Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Lynch School of Education

Rebekah Levine Coley

counseling, developmental, and educational psychology department

headshot of professor rebekah 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

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; James Mahalik & Sara Jaffee, Co-Investigators.  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.

Socioeconomic Disparities in School Readiness Skills and the Role of Early Education and Care. (Spencer Foundation). Coley, Principal Investigator; Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Co-Investigator. Delineates the role of early childhood education programs in ameliorating or exacerbating economic disparities in children's cognitive and behavioral school readiness skills.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families of the Life Course (Australian Research Council). Baxter, Principal Investigator.  Collaborative research centre seeking to advance basic, applied, and translational research to reduce intergenerational and long-term economic disadvantage and improve the life chances of poor children and families.

Recent Publications

Coley, R.L., Kull, M., & Carrano, J. (2014).  Parental spanking endorsement and children's internalizing and externalizing behaviors in African American and Hispanic families.  Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 22-31.

Coley, R.L., Kull, M., Levanthal, T., & Lynch, A.D. (2014). Profiles of housing and neighborhood contexts among low-income families:  Links with children's well-being. Cityscape:  A Journal of Policy Development and Research, 16, 41-64.

Coley, R.L., & Lombardi, C.M.(2014). Low-income women's employment experiences and their financial, personal and family well-being.  Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 88-97.

Coley, R.L., Votruba-Drzal, E., Collins, M.A., & Miller, P. (2014). Selection into early education and care settings: Differences by developmental status.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 319-332.

Kull, M., & Coley, R.L. (2014). The roles of family investment and stress linking housing cost burden to children's function in low-income families.  Child and Youth Service Review, 39, 25-38.

Coley, R.L., Leventhal, T., Lynch, A.D., & Kull, M. (2013). Relations between housing characteristics and the well-being of low-income children and adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 49, 1775-1789.

Coley, R.L., & Lombardi, C.M. (2013).  Does maternal employment following childbirth support or inhibit low-income children's long-term development? Child Development, 84, 178-197.

Coley, R.L., Lombardi, C.M., Sims, J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2013). Early education and care experiences and cognitive skills development:  A comparative perspective between Australian and American children.  Family Matters, 93, 36-49.

Coley, R.L., Lombardi, C.M., Lynch, A.D., Mahalik, J., Sims, J. (2013). Sexual partner accumulation from adolescence through early adulthood:  The role of family, peer and school social norms.  Journal of Adolescent Health, 53, 91-97.

Coley, R.L., Votruba-Drzal, E., Miller, P., & Koury, A. (2013).  Timing, type, and extent of child care and children's behavioral functioning in kindergarten.  Developmental Psychology, 49, 1859-1873.

Mahalik, J.R., Coley, R.L., Lombardi, C.M., Markowitz, A., Lynch. A.D., & Jaffee, S.R., (2013).  Gender divergence in health risk behaviors from early adolescence through early adulthood.  Health Psychology, 32(6), 685-694.


This page links to PDF files. Use this link to download Adobe Reader if needed.