Laura PittmanLaura Pittman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology

Phone: (815)753-2485
Fax: (815)753-8088
Office: PM 314


Ph.D.: University of Connecticut, 1996


My research interests lie in the field of developmental psychopathology, specifically focusing on how family processes and broader contextual factors influence children’s and adolescents’ socioemotional and cognitive functioning. I take a risk and resilience approach, focusing on protective factors that enhance the likelihood for successful trajectories through childhood and adolescence and into young adulthood in at-risk populations. My current work focuses on the role of grandparents in the development of children and adolescents in a variety of sociocultural contexts.


  • PSYC 315  Behavior Disturbances in Children
  • PSYC 645  Developmental Psychopathology
  • PSYC 649  Ethics and Professional Issues in Psychology
  • PSYC 654  Practicum in Psychotherapy


  • Pittman, L. D., Wakschlag, L. S., Chase-Lansdale, P. L., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (in press).  "Mama, I'm a Person, Too!": Individuation and young African-American mothers' parenting competence.  In P. Kerig, M. Schulz & S. Hauser, (Eds.), Adolescence and beyond:  Family processes and development.  Oxford University Press.
  • Pittman, L. D., & Coley, R. L. (2011).  Coparenting in families with adolescent mothers .  In J. McHale & K. M. Lindahl (Eds). Co-parenting: Theory, research and clinical applications (pp. 105-126). Washington, DC: APA Press.
  • Pittman, L. D., & Boswell, M. K. (2008). Low-income multigenerational households: Variation in family functioning by mothers’ age and race/ethnicity. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 851-881.
  • Pittman, L. D., & Richmond, A. (2008). University belonging and friendship quality during the transition to college: Links to self perceptions and psychological symptoms. Journal of Experimental Education, 76, 343-361.
  • Pittman, L. D. (2007). Grandmothers’ involvement among young adolescents growing up in poverty. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 17, 89-116.
  • Pittman, L. D., & Boswell, M. K. (2007). The role of grandmothers in the lives of preschoolers growing up in urban poverty. Applied Developmental Science, 11, 20-42.
  • Chase-Lansdale, P. L., Moffitt, R., Lohman, B. J., Cherlin, A. J., Coley, R. L., Pittman, L. D., Roff, J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2003). Mothers’ transitions from welfare to work and the well-being of preschoolers and adolescents. Science, 299, 1548-1552.


  • Principal Investigator, Grandmother's involvement among children and adolescents growing up in poverty, Grant from the Joint Center for Poverty Research, 9/1/02 - 9/30/03, $30,000.
  • Principal Investigator, Parenting and School Readiness Among Low-Income Children, Grant from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 12/1/04 - 11/30/06, $100,000.