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Highlights: PhD in Family Science & Human Development

Dr. Sara Goldstein, Doctoral Program Director

Family Science and Human Development is an interdisciplinary field that teaches you how to understand individuals, families, and communities holistically. Our holistic approach incorporates research from psychology, social work, sociology, economics, history, women and gender studies, biology, and many other fields.

Social Justice is a core strength of our research-based PhD program.  Our students learn to use a social justice perspective to understand and help strengthen diverse individuals, families, and communities through research, policy, and prevention and education programming.

Graduates of our program go on to work in a variety of settings including academia, research centers, and non-profit organizations. 

Some examples include:

  • Dr. Ijeoma Opara (PhD 2019) is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Yale University in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  Dr. Opara is the founder and director of the SASH (Substance Abuse and Sexual Health) lab. She was recently awarded the NIH Early Independence Award, for her research focusing on community-based substance abuse and mental health. 
  • Dr. John Gunn III (PhD 2019) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Gwynedd Mercy University. Dr. Gunn’s research focuses on the social, cognitive, and psychological predictors of suicidal behavior and cognition, and other forms of violence. 
  • Dr. Veronica Barrios (PhD 2018) is an Assistant Professor of Family Science and Social Work at Miami University. Dr. Barrios conducts research focusing on factors associated with the nondisclosure of sexual violence. She also studies Latinx families and the educational experiences of Latinx students. 


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