Major Research Areas

The faculty and graduate students of the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences examine the psychosocial functioning of human beings from infancy to old age. We research the dynamic worlds of individuals, dating partners, married couples, and families as they change and are changed by the contexts in which they exist. Our approach to these research endeavors bridge basic and applied research and includes elements of sociology, anthropology, psychology, neuroendocrinology, economics, and demography.

The research conducted by HDFS faculty and students falls into eight primary themes:

Infancy and Childhood

Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Adult Development and Aging

Parenting and Caregiving

Interpersonal Relationships

Health and Biobehavioral Processes

Diversity and Culture

Contexts of Human Development

To explore these themes, HDFS faculty and students conduct original research, including both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, and use large-scale, nationally-representative secondary data sets. Our methodologies range from advanced quantitative methods to in-depth qualitative inquiry, and we strive to translate what we learn into programs and initiatives that directly benefit the lives of families