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Brett Laursen

Brett Laursen

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Brett Laursen's research concerns parent-child and peer relationships during childhood and adolescence. A related focus is on quantitative developmental methodologies. He is currently involved in several longitudinal projects.

The first study concerns a large group of Finnish students who have been followed across the transition from middle school to vocational school or gymnasium (high school). This inquiry focuses on the role parent-child and friend relationships play in shaping adjustment and developmental outcomes. Professor Katariina Salmela-Aro of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies directs this project. The second study concerns a diverse sample of South Florida youth, their parents, and their friends. This inquiry focuses on normative changes in family and friend relationships across the adolescent years, and will help us to better understand how relationships shape adolescent social and academic competence. A third study involves the nature and course of romantic relationships across adolescence and early adulthood in a sample of Colorado youth. Professor Wyndol Furman of the University of Denver directs this project. A fourth study involves peer influence processes and problem behaviors in a large community sample of Swedish youth. Professor Margaret Kerr and Håkan Stattin direct this project. A fifth study involves a California program designed to foster the acquisition of computer literacy skills among middle school students. Students who receive solo instruction will be contrasted with those who learn programming skills with a peer. Dr. Jill Denner and Professor Emily Werner direct this project.

Professor Laursen is Docent Professor of Social Developmental Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and is a member of the Finnish Center of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research, where he collaborates on several longitudinal studies on peer relations and academic achievement under the direction of Professor Jari-Erik Nurmi.

Brett Laursen has received research support from the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the US National Institute of Mental Health, the US National Science Foundation, and the Jacobs Foundation.

Professor Laursen is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association (Division 7, Developmental) and a Fellow and Charter Member of the Association for Psychological Science. He received an honorary doctorate from Orebro University (Sweden) in 2008.

Brett Laursen is Method and Measures Editor at the International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Close Relationships
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Personality, Individual Differences


Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

  • Hoff, E., Laursen, B., & Tardif, T. (2002). Socioeconomic status and parenting. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 2. Biology and ecology of parenting (2nd ed., pp. 231-252). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Laursen, B., & Collins, W. A. (2009). Parent-child relationships during adolescence. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed.). Vol. 2: Contextual influences on adolescent development (pp. 3-42). New York: Wiley.

Brett Laursen
Department of Psychology
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33343
United States of America

  • Phone: (954) 236-1121
  • Fax: (954) 236-1242

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