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Our doctoral program in Family and Human Development prepares researchers with a focus on social processes, family relationships, and infant, child, adolescent, and emerging adult development. Our doctoral program is designed for graduates to assume leadership roles as researchers and academicians in universities or other research-oriented settings, or as directors in public or privately funded mental health agencies, industry, or government. Doctoral students also can elect to specialize in a number of areas: social and emotional development, measurement and statistical analysis, and diversity science.
Our graduate training is world class!
In addition to the general doctoral degree track in Family and Human Development, students can focus and organize their elective coursework to reflect areas of specialization. At the present time, three areas of specialization are available: Measurement and Statistical Analysis (MASA), Social and Emotional Development (SED), and Diverstiy and Inclusion Science (DISI). Graduate students may concentrate their studies in one of these areas or may combine two areas to meet their specific research interests.
The PhD in Family and Human Development offers a training specialization for students interested in the study of Measurement and Statistical Analysis (MASA). Students choosing the MASA specialization will undertake in-depth study of statistical and measurement methodologies that offer great utility for research in human development, family studies, and education, among other areas. Faculty and students in MASA study, evaluate, and develop statistical and measurement methods applicable to investigating issues in family and human development as well as the social sciences in general. Students whose primary interest is in measurement, methods, and statistical modeling should complete the MASA specialization, along with additional coursework and research focused on quantitative methods. Students whose primary interest is in other substantive areas within FHD (e.g., social relationships, developmental processes) but who would like to develop strength in measurement and statistical analysis should also consider the MASA specialization.
How to Apply:
Applications should be submitted for the PhD in Family and Human Development with a Specialty in Measurement and Statistical Analysis. (information about the application process can be found at the bottom of this page.) Please see the Graduate Handbook: Program in Family and Human Development for a full description of the application process.
Faculty affiliated with the MASA program and their methodological interests are as follows:
Dawn DeLay – social network analysis, dyadic analysis, interdependent (nonindependent) data, and longitudinal social relationship models
Samuel Green – structural equation modeling, assessment of group differences, factor analysis, and reliability
Masumi Iida – multilevel modeling of longitudinal and dyadic data
Justin Jager – structural equation modeling, latent growth modeling, pattern-centered analysis (e.g., latent class analysis and growth-mixture modeling)
Roy Levy – psychometrics, item response theory, structural equation modeling, Bayesian networks, Bayesian inference, and assessment design
Holly O'Rourke - mediation analysis and statistical performance of mediation models, longitudinal mediation models, latent change score models, structural equation models for longitudinal data, statistical power
Marilyn Thompson – structural equation modeling, factor analysis, measurement invariance, multilevel modeling of longitudinal and clustered data
Natalie Wilkens – longitudinal data analyses within a structural equation model framework
THe MASA specialization requires 18 hours total:
REQUIRED = 9 hours (assumes Multiple Regression and ANOVA as prerequisites)
ELECTIVES = 9 hours
*The below list is not exhaustive.
Appropriate substitutions will be considered by the MASA faculty if required courses are not offered within a reasonable timeframe (e.g., due to faculty sabbaticals or other leaves of absence). For students admitted for Fall 2011 or later, the three core courses for the MASA Specialization must be completed, unless an appropriate substitution has been approved. For students admitted prior to Fall 2011, submit a list of the quantitative methods courses you have completed or plan to complete and the quantitative faculty will review each case to determine if the requirements for the specialization have been met. For students admitted prior to Fall 2014, either Psychometrics or Structural Equation Modeling may fulfill the core requirement currently listed as Structural Equation Modeling. Completion of the MASA specialization requires that at least 9 hours of the requirements be taken within the Sanford School. All courses counting toward the MASA specialization must be completed with a minimum grade of B-.
For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Marilyn Thompson, MASA Coordinator
The PhD in Family and Human Development offers a training specialization for students interested in the study of social and emotional development (SED) across the life span. Students choosing the SED specialization will learn about contemporary theories, methodologies, and bodies of empirical research pertaining to a range of issues in broadly defined adaptive and maladaptive processes in social and emotional development. Students may also become involved in research in other disciplines that informs the understanding of aspects of social-emotional development. Examples of such disciplines include family dynamics, intervention research, social networks, neuroscience, psychophysiology, and developmental psychopathology.
