Faculty expertise in the Human Development and Family Science program ranges from child and adolescent development to adult romantic and family relationships. The graduate program follows an apprenticeship model in which students work closely with a faculty mentor or team of faculty mentors to develop and build strong skills needed for a successful career.
Resilience and Health of Marginalized Populations
Several HDFS faculty members focus on the resilience and health of individuals and families from marginalized populations, with particular foci on Latino families, culture, economic disadvantage, and sexual and gender minority populations. Research projects in this area tend to focus on identifying individual, family, or contextual assets or processes that promote resilience and healthy development and relationships.
Early Childhood and Adolescent Development
Many HDFS faculty members examine the influence of socio-cultural contexts (e.g., cultural, community, neighborhood, early care and school), fundamentals of positive youth development, familial relationships (e.g., parents or caregivers, siblings, extended family members) and peer relationships on early childhood and adolescent health and development.
Romantic and Family Relationships Across the Lifespan
Many faculty members in HDFS focus on the well-being and health of family members and romantic partners across the lifespan. Emphasis is on relationship processes, familial contexts and interpersonal dynamics as important factors contributing to overall health and well-being. Faculty members examine these relationships from multiple perspectives, i.e., individual development, relational development, dyadic and triadic experiences, and biopsychosocial processes.
Innovative Methods and Models for Studying Families and Development
The HDFS department includes multiple faculty members with expertise in innovative, applied research, qualitative methods, and advanced statistical approaches designed to solve practical problems and offer research-based solutions to critical questions (e.g., preventive intervention development and evaluation, participatory-based action research methods, multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, dynamic systems modeling, daily diary methods, biological processes, and intersectional methodology).