DePTh Lab

DePTh Lab Director

G. John Geldhof, Ph.D.

Faculty page

Dr. Geldhof’s research focuses on the development of self-regulation across the lifespan and the relationship between intentional self-regulation and positive developmental outcomes (especially Positive Youth Development). Because of the contextualized nature of human development, he is also interested in the diverse ways thriving manifests in diverse cultural contexts.

Dr. Geldhof received his Ph.D. in Developmental and Quantitative Psychology from the University of Kansas and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University.

His current research program includes an emphasis on quantitative methodology, both as a tool for optimizing empirical work and as a research domain in and of itself. As a substantive topic, his quantitative research focuses on latent variable and multilevel modeling techniques.


Dr. Geldhof’s Current Students

Asia Thogmartin, M.S.

Asia's work looks at the impact of context on family relationships. Her current work is focused on refugee families and the implications of resettlement on familial relationships. This focus includes the evaluation and monitoring of resettlement programs offered to refugee families living in Oregon. Her focus on family relationships stems from the understanding of the importance of family connections and a deep connection to her own family. Asia is a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University with an expected graduation date in 2020.


Corine Tyler, M.S.

Corine’s research centers around how diverse youth experience positive development given that they are embedded in systems of privilege and oppression. She is particularly interested in how youth engage with the world based on their understanding of, and experiences with, racism and heterosexism. She uses both qualitative and quantitative methods, such as semi-structured interviews and structural equation modeling, to address these questions.

Corine received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Clemson University. She received her M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Oregon State University. Before coming to OSU, Corine worked at a group home for teen boys who perpetrated sexual violence.


Svea Olsen, M.S.

Svea’s interests focus on immigrant and refugee youth in the United States. Specifically, she seeks to understand how language brokering (serving as an interpreter or translator for family members or other adults) influences youth from diverse backgrounds in order to determine how schools and communities may best support them.

Svea earned her B.A. in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College with a focus on Spanish Language and Hispanic Studies. She received her M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Oregon State University.

Prior to coming to Oregon State, Svea worked at the Center for Emotional Intelligence at Yale University to develop, implement, and evaluate a program promoting social and emotional development among diverse learners in early childhood education settings. Additionally, Svea is TESOL certified and has worked as an English as a Second Language educator for immigrant and refugee youth and adults.

Yue Ni, M.A.

Yue’s research interests focus on how different levels and settings in youth’s ecological contexts, like families, youth programs, and culture, can integrate to promote positive developmental outcomes among youth. She is particularly interested in the social and emotional development of youth who might be experiencing an adjustment in a new environment, like immigrant youth in the U.S. and migrant youth in urban China.

Yue graduated from East China University of Science and Technology with a B.A. in English and received her M.A. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College.

Before starting her program at OSU, she worked as a researcher at an educational technology company in Shanghai, where she developed mobile applications for family education. Prior to that, she worked with a peer-mentoring program for recent Asian immigrant youth in Quincy, MA.


Lab-Affiliated Students

Linda Fenske

Program: Human Development and Family Studies
Advisor: Shauna Tominey

Linda’s research focuses on identifying sources of strength and challenge for vulnerable youth. Currently, she is focusing on transgender and gender non-conforming youth in Oregon, researching the relationship between the way that these youth present themselves to people at school and their emotional and mental wellbeing, their feeling of efficacy, and whether they have a caring adult at school. Linda earned her Post-Baccalaureate B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University, her M.A. in English from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her B.A. in English and Philosophy from Wake Forest University. Previously, Linda oversaw operations for the runaway and homeless youth overnight shelter of Jackson Street Youth Services in Corvallis, Oregon.


Jessica Seifert, MPH

Program: Health Promotion and Health Behavior
Advisor: Kari-Lyn Sakuma

Jessica is a research assistant who works with Dr. Geldhof and the DePTh lab. She believes that data is most valuable when it tells a story. Her work with Dr. Geldhof has greatly expanded her quantitative methodology expertise where she’s worked on “a little bit of everything”, from testing unexpected model idiosyncrasies using Monte Carlo simulations to mentoring peers in logistic regression to estimating mixture models for a collaborating university. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Public Health from Oregon State University. She is currently earning her PhD in Public Health with a focus in Health Promotion and Health Behavior from Oregon State University. Her current research explores maternal electronic cigarette use behavior during pregnancy, as well as how electronic cigarettes may impact existing tobacco-related health disparities. Before moving to Oregon, she worked at the Flying Circus in Bealeton, Virginia with hopes of becoming a “wing walker”. She enjoys hiking in the Pacific Northwest, eating pizza, playing Dungeons and Dragons with her husband and his coworkers (She’s a level 6 Druid), and running quantitative analyses on multiple statistical programming software to impress her friends.


Alexis Merculief

Program: Human Development and Family Studies
Advisor: Megan McClelland

Alexis is interested in how executive function and self-regulation skills help young children succeed in school. She is especially interested in how self-regulation develops alongside language, culture, and identity formation in childhood. Alexis graduated with her B.A. in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University where she researched self-regulation in children with Autism. She is an Aleut tribal member and previously worked to promote health and well-being in American Indian/Alaska Native children through youth program development and implementation at the Seattle Indian Health Board.


Dakota Witzel

Program: Human Development and Family Studies
Advisor: Robert Stawski

Dakota is a stress researcher focusing on the impact of daily stress in the health and well-being of adults. Her current research focuses on how characteristics of daily stress such as family involvement is associated with emotional reactivity in midlife. Dakota is additionally interested in exploring the use of statistical techniques in longitudinal and intensive data analysis. Dakota graduated with her Bachelor of Science from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah in 2017 where she focused heavily on research in relationships and sexuality in emerging adulthood.