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Jennifer Maggs
Jennifer L. Maggs
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
  • Research
  • Adolescent Development
  • Intervention and Prevention
  • Methodology
  • Graduate Program
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  • Ph.D., 1993, Developmental Psychology, University of Victoria, BC, Canada
  • M.A., 1990, Developmental Psychology, University of Victoria, BC, Canada
  • B.A. (Honours), 1986, Psychology, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada
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Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Office Address
208 Health and Human Development Building
Professional Experience

2010-present: Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

2020-2023: Edna Bennett Pierce Faculty Fellow in Prevention Research, The Pennsylvania State University

2004-2010: Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

2008-Present: Faculty Associate, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

2003, 2006-Present: Research Associate, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL- Institute of Education (prior to 2015, University of London - IOE)

1996-2003: Assistant to Associate Professor, Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona

1996-2003: Adjunct Assistant Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

1995: Research Investigator, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

1993-1995: Visiting Scholar, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

1993-1994: Visiting Scientist, Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence, Faculty of Public Health, Universität Bielefeld, Germany

Grants and Research Projects

Youthful substance use is ubiquitous, culturally valued, and potentially catastrophic. My research career is dedicated to studying the etiology, consequences, and prevention of substance use and harms. I take a developmental epidemiological approach, with a focus on adolescence and the transition to adulthood or roughly ages 10-25. This period is critical, as alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis use typically begin during adolescence, peak in the early 20s, and are a leading cause of morbidity and premature mortality. Conceptually and empirically, substance use is deeply intertwined with common developmental changes including puberty, parent and peer relationships, and academic and work achievements. Due to complex and bidirectional links, developmental changes lead to both normative and problematic substance use patterns. Substance use, in turn, can facilitate or derail normal development.

I have addressed this challenge through a progression of primarily NIH-funded collaborative studies on the etiology, consequences, and prevention of substance use. These projects use varied developmental designs ranging from intensive repeated measures to long-term national cohort studies. Current work focuses on the Parents and Adolescent Siblings Study (PI: Shawn Whiteman, AA025331, AA030191), E-cigarette Tobacco Control project (PI: Brian Kelly, DA053234), High-Intensity Drinking / Monitoring the Future study (PI: Megan Patrick, AA023504, DA016575), and UK Millennium Cohort Study (PI: Maggs, AA019606, AA015535, with Jeremy Staff).

Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students working with us are encouraged to develop their research interests and skills by reading, conducting analyses, writing papers for publication, and developing grant-writing skills.


Kelly, B. C., Vuolo, M., Maggs, J., & Staff, J. (2023). E-cigarette use among early adolescent tobacco cigarette smokers: testing the disruption and entrenchment hypotheses in two longitudinal cohorts. Tobacco Control.

Maggs, J. L., Calhoun, B. H., & Allen, H. K. (2023). Substance use across adolescence and early adulthood: Prevalence, causes, developmental roots, and consequences. In L. Crockett, G. Carlo, & J. E. Schulenberg (Eds.), APA handbook of adolescent and young adult development (pp. 541-556). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Mehus, C. J., Patrick, M. E., Schulenberg, J., & Maggs, J. L. (2022). 35-year-old parents do not approve of 17-year-olds’ cigarette, marijuana, or alcohol use: U.S. national data 1993–2018. Journal of Adolescent Health, 70(6), 989-992.

Parks, M. J., Maggs, J. L., & Patrick, M. E. (2022). Daily fluctuations in drinking intensity: Links with vaping and combustible use of nicotine and marijuana. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 233, 109347.

Staff, J., Kelly, B. C., Maggs, J. L., & Vuolo, M. (2022). Adolescent electronic cigarette use and tobacco smoking in the Millennium Cohort Study. Addiction, 117(2), 484-494.

Cassinat, J. R., Whiteman, S. D., Serang, S., Dotterer, A. M., Mustillo, S. A., Maggs, J. L., & Kelly, B. C. (2021). Changes in family chaos and family relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 57(10), 1597-1610.

Maggs, J. L., Cassinat, J. R., Kelly, B. C., Mustillo, S. A., & Whiteman, S. D. (2021). Parents who first allowed adolescents to drink alcohol in a family context during Spring 2020 COVID-19 emergency shutdowns. Journal of Adolescent Health, 68(4), 816-818.

Maggs, J. L. (2020). Adolescent life in the early days of the pandemic: Less and more substance use. Journal of Adolescent Health, 67(3), 307-308.

Russell, M., Almeida, D. M., & Maggs, J. L. (2017). Stressor-related drinking and future alcohol problems among university students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(6), 676-687.

Brown, S., Mague, M., Maggs, J. L., Schulenberg, J., Hingson, R., Swartzwelder, S., Martin, C., Chung, T., Tapert, S. F., Sher, K., Winters, K. C., Lowman, C., Murphy, S. (2008). A developmental perspective on alcohol and youth ages 16-20. Pediatrics, 121 (Suppl 4), S290-S310.