John Schulenberg

Professor of Psychology; Research Professor, Institute for Social Research and Center for Human Growth and Development

Research and Teaching Interests

Schulenberg's research program focuses on psychosocial development during adolescence and young adulthood, with specific emphasis on the link between developmental transitions and health and well-being, on alcohol and other drug use, on developmental intervention and prevention research, and on the conceptualization and analysis of change. Using nationally representative, multiwave, longitudinal samples, topics of interest are the increase in health risks during adolescence, the description and explanation of trajectories of substance use during adolescence and young adulthood, discontinuities in functioning and adjustment during the transition to young adulthood, the comorbidity of substance use and psychopathology during adolescence and adulthood, and the combination of variable-centered and pattern-centered approaches to maximize understanding of developmental change. He teaches a graduate seminar on adolescent development and the transition to adulthood.

Representative Publications

Schulenberg JE, Bryant AL & O’Malley PM (2004). Taking hold of some kind of life: How developmental tasks relate to trajectories of well-being during the transition to adulthood. Development & Psychopathology, 16, 1119–40.
Schulenberg JE, Sameroff AJ & Cicchetti D (2004). Editorial: The transition to adulthood as a critical juncture in the course of psychopathology and mental health. Development & Psychopathology, 16, 799–806.
Jackson, K. M., Sher, K. J., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2005). Conjoint developmental trajectories of young adult alcohol and tobacco use. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114, 612–626.Schulenberg JE, Merline AC, Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG & Laetz VB (2005). Trajectories of mari¬juana use during the transition to adulthood: The big picture based on national panel data. J. Drug Issues, 35, 255–79.

Schulenberg, JE (2006). Understanding the multiple contexts of adolescent risky behavior and positive development: Advances and future directions. Applied Developmental Science, 10, 107-113.

Schulenberg JE & Zarrett NR (2006). Mental health during emerging adulthood: Continuity and discontinuity in courses, causes, and functions. In JJ Arnett & JL Tanner (Eds.), Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century (pp. 135–72). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Bachman, JG, O’Malley, PM, Schulenberg, JE, Johnston, LD, Freedman-Doan, P, & Messersmith, EE (in press). The education–drug use connection: How successes and failures in school relate to adolescent smoking, drinking, drug use, and delinquency. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates/Taylor & Francis.
Messersmith, EE, & Schulenberg, JE (in press). Can we expect the unexpected? Predicting educational attainment when it differs from previous expectations. Journal of Social Issues.

Honors and Awards

Fellow, American Psychological Association (Divisions 7, Developmental, and 50, Addictions)
Program Cochair, Society for Research on Adolescence (2006-2008)
Lansdowne Lectureship, University of Victoria, Victoria Canada (2004)
Research Scientist Recognition Award (2001)

In the School of Education, Schulenberg teaches courses in the following program(s):
Combined Program in Education and Psychology




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