Joseph Allen

Allen, Joseph P.

Primary Appointment

Hugh P Kelly Distinguished Professorship in Arts & Sciences, Psychology

Contact Information

PO Box 400400
Gilmer Hall 326
Telephone: 982-4727

Research Disciplines


Research Interests

Adolescent Social Development

Research Description

Adolescent Social Development, Family Relations, Peer relations & Problematic Behaviors (ranging from delinquency and teen pregnancy to depression and anxiety).

Specific topics:

Development of peer influence and peer pressure in adolescence.

Prevention of Teen Pregnancy.

Development of Autonomy and Relatedness in Adolescent Social Interactions.

Adolescent attachment organization.

UNLEASH (Undergraduate Research)

The VIDA Project is a longitudinal study following adolescents from age 13 into adulthood (ages 27-32) examining the influence of peer relationships, autonomy, and attachment processes on long-term psychosocial development and mental and physical health outcomes. We are exploring how young adults develop and manage friendships with their peers, and how family relationships influence qualities of these peer relationships and mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, alcohol and substance use and externalizing behavior. Most recently, we have begun examining the ways that social relationships predict physical health outcomes, and we now examine our participants’ heart rate variability under stress, as well as markers of inflammation and immune functioning. We use a variety of measurement methods, including self-reports, semi-structured interviews, parent-reports, peer reports, and observations of family and peer interactions and physical health assessments. We have now been following our original sample of 184 participants for over 15 years and have 98% of them still active in the study.

RA tasks include conducting interviews with participants, data entry and checking, transcribing, and other administrative tasks. We train RAs in physical health assessments (e.g., EKG assessments of heart rate variability), and to use computer programs and protocols for conducting interviews with participants. RAs who work on the project for multiple semesters often have the opportunity to take on higher level responsibilities (such as coding data, scheduling participants, and writing a thesis) and may apply for paid positions.

Contact: Project Coordinators at Phone: 434 982 5789

Selected Publications