Human Development and Family Sciences Graduate Program
Doctor of Philosophy
The doctoral degree program is designed to prepare students for research, teaching, and administrative positions in colleges and universities and for positions in government, policy-related research organizations, and other public and private settings. The program emphasizes research and theory on the interplay among individual development, family relationships, and institutions outside the family. Development of the individual is considered within the contexts of the family, peer group, community, and culture. The family is studied as a system of relationships, with attention to roles, communication, conflict resolution and negotiation, and family members’ perceptions of each other and of their family. Public policies, mass media, and care settings outside the family are among the community influences considered in relation to the development of individuals and families. The program emphasizes the investigation of the family and other social processes that contribute to competence and optimal development in individuals from birth to maturity and how such competence is reflected in interpersonal relationships and family interactions.