The SED specialization requires 18 hours total:
REQUIRED = 6 hours
ELECTIVES = 12 hours
For additional information, please contact:
Gary Ladd, SED Coordinator
The PhD in Family and Human Development offers a training specialization for students interested in theoretical, methodological, and research perspectives on children, youth, and families from underrepresented groups. This specialization aligns with a larger Diversity and Inclusion Science Initiative (DISI) in the Sanford School. Students who choose the Diversity and Inclusion Science specialization will take two required courses. One focuses on theory and methods as they apply to the study of underrepresented groups (CDE 598: Introduction to Theory and Methods in the Study of Diversity and Inclusion Science) and a second course involves the in-depth exploration of issues related to study, biases, and interactions with underrepresented groups (CDE 598: Interpersonal Interactions and Perspectives in the Study of Diversity and Inclusion Science). Students who have interest in underrepresented populations in the field of human development and family studies, broadly defined by socioeconomic status, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability/health status, or other populations that are underrepresented, are encouraged to specialize in Diversity and Inclusion Science.
18 hours total Core Courses
REQUIRED = 6 hours (instructor approval required)
ELECTIVES = 12 hours
*The below list is not exhaustive.
Sanford School Elective Courses
Elective Courses from other units
*Additional electives will be considered by the Diversity and Inclusion Science faculty as they apply to this area of specialization. Students should submit the course syllabus and a memo explaining the fit of the course within the students’ diversity science specialization for courses not listed above.
**Students are encouraged to take up to three elective credits to propose innovative teaching, service, and research activities that contribute to inclusion and diversity science. Such projects will require supervision by a faculty member and can range from contributing to a course or seminar (e.g., lecture, activities), conducting a case study, supervising an undergraduate or conducting an applied project to enhance one’s experience with an underrepresented group, or developing a manuscript or research project. Innovative ideas proposed by doctoral students are welcome.
Completion of this specialization requires that at least 9 hours of the requirements be taken within the Sanford School. All courses counting toward specialization must be completed with a minimum grade of B-.
Each specialization builds on the basic PhD program in Family and Human Development but provides students with focused coursework and training in areas of strength within the unit. Opportunities to learn from expert faculty within and outside of the Sanford School are reflected in the specializations.
Students do not have to declare a specialization, but those who do will follow the guidelines for the specialization to ensure that training is guided and coherent. Each specialization is designed to enhance students' training and research, such that a programmatic area of expertise is developed.
The Core FHD Graduate Program Faculty are primarily responsible for training FHD doctoral students. In addition, students may also work with other Sanford School faculty members in Family and Human Development and Sociology. See the list below of research faculty members and their interests.
Robert Bradley*(Robert.Bradley@asu.edu) – Family environments and children’s well-being, with emphasis on families living in adverse circumstances and children with health and developmental problems; child care, early education, and early intervention; parenting and parent education.
Jose Causadias (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Culture, culture and biology interplay, cultural genomics, meta-research in culture, developmental psychopathology, cultural development and psychopathology, acculturation of immigrants.
Scott Christopher* (Scott.Christopher@asu.edu) - Premarital sexual influence strategies, sexual expression, and relationship development.
Dawn DeLay (Dawn.Delay@asu.edu) - Childhood, Adolescence, Peer Relationships, Social and Group Dynamics
Larry Dumka* (Larry.Dumka@asu.edu) – Prevention programs for families, influences on parenting, community-based participatory research.
Kit Elam (email@example.com) -- Developmental psychopathology, behavioral and molecular genetics, parenting, gene-environment interplay within developmental cascades, conflict and violence in the family.
Steve Elliot (Steve_Elliott@asu.edu) – Scale development, testing practices, and validity of educational assessment systems, and (a) the assessment of children's social skills and academic competence, (b) the design and use of testing accommodations and alternate assessment for evaluating the academic performance of students with disabilities for educational accountability, and (c) the measurement of students’ opportunities to learn the intended curriculum.
