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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., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan

Postdoctoral Training, Demography & Public Policy, University of Chicago


Primary focus on delineating the key family, school, and community processes which transmit economic and social inequality to children's and adolescents' development.  Incorporate longitudinal, multi-method, and evaluation methodologies to inform social and educational policies at the local, state, and federal level.  

Specific research foci include: family and community poverty; housing and community development; family structure and parenting; father involvement; early childhood education; and youth health risk behaviors.


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 Professional Activities

2014-     Co-Chair, Social Policy Committee, Society for Research on Adolescence

2013-     Steering Committee, Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium

2013-     Policy and Communications Committee,  Society for Research in Child Development

2011-     Vice-Chair, Steering Committee, University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium  

Current Research Grants

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 log-term economic disadvantage and improve the life chances of poor children and families.

Peer Effects on Children and Teachers in Preschool Classrooms (Administration for Children and Families).  Coley, Principal Investigator.  Secondary analysis of longitudinal data on children in state-funded preschools to assess the role of peer effects on children's academic and social development and on classroom instructional quality. 

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.


Recent Publications

Coley, R.L., & Kull, M. (2016).  Cumulative, timing-specific, and interactive models of residential mobility and children's cognitive and psychosocial skills. Child Development.

Coley, R.L., Votruba-Drzal, E., Collins, M., & Cook, K.D. (2016).  Comparing public, private, and informal preschool programs in a national sample of low-income children.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36, 91-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.11.002 

Elliiott, M.C., Leventhal, T., Shuey, E., Lynch, A.D., & Coley, R.L. (2016).  The home and the 'hood:  Associations between housing and neighborhood contexts and adolescent functioning. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26, 194-206.

Kull, M., Coley, R.L., & Lynch, A.D. (2016). The roles of instability and housing in low-income families' residential mobility.  Journal of Family and Economic Issues.  DOI 10.1007/s10834-015-9465-0

Votruba-Drzal, E., Miller, P., & Coley, R.L. (2016).  Poverty, urbanicity, and children's development of academic skills. Child Development Perspectives, 10, 3-9. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12152

Coley, R.L., Lombardi, C., & Sims, J. (2015).  Long-term implications of early education and care programs for Australian children.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 107, 284-299.  DOI: 10.1037/a0037456 

Coley, R.L., Lynch, A.D., & Kull, M. (2015).  Early exposure to enviromental chaos and children's psysical and mental health.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32, 94-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.03.001

Kull, M. & Coley, R.L. (2015). Early physical health conditions and school readiness skills in a prospective birth cohort of U.S. children.  Social Science & Medicine, 142, 145-153.  DOI: 10.1016.j.socscimed.2015.08.030 

Lynch, A.D., Coley, R.L., Sims, J., Lombardi, C.M., & Mahalik, J.R. (2015). Direct and interactive effects of parent, friend, and schoolmate drinking on alcohol use trajectories. Psychology and Health, 30, 1183-1205. DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2015.1040017

Sims, J., & Coley, R. (2015). Independent contributions of mothers' and fathers' language and literacy practices: Associations with children's kindergarten skills across linguistically diverse households. Early Education and Development. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2016.1091973


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