Melvin Wilson

Wilson, Melvin N.

Primary Appointment

Professor, Psychology

Contact Information

PO Box 400400
Gilmer Hall 306
Telephone: 982-4766

Research Disciplines


Research Interests

Clinical, Community, Developmental

Research Description

Dr. Melvin Wilson's academic, research, and training activities generally focus on understanding contextual processes and outcomes in African American families and service delivery in domestic violence issues. Specifically, his current research interests focus on young, low-income, unwed, and nonresident fathers. In addition, he is currently working on developing intervention protocols aimed at helping young men meet family responsibilities and involvements. Finally, Dr. Wilson has an intervention and research evaluation project focused on providing services to men who are court-ordered for treatment of wife-battering.

UNLEASH (Undergraduate Research)

The Early Steps Project is a multisite, longitudinal study of 731 ethnically-diverse families from urban (Pittsburgh, PA), suburban (Eugene, OR), and rural (Charlottesville, VA) sites. Families with a child between ages 2.0 years and 2 years, 11 months were recruited from WIC stations at each site on the basis of their ability to meet eligibility criteria for child, family, and sociodemographic risk. As children are now entering into adolescence we propose to test the hypothesis that periodic, tailored, and adaptive interventions delivered to caregivers of children from toddlerhood to school entry: (a) will have long-term preventive effects on alcohol and drug use, high-risk sexual behavior, and other types of problem behavior; (b) will show intervention effects that are mediated by increases in parents’ use of positive behavior support and prosocial peer affiliation; and (c) will test whether intervention effects are moderated by genetic and contextual risk.
Eligible students should have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, be psychology major or intend to be psychology major, completed 9 hours of psychology courses (ideally completed PSYC 3005/3006), be 2nd or 3rd year (4th year students sometimes considered). Research assistants must be available at least two days a week between 1 PM–8 PM, and being available on weekends is also desirable because they are involved in data collection in participants’ homes. Research Assistants must feel comfortable working with children/youth and to working with a very diverse population. We encourage students to consider working with us for at least 2 consecutive years. Fluent Spanish speakers also are encouraged to apply.
Responsibilities for Research assistants may include conducting reviews of empirical articles, support project staff in data collection by filming assessments or providing childcare in participants’ homes, as well as lab-based tasks such as preparing materials for assessments, data entry, phone interviews with parents and children, filing, copying videos, and other similar lab support tasks.
Contact: Margarita Caldentey

Selected Publications