Human Development and Family Studies

Department Head

Professor Ronald M. Sabatelli

Associate Department Head for Graduate Studies

Associate Professor Edna Brown

Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor Kari Adamsons

Professors

Asencio, Britner, Ego, Gans, Harkness, Puhl, Rigazio-DiGilio, Robinson, Sabatelli, Schwartz, Super, Wisensale

Associate Professors

Adamsons, Bellizzi, Brown, Csizmadia, Donorfio, Farrell, Tambling, Weaver

Assistant Professors

Brenick, Eaton, Halgunseth, Mauldin, Russell

Graduate courses and research opportunities are offered leading to the Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Available areas of research specialization include: Couple Relationships, Gerontology, Health and Well-Being, Marriage and Family Therapy, Parenthood and Parenting, and Prevention and Early Intervention.

Students’ individual programs of study may be developed in conjunction with faculty in related areas and include offerings from departments and schools throughout the University. Graduate students are encouraged to elect supervised fieldwork and research projects in nearby community agencies.

Students studying marriage and family therapy are required to complete clinical practicums for 12 continuous months in the Humphrey Center for Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy and in selected community mental health and family therapy agencies. Such study is designed to fulfill the academic requirements needed to achieve Connecticut licensure and clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Students studying marital and family therapy at the doctoral level must have completed a prior Master’s level marriage and family therapy program before taking advanced course work and fulfilling the required month internship in an approved agency.

Admission to the M.A. Program

A prospective student must hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university, preferably with foundational coursework in the social sciences and a basic understanding and involvement in social science, educational, policy, or health research. Application for admission should be completed online at www.grad.uconn.edu. In addition, applicants must present results of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), a personal statement describing themselves, their reasons for pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, including their proposed area of specialization and faculty mentor, a curriculum vita/resume of relevant experiences, and three letters of recommendation. Application deadlines are: December 15 for students applying to the marriage and family therapy specialization; March 1 for all other areas. Students ordinarily are admitted to the program to start classes in the fall semester.

Admission to the Ph.D. Program

A prospective student must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university of approved standing. Successful candidates to the program usually have undergraduate or graduate study in to Human Development and Family Studies and related fields, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, public health, nursing or education. Applicants must show promise of superior achievement in research through undergraduate honors, prior conference presentations and/or publication. Application for admission should be completed online at www.grad.uconn.edu. In addition, applicants must submit the results of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), a personal statement describing themselves and their reasons for pursuing a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies (including their proposed area of specialization and faculty mentor), a curriculum vita, a scholarly writing sample, and at least three letters of recommendation from members of the academic profession. Complete applications and all supporting documents must be received no later than December 15. Students ordinarily are admitted to the program to start classes in the fall semester.

Special Facilities

The department has a number of centers and facilities for basic and applied research in HDFS. It includes five centers: the Center for Applied Research in Human Development; the Child Development Laboratories; Humphrey Center for Individual, Couple and Family Therapy; the Center for Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development; and the Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center on Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection.

The Center for Applied Research in Human Development (CARHD) is a joint venture with the Cooperative Extension System. Its purpose is to provide assistance to state and community based agencies in the development, delivery, and evaluation of human service programs. The CARHD strives to create a supportive relationship with its clients and offers assistance at every level of the evaluation process. Technical assistance is provided by graduate students and faculty. The Center is also a research training facility. It offers opportunities for graduate students to learn about the research and publication process under the mentorship and guidance of experts in the field of human development, family studies and applied research.

The Child Development Laboratories (CDL) offer full-day and half-day programs for children who are typically developing or needing specialized educational experiences from age six weeks to five years of age. The CDL’s mission is to train students who will be working with young children, facilitate faculty and student research in child development, and serve as a model center for providing quality care and education programs for young children. The CDL’s laboratories provide facilities for observation, research, student projects, and field placements for the HDFS and other departments at the University.

The Humphrey Center for Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy is a training facility for graduate intern therapists enrolled in the M.A. and Ph.D. Program for Marriage and Family Therapy in Human Development and Family Studies. The Center offers a range of therapeutic services which are available to university faculty, staff and their families, undergraduate or graduate students, and any individual or family living in the greater northeastern Connecticut area. These services include individual therapy, family therapy, marital or relationship therapy, and therapy for parenting or child-related problems. The Center also offers seminars for mental health professionals, family life enrichment programs, and support and therapy groups. Consultation services and on-site training are available to other departments within the University, as well as to outside community agencies.

The Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development (CHHD) is a resource for faculty and graduate students from various disciplines including Allied Health, Anthropology, Education, Human Development and Family Studies, Nursing, Nutritional Sciences, Pediatrics, and Psychology. Focusing on the scientific understanding and active promotion of healthy human development in its cultural context, the Center houses several major research projects and manages the university-wide Graduate Certificate in Culture, Health, and Human Development.

The Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection is a collaborative enterprise with the School of Social Work. Its mission is to conduct basic and applied research on the dynamics and consequences of interpersonal acceptance-rejection, with special emphasis on the parent-child relationship. Collaborative research with scholars around the world is a hallmark of the Center’s activities.

Space for applied activities is housed in the Human Development Center (HDC). The HDC affords students and faculty observation and videotaping facilities in its laboratories, therapy, and testing rooms. It also provides opportunities for conducting community-based program evaluation and data analysis services.

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