Jay Mancini

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Adjunct Professor, Former Haltiwanger Distinguished Professor


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Ph.D. Child Development and Family Relations The University of North Carolina at Greensboro 1977
M.S. Family and Child Development Kansas State University 1974
B.A. Psychology The King's College 1971


Dr. Mancini researches the intersections of resilience and vulnerabilities within family and community contexts. Active research projects included quantitative studies on adolescents in military families, as well as whole-famiily research, also focused on military families. Dr. Mancini's theorizing focuses on families within the context of communities.


Jay A. Mancini is an adjunct professor in HDFS. Formerly he was the the Haltiwanger Distinguished Professor at The University of Georgia (2009-2016) and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Science (2009-2014). He is also Professor Emeritus of Human Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). From 1977 to 2009 he was on the faculty in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech, and was also the Senior Research Fellow at Virginia Tech’s Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment.  In 2013 he was the Ambiguous Loss Visiting Scholar at University of Minnesota. See the video featuring Dr. Mancini and Dr. Pauline Boss, University of Minnesota, discuss Ambiguous Loss and Family Dynamics.

Dr. Mancini’s work has focused on lifespan human development, community systems, building community capacity, military family support systems, time-use and families, and psychological well-being. Throughout his career the focus has been on resilience and vulnerabilities of individuals, families, and communities, and their multiple intersections. His program development and evaluation research has been funded by Andrus Foundation, the National Institute on Aging (NIH), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Virginia Department of Mental Health, U.S. Department of the Air Force, U.S. Department of the Army, and U.S. Department of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy Directorate), totaling more than $15M.  He has been a consultant with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (TN), America’s Promise Alliance (D.C.), Caliber Associates (Fairfax, VA), Family Research and Analysis (Greensboro, NC), Social Research Applications Corporation (D.C.), and the Human Services Research and Design Laboratory (UNC-Chapel Hill). He has also been a consulting Research Sociologist to the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Dr. Mancini has published his work in periodicals such as Journal of Marriage and the FamilyJournal of Leisure ResearchJournal of Gerontology: Psychological SciencesJournal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Educational and Psychological MeasurementFamily Science ReviewHuman RelationsAmerican Journal of OrthopsychiatryThe Prevention Researcher, Journal of Community PracticeJournal of Youth and Adolescence, and Family Relations, and has contributed chapters to numerous books, including Handbook of Marriage and the Family (3rd edition), Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health PromotionFamily Systems in MedicineClose Relationship Loss:  Theoretical Perspectives, and Family Strengths:  Positive Models for Family Life.   He is the editor of Aging Parents and Adult Children (D.C. Heath, 1989), and editor, with Karen A. Roberto, of Pathways of Human Development: Explorations of Change (Lexington, 2009). He has edited special issues of Family Relations (on changing families in America, and on families and communities), Journal of Family Issues (on family gerontology), and was Senior Editor of Families in Focus, a book series of the National Council on Family Relations. His most recent book is Family Stress Management: A Contextual Approach, written with Pauline Boss and Chalandra Bryant (Sage Publishers).

Dr. Mancini has received one university-level award (2007 Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and two college-level awards recognizing his career contributions to the family science discipline (2002 Outstanding Alumnus Award, School of Human Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina at Greensboro,  and 2008 Alumni Distinguished Research Award, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University).  He is a Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations, and a Fellow of the World Demographic Association.

Dr. Mancini’s current theorizing and research focus on families and communities.  Active research projects include examination of the social relationships of youth and their implications for developmental outcomes, study of parents and their adolescents regarding family dynamics and youth developmental outcomes, and an international study of the intersections of resilience and vulnerabilities among homeless Veterans. Over his career he has received $22M in external funding, and currently he is a Co-Principal Investigator on a grant focused on evaluating family support programs for the U.S. Army (Catherine O'Neal, Principal Investigator).

See an article in Family Science Review for an overview of Dr. Mancini's career. 


Selected Publications and Presentations

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