Family welfare and diversity

Objectives and goals

  • Address the interplay of economic circumstances, social systems, and adolescent health and development. I direct my work so that it can inform prevention and intervention strategies, as well as local and national policies that enhance the health and development of youth.
  • The goal of this research is to understand how stress is associated with individual development and the quality of relationships within families.
  • The goal of this research is to inform scholarship, policy, and practice through a broad range of state and national collaborations centered on evidence-based policy making.
  • The focus of the descriptive research is to understand meanings that adults and adolescents attach to their lived experiences and examine nuanced behaviors and attitudes.
  • The focus of the applied research is to translate this understanding into innovative, culturally-sensitive prevention and intervention programming that addresses 21st century challenges and enhances health and well-being.

Area faculty interests

Cassandra Dorius, family complexity, family instability, multipartnered fertility, and diverging destinies.

Meghan Gillette, reproductive development and health, anthropological/evolutionary theories to modern human health, familial and societal influences on adolescents, scholarship of teaching and learning.

Tera Jordan, African American/Black, marriage, relationships, tye-2 diabetes mellitus, preventions, management.

Jan Melby, family processes, parent-child relationships, observational methodology, youth competence, program evaluation, and child welfare.

Tricia Neppl, family stress, continuity of parenting across generations, parent-child relationship, social-emotional development, child and adolescent temperament, and observational research methods.

Related laboratories, programs, centers

Research opportunities

  • This research program is multidisciplinary, policy-focused, and strives to enhance the academic, physical, psychosocial, and sexual adjustment of America’s youth.
  • Scholarship is in the field of individual and family stress. I have specifically focused on four areas which include the intergenerational transmission of parenting and behavior, stress within interpersonal relationships, economic stress and consequences for development, and resilience to family stress.
  • This research centers on family inequalities across behavioral, health, and financial domains. Pivotal to my work is the development and use of novel family structure/complexity measures that reflect modern family life(e.g. multipartnered fertility, boomerang fathering, step-families, and relationship biographies).
  • This research agenda focuses on marriage and intimate relationships. Building on my expertise as a relationship scholar, I am also developing proficiency in the study of Type-2 diabetes, thereby constituting a secondary area of research.