Richard Fabes* (School Director) (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Children’s early school adjustment, social-emotional development, peer relationships, temperament.
Samuel Green* (email@example.com) – Structural equation modeling, reliability theory, and multivariate tests of differences in means, personality measurement
Laura Hanish* (Laura.Hanish@asu.edu) - Interests: Development of aggression and victimization, peer interactions and relationships among girls and boys, school adjustment, intervention research.
Masumi Iida (Masumi.Iida@asu.edu) – Stress, coping, and social support in intimate relationships; daily diary methods.
Justin Jager (Justin.Jager@asu.edu) - Young adult social role formation, individual and contextual (family, peer, and historical time) correlates of adolescent and young adult substance use, mental health, and risky behavior, structural equation modeling and growth modeling.
Stephen Kulis* (Kulis@asu.edu) – Interests: Health disparities; Cultural identity and substance use; cultural adaptation of prevention and intervention programs; racial and gender inequality in organizations.
Alexander Kurz (Alexander.Kurz@asu.edu) - Opportunity to learn, teacher effectiveness, school improvement, and inclusion of students with disabilities in test-based accountability.
Becky Ladd* (Becky.Ladd@asu.edu) – social competence, peer relationships and school adjustment.
Gary Ladd* (Gary.Ladd@asu.edu) – Interests: Peer-family relationships; transition to school; social development.
Roy Levy (Roy.Levy@asu.edu) – Psychometrics, item response theory, structural equation modeling, Bayesian networks, Bayesian inference, assessment design.
Sarah Lindstrom Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)- Adolescence, risk behavior, positive youth development, prevention and intervention, schools.
Sabina Low (Sabina.Low@asu.edu) – Prevention of bullying
Carol Martin* (email@example.com) – Gender development, development of stereotypes, gender roles, peer relationships and school adjustment.
Eleanor Seaton (Eleanor.Seaton@asu.edu) – Risk and resilience, the content and development of racial identity, racial discrimination, the interplay between racial identity and racial discrimination, Black adolescents.
Tracy Spinrad* (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Emotion-related regulation, temperament, effortful control and reactive control, young children’s social-emotional competence and maladjustment, parenting, moral development, physiological markers of reactivity and regulation, and school readiness.
Marilyn Thompson* (M.Thompson@asu.edu) – Methodological issues in analysis of large data sets, structural equation modeling, modeling of longitudinal data, use/misuse of data to inform education policy and practice.
Monica Tsethlikai (Monica.Tsethlikai@asu.edu) - Contextual, biological, and cognitive aspects of positive development in children with a special focus on how active engagement in cultural practices influence the development of executive functions in American Indian children.
Adriana Umaña-Taylor* (Adriana.Umana-Taylor@asu.edu) – Ethnic identity development, risk and resilience, family socialization processes adolescent mothers, Latino adolescents and families.
Kimberly Updegraff* (Kimberly.Updegraff@asu.edu) – Family and peer relationships in adolescence; gender and cultural socialization in Mexican origin families.
Carlos Valiente* (email@example.com) – Socialization of emotion, stress and coping, family processes in the development of children’s coping responses.
Rebecca White (Rebecca.White@asu.edu) – cultural and contextual influences on behavioral health risk processes among families and adolescents.
Natalie Wilkens (Natalie.Wilkens@asu.edu) - Social withdrawal; peer relationships; self-regulation; Ugandan children's resiliency; statistical modeling of longitudinal data.
Brandon Yoo (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Cultural specific stressors and cultural identity development, particularly in Asian Americans.
*Faculty member approved to chair dissertation committees; all faculty members eligible to serve as chairs of master’s committees.
In addition, because ASU sponsors a graduate faculty model, faculty from academic units outside of the Sanford School may also be eligible to serve on the committees of FHD doctoral students.
For a current list of our eligible graduate faculty, please see https://graduate.asu.edu/graduate-faculty.
Each year, we have graduate students to be proud of! For this reason, we provide many award and funding opportunities to our graduate students in order to recognize innovative ideas and outstanding students.
