The study of familial relationships and how they develop throughout life impacts nearly every aspect of life. No discipline takes a harder look at such relationships than human development and family studies.
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University is committed to improving the health and well-being of diverse individuals and families across the lifespan. Recognizing, understanding and addressing the central role of diversity and interdependence among families and communities in the process of human development are core values of the department.
Areas of study include child development, youth development, lifespan human development, family diversity and couple and family therapy, and practical experience in real-world settings is incorporated into all of them. The Child Development Laboratories and the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic, for example, are part of the department which also boasts a comprehensive undergraduate program and a graduate program that prepares professionals who will serve communities and therapists who provide services to families, couples, and individuals. Faculty conduct community-based multidisciplinary research on a wide variety of topics such as military families, refugee children, culturally-sensitive parenting, and language development in young children, and outreach and engagement are essential aspects of all research and areas of study