Michael Merten named chair of child, youth and family studies


Michael Merten
Michael Merten

Michael Merten named chair of child, youth and family studies

22 Jun 2020    

Michael Merten, current director of the Center for Family Resilience and professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Oklahoma State University, will join the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln July 1, 2020 as chair of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies. 

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Merten to Nebraska to lead the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies," said Sherri Jones, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. "His leadership skills and multifaceted experience will greatly benefit our efforts to enhance outcomes in early childhood, health and wellness, and communities.” 

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies is committed to enhancing the well-being of children, youth adults and families in the state, nation and world by improving the environments in which they live and learn.

“I am incredibly excited about joining the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies and the College of Education and Human Sciences,” Merten said. “The department is nationally and internationally recognized as a program that produces outstanding graduates that are optimally prepared to solve complex human issues. I look forward to working with the immensely talented faculty, staff and students of CYAF.”

Merten has been a faculty member at Oklahoma State since 2005. As an interdisciplinary family scientist, his research focuses on a wide range of determinants of youth and young adult development outcomes, particularly psychosocial and health outcomes considering both family and community contexts. Merten has received funding from both the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Merten has worked successfully with psychologists, sociologists, nutritional scientists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and economists to form successful research teams. He has extensive data collection experience from diverse urban and rural families and is a member of the NIH review Health, Behavior, and Context subcommittee.

Merten earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a doctorate in human development and family studies from Iowa State University.

To learn more about the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, visit https://cehs.unl.edu/cyaf/.


College of Education and Human Sciences
Child, Youth and Family Studies