Professor Cynthia Lightfoot
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State Brandywine, USA
For my entire professional life, I have worked to understand the sociocultural contexts of child and adolescent development. My students and I have studied teen pregnancy, risk-taking, identity development, and youth culture. Over time, I became increasingly interested in issues affecting minority and immigrant children and youths, including aspects of diversity and inclusion in higher education.
The need to understand how children develop, learn, and experience their worlds has never been as important as it is today, in an age of sweeping globalization, spreading technologies, and the migration and displacement of families across the planet. My goal is to contribute to knowledge about how these factors impact children, families, and communities, and influence what we do – as individuals, parents, educators, policy makers, and citizens – to create contexts for healthy development and well-being.