The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies is to address contemporary social issues that affect children, youth, adults, and families through high quality research, teaching, and outreach programs
Our program is characterized by:
A Focus on Significant Societal Issues. Our work could be described as "science with a social conscience." Faculty are interested in the most challenging basic scientific issues, but they are always asking how this information can be applied or how they can make a difference through prevention efforts, policy briefs, and/or community action. Illustrative topics include childhood obesity, intimate partner violence, emotional/behavioral regulation in young children, LGBT couples facing stressors/support in non-urban communities, among many others.
The Use of Advanced Methods in Unique Laboratory Facilities. Faculty and graduate students are engaged in developing and mastering the most sophisticated quantitative and qualitative methods available to social and behavioral scientists and to practicing these skills in state-of-the-art laboratories and our Family Resiliency Center.
Collaborative and Collegial Interactions. Our faculty work across disciplines, programs, methodologies and they work with colleagues across settings, departments and institutions. A transdisciplinary approach is being applied to address complex issues ranging from the physiological basis of language and emotion, the parenting experiences of fathers with children with developmental disabilities, cell-to-society approach to children's health, social mobility of low income households, and the internationalization of American universities.
Faculty with Major Scientific Leadership Roles. Our faculty are not only excellent research scholars and mentors, they are also leaders in the scientific community. They are recognized by their peers for awards and hold elective office. They regularly give invited lectures at major national meetings and universities across the world. They serve as editors of influential journals in the field.