Culture and Diversity

Diversity is an integral part of all societies and groups. Scholars from different theoretical perspectives and interests investigate variability and similarities across groups in developmental and family outcomes in several domains. Research focuses on the processes linked to group (e.g., culture, social class) variation and commonality. Examples of research areas include child-parent relationships and parenting practices across cultures, preschoolers' perceptions and interactions with children with disabilities, children's perceptions of conflict in varying political settings, and pathways to literacy readiness across culturally, socially, and economically diverse groups.

Faculty Research

Annabelle Atkin

Dr. Atkin’s research centers the experiences of diverse individuals, with a particular focus on Asian American and Multiracial individuals and families. Her work is guided by Critical Race Theory in efforts to understand the impact of structural racism on the lived experiences of racially minoritized groups.

Doran French

Dr. French’s research on culture has been conducted in China, Indonesia, Turkey, and S. Korea. He has specifically studied culture and friendships, peer relationships, conflict, and social competence. He has studied Islam and social competence in both Indonesia and Turkey.

Elliot Friedman

In his research, Dr. Friedman seeks to understand how adult health and biological processes related to health are shaped by cultural and social factors.

Deborah Nichols

Dr. Nichols' research program has been enhanced by partnering with members of a variety of culturally and linguistically diverse communities including those self-identifying as African American, American Indian, or English Language Learning (Spanish speakers from Mexico and Central America, Mandarin and Cantonese speakers from China). These children live in large urban centers, rural locations in the Midwest, and on tribal reservations in both the south and the southwest.

Germán Posada

Dr. Posada's research on attachment relationships is conducted in diverse cultural and social contexts. His studies have included samples from 14 different countries, and samples from middle-class and low income sectors of the population.

Sara Schmitt

Dr. Schmitt’s research investigates cross-cultural variation in important school readiness skills, particularly among American and Chinese children. In addition, she studies disparities in school readiness among children experiencing socio-demographic risk.

Rosie Shrout

Dr. Shrout examines how couples see stress, use their resources, and experience relationship and health benefits and consequences across developmental stages and sociocultural contexts. She also is interested in how social factors like stigma, discrimination, and alienation alter relationship and health outcomes among those with concealable chronic health conditions.

Zoe Taylor

Dr. Taylor’s research examines family functioning and children’s social-emotional development in underrepresented populations such as Hispanic families and single-parent families. In particular, she examines factors that help buffer parents and their children from environmental adversity (e.g. economic hardship), and that are associated with positive family processes and competence.

Natasha Watkins

Dr. Watkins' research is focused on understanding and improving the capacity of community-based youth programs to support the positive development of ethnic minority youth. She is specifically interested in how community-based youth programs may promote youth’s civic development and multicultural competence.


Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

2016 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by HDFS

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact HDFS.