- Undergraduate Education
- (2007) B.A. Psychology; Minor in Chemistry, Kent State University
- Graduate Education
- (2014) Ph.D. Family and Human Development, Arizona State University
- (2011) M.S. Family and Human Development, Arizona State University
Areas of Expertise
Positive youth development; youth development programs; youth out-of-school time; youth sports; character development; researcher-practitioner partnerships; youth social (peer) networks; program evaluation; evaluation capacity-building
I am an applied developmental scientist by training. My research agenda centers around positive youth development (PYD) through youth out-of-school time (OST). Through applied research and evaluation, I investigate various aspects of youth OST programs and how they promote developmental outcomes. My research often involves partnerships with program practitioners working with or inside youth programs. I tend to focus on adolescent populations with an emphasis on understanding adolescents’ social and emotional needs and respective developmentally appropriate programming to promote PYD. Currently, I am conducting research in four specific areas:
- Opening the “black box” of youth development programs: how programs work to promote intended youth development outcomes; which specific youth programs (e.g., sports versus performance arts) promote which specific outcomes (e.g., the “Five Cs” of PYD) for which specific youth (e.g., boys versus girls); understanding how program activities “work” (i.e., impact youth) differently.
- Understanding character development through sport: how sport promotes moral character (e.g., respect, humility) versus performance character (e.g., diligence, perseverance); how competitive sport differs from recreational sport in terms of youth outcomes; how experiences in sport matter for character development; impact of coaches on youth character.
- Promoting intellectual humility through interventions: development and evaluation of film-based interventions; understanding the dimensionality of intellectual humility (e.g., humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness); effects of interventions on youth intellectual humility across different populations (e.g., White versus Latino youth).
- Evaluating youth programs to understand whether and how they work: design and implementation of process and outcome program evaluations; how researchers contribute to program practitioner’s capacity for evaluation; importance of researcher-practitioner partnerships to conduct high quality program evaluations; promoting evaluative thinking among youth program leaders.