The Department of Human Development and Family Studies carries out a wide range of research aimed at improving quality of life for individuals and families across the entire life span. Research is divided into five main themes: culture and diversity, early childhood education and care, health and well-being, interpersonal relations and military families.
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies promotes applied research that goes hand-in-hand with our engagement activities. The department’s research centers focus on solving real-world challenges, including finding quality child care, balancing work and family, improving relationships and aging-related issues.
Center for Early Learning
The Center for Early Learning is dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education and care from birth through third grade. Through generating and disseminating high-quality research; providing professional development opportunities to teachers; and informing local, state and national policy through evaluation work, the center promotes school readiness and healthy development to have a lasting impact on children’s lives.
Center for Families
The Center for Families at Purdue University is a collaborative effort that focuses on improving the quality of life for families and strengthening families’ capacity to provide nurturing environments for their members.
Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies operates a preschool program in the Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School. This program offers child development practica and student-teaching experiences, fulfills a need in the community for high-quality early education and child care and provides a site for child development and early education research. The laboratory school was awarded a level-four rating from Paths to QUALITY, which is the highest indicator of quality.
Family Impact Institute
The Family Impact Institute works to shape public policy for families by sharing critical nonpartisan, solution-oriented research with policymakers and professionals.
Military Family Research Institute
Research on military families is conducted through the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University to provide insight into the experiences of military members and their families. The institute also designs and implements outreach activities to assist military families in Indiana and beyond and strives to proactively build relationships with partners in both the military and civilian communities.