Human Development and Family Studies

Heather Helms, Ph.D.

Current Students:


Natalie Hengstebeck, M.S., Ph.D. student and 2015/2016 Fulbright Scholar, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Research Interests: Marriage, family policy, marriage in cultural contexts, effects of macro-level policies on micro-level individuals and families, marital and family dynamics and coping strategies

Masters Thesis: Spouses' gender role attitudes, wives' employment status, and Mexican-origin husbands' marital satisfaction


Claire Wood, M.S., Ph.D. student

Research interests: Initiation and dissolution of relationships, marital processes

Master's Thesis: Gender-typed attributes and marital satisfaction in Mexican immigrant couples: a latent profile approach (link to NC Docks)

Former Students


Yuliana Rodriguez, M.S, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, East Carolina University, Department of Human Development and Family Science

Master’s Thesis: Spillover and Crossover Effects of Mexican Immigrant
Wives’ Acculturative Stress on Spouses’ Marital Satisfaction and Marital Conflict as moderated by Wives’ Marriage Work with Husband and Close Friend
(link to NC Docks)

Doctoral Dissertation: Mexican immigrant couples' marital quality and coparenting satisfaction: the role of spouses' incongruence in familism attitudes (link to NC Docks)


Gerry Carter, MA., MPA, Ph.D, Executive Director, Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte, NC

Dissertation: Predictors of Change in Relationships Quality among First-time Unmarried Parents


Deb Craig Allman, Ph.D, Instructor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, UNCG

Dissertation: Household Income, Economic Pressure, and Depressive Mood among Unmarried Women in Midlife: The Moderating Effects of Locus of Control, Financial Instrumental Support Received from Parents, and Race



Christine Proulx, M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Missouri

Dissertation: A Contextual Process Model of the Associations among Family Vulnerabilities, Life Stressors, Marital Behavior, Marital Satisfaction, and Personal Well-being


Jill Walls. M.S., Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Ball State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Department

Dissertation: Implications of Intensive Mothering Beliefs for the Well-being of Full-time Employed Mothers of Infants: Moderating Effects of Childcare Satisfaction and Workplace Flexibility

NC Docks link:


Stephanie Parade, M.S., Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University

Dissertation: Marital Satisfaction Across the Transition to Parenthood: A Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Perspective
Link NC Docks: