental design, opinion/beliefs survey design, descriptive analysis large-scale data


More information concerning the methodology faculty’s research interests and affiliated scientists/graduate students can be found at and One unique strength of our program is that methodology students are strongly encouraged to work with faculty in other areas of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies on topics related to individual development, prevention and intervention research, or family systems. Through these collaborations, students gain direct insights into substantive questions that motivate the development of advanced quantitative methods.