UMass Psychology

Hal Grotevant

Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Dr Grotevants research focuses on relationships in adoptive families, and on identity development in adolescents and young adults. More generally, his interests include child and adolescent development and family dynamics. Dr. Grotevant is also the Principal Investigator on the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project, a 20-year longitudinal research study that focuses on the consequences of variations in adoptive family - birth family contact arrangements. The study has examined how relationships have evolved in the adoptive kinship networks across Wave 1 (middle childhood), Wave 2 (adolescence), and Wave 3 (emerging adulthood). The study includes adopted persons (who are now in their 20s), their adoptive parents, and their birth relatives. The project has most recently been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Science Foundation, and William T. Grant Foundation. Grotevant's work has resulted in over 100 articles published in professional journals as well as several books, including Openness in Adoption: Exploring Family Connections (with Ruth McRoy, Sage Publications, 1998). He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the National Council on Family Relations; Senior Research Fellow of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute; former Board President of Adoptive Families of America; and recipient of research, teaching, and leadership awards from the University of Minnesota, where he was Distinguished University Teaching Professor of Family Social Science until his move to Amherst in 2008. In fall 2009, he received the 2009 Outstanding Faculty for Outreach and Engagement Award from the College of Natural Sciences, UMass Amherst.

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Jen Dolan

Program Manager, Rudd Adoption Research Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.    

Jen Dolan continues to serve as the Program Manager for the Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass Amherst.  She completed her doctoral degree from the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts in the fall of 2011.  Her undergraduate degree is in social work from the University of Delaware and her master’s degree is in public health from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.   Ms. Dolan served as a Program Manager for the Health Education, Off-Campus Federal Work Study and Service Learning program at Holyoke Community College for fifteen years prior to her employment at UMass in 2009. Her research focuses on identifying issues and finding solutions for White parents who are raising Asian born adopted children.  The youngest of her three children is an adopted boy of Filipino descent.   Her 2011 dissertation was entitled, “The Intersectionality of race, adoption and parenting: How White adoptive parents of Asian born children talk about race within the family.”

  Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Rachel Farr 

Research Assistant Professor of Psychology 

Rachel Farr, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor at UMass Amherst. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Community Psychology from the University of Virginia in January 2011.  Rachel came to UMass as the Rudd Postdoctoral Research Scholar in February 2011, and has been doing research related to openness in adoption, particularly about how primary tasks of adulthood (e.g., entering long-term romantic partnerships, marriage, establishing a career, having children) are influenced by adoptive and birth family dynamics.  In graduate school, Rachel completed a large study about how parental sexual orientation impacts child outcomes, parenting, and family dynamics in adoptive families with young children from across the United States.  The results have been informative to policy, practice, and law surrounding ongoing controversy about lesbian and gay parent adoption.  The study has received national attention from the New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post, interviews with National Public Radio on "Fresh Air" and "Morning Edition," as well as in the NBC TV Show, “Outlaw.”  With support from the American Psychological Foundation’s Placek Grant, Rachel is now conducting a follow up study with these families.

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Rachel's - Home Page





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