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Lynch School of Education

Rebekah Levine Coley

counseling, developmental, and educational psychology department

Rebekah Levine Coley


Campion Hall
Room 239A


Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research profile



Ph.D. University of Michigan


The intersections of family, community, and social policy contexts, incorporating multiple methods and analytic techniques to assess their influence on child and adolescent development.  Specific research foci: family structure and parenting; father involvement; family economic supports including welfare and work; youth health risk behaviors; childcare and early childhood education; and poverty.


Academic Honors

Senior Fulbright Scholar Award, American-Australian Fulbright Commission

Senior Visiting Fellowship, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Research Affiliate, National Poverty Center, Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Social Policy Award, Society for Research in Adolescence

Research Affiliate, Joint Center for Poverty Research, Northwestern University/University of Chicago

Current Research Grants

Housing Contexts and Low-Income Children's Development (MacArthur Foundation). Coley, Principal Investigator; Linda Burton & Tama Leventhal, Co-Investigators.  Employs intensive ethnographic, survey and administrative data to assess low-income families' housing experiences and delineate connections to children's health and development from infancy through middle childhood.

Health Risk Trajectories Across Adolescence: Understanding Gender Differences (W. T. Grant Foundation).  Coley, Principal Investigator.  Assess how family and peer contexts affect the initiation and sustainment of health risk behaviors both directly and in interaction with genetic risks, with particular attention to gender divergence in such behaviors.

Housing contexts and Youth Development within Urban low-Income Families (W.T. Grant Foundation). Coley, Principal Investigator; Burton & Leventhal, Co-investigators.  Assesses multiple aspects of low-income families' housing, neighborhood, and family contexts, and tests links with youth functioning from age 10 to 21.

Child Care Resources in Low-Income Communities. (NICHD). Coley & Votruba-Drzal, Co-Principal Investigators. Assesses child care decisions and the implications of child care experiences for the health and well-being of low-income children and mothers using longitudinal survey, observational, and assessment data.


Recent Publications

Coley, R.L., Carrano, J. & Lewin-Bizan, S. (2011).  Unpacking links between fathers' antisocial behaviors and children's behavior problems:  Direct, indirect, and interactive effects with harsh parenting.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 791-804.

Coley, R.L., Ribar, D., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2011).  Do children's behavior problems limit poor women's labor market success?  Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 1-13.

Votruba-Drzal, E., Coley, R.L., Carreno, C.M., Li-Grining, C.P., & Chase-Lansdale, P.L. (2010).  Child care and the socioemotional development of economically disadvantaged children in middle childhood.  Child Development, 81, 1460-1475.

Bachman, H.J., Coley, R.L., & Chase-Lansdale, P.L. (2009).  Is maternal marriage beneficial for low-income adolescents?  Applied Developmental Science, 13(4), 153-171.

Coley, R.L., Votruba-Drzal, E., & Schindler, H. (2009).  Fathers' and mothers' parenting predicting and responding to adolescent sexual risk behaviors.  Child Development, 80, 808-827.

Coley, R.L., Medeiros, B.L., & Schindler, H. (2008).  Using sibling differences to estimate effects of parenting on adolescent sexual risk behaviors.  Journal of Adolescent Health, 43, 133-140.

Coley, R.L., & Schindler, H. (2008).  Biological fathers' contributions to maternal and family functioning.  Parenting:  Science and Practice, 8, 294-318.

Coley, R.L., Votruba-Drzal, E., & Schindler, H. (2008).  Trajectories of parenting processes and adolescent substance use:  Reciprocal effects.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 613-635.

Coley, R.L., Bachman, H.J., Votruba-Drzal, E., Lohman, B., & Li-Grining, C.P. (2007).  Maternal welfare and employment experiences and adolescent well-being:  Do mothers' human capital characteristics matter?  Child and Youth Service Review, 29, 193-215.

Coley, R.L., Lohman, B.J., Votruba-Drzal, E., Pittman, L.D., & Chase-Lansdale, P.L. (2007).  Maternal functioning, time and money:  The world of work and welfare, Children and Youth Services Review, 29, 721-741.

Coley, R.L., & Medeiros, B.L. (2007).  Reciprocal longitudinal relations between nonresident father involvement and adolescent delinquency.  Child Development, 78, 132-147.


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