Engagement Fellowship Award
Awarded to two Sanford School graduate students (one in family and human development and one in sociology) whose efforts reflect excellence in promoting and advancing graduate programs in the Sanford School. These awards are to be given to continuing students who have excelled in providing leadership in service to the Sanford School and its graduate programs in either family and human development or sociology. Each award will be a $300 fellowship awarded at the beginning of the fall semester. Each graduate committee will identify possible candidates and solicit self-nominations and a one-page (maximum) statement from each student identifying their qualifications and accomplishments related to this award. From these, the graduate committees will rank nominees and send forward recommendations to the director and associate director for final approval.
Innovation Research Award
Awarded to up to three continuing Sanford School graduate students whose research accomplishments reflect excellence in advancing interdisciplinary connections that are new and innovative. Each award will be a $300 fellowship awarded at the beginning of the fall semester. Each graduate committee will identify possible candidates and solicit self-nominations and a one-page (maximum) statement from each student identifying their qualifications and accomplishments related to this award. From these, the graduate committees will rank nominees and send recommendations forward to the director and associate director for final ranking and approval. Final decisions will be based on the degree to which the students’ research establishes new interdisciplinary ties and bridges areas of interest that are unique and cutting-edge. Students are eligible to win this award multiple times but each award will be given only for new innovation research collaborations and connections.
Currently, the programs in family and human development and sociology have several teaching assistantship (TA) and research assistantship (RA) positions. These positions require that recipients work 10-20 hours per week for faculty to whom they are assigned for the period August 16-May 15. The TA is responsible for contacting the faculty to whom they are assigned by the day their contract begins, approximately August 16. Selection of TAs and their assignments is a complex process and is based on meeting the needs of the courses, faculty, students and funding requirements.
Teaching assistant responsibilities include but are not limited to:
RAs work with faculty members on research projects. Responsibilities are determined by the faculty member in consultation with the student.
TAs and RAs must maintain a GPA of 3.00 or above, be admitted with regular status to a graduate program, and must complete six hours of graduate work each semester towards on their program of study. Preference is given to those graduate students enrolled in the family and human development or sociology program in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics.
Applications are due by December 1st to begin the program the following fall. Admissions made for the fall semester only.
Follow these steps to complete the application process.
Send official materials to Graduate Admission Services
ASU transcripts do not need to be sent
Submit all of the following materials online via the Graduate College Application at https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp
As part of the online graduate application you will submit the names and work email addresses for your three recommenders. Your recommenders will be sent instructions on how to electronically send their recommendations.
International applicants must also meet all of the requirements and supply all of the information requested by the Graduate College at http://graduate.asu.edu/admissions/international.
Admission to the Doctoral Program in Family and Human Development is competitive. Applicants will be short-listed based on a review of all submitted materials, including official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work, verbal, quantitative, and analytical GRE scores, statement of goals relevant to the doctoral program, three letters of recommendation, resume or CV, and complete application for admission to the Graduate College. Those applicants who make the short-list will be invited to visit in the spring for an interview. Final admissions decisions will be made following the interview.
Students are admitted for the fall semester only.
If you have any questions about the online application procedures or about the program, please contact:
Gina Perez, Graduate Coordinator
You may also schedule an online appointment with Gina. Schedule Online Appointment.
Family and Human Development, PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of
The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.
Applications are due by December 1st.
When you study Family and Human Development at the Sanford School, you'll deepen your understanding of human development as it relates to social interaction and behavior. You'll learn how to find solutions for major issues facing children, youth, and families in our society and to promote their strengths and well-being.
The Program in Family and Human Development is very successful in funding our doctoral students! FHD doctoral students in good standing are typically funded for 20 hours per week (.50 FTE) during the academic year as Teaching Assistants and/or Research Assistants. Funding is usually provided throughout the doctoral career, contingent upon students' adequate progress to degree completion and availability of funds. This full-time assistantship includes a stipend, full tuition coverage, and health insurance.
For more information on TAs and RAs, please visit https://graduate.asu.edu/ta-ra.
International students must pass the SPEAK Test to be eligible for Teaching Assistantships. Please see http://aecp.asu.edu/international-teaching-assistants for more information.
Research Assistantships and Summer Teaching Fellowships provide additional support for some FHD doctoral students over the summer.