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Randy Jones


Randy Jones, Ph.D.



  FL 221

  By Appointment Only


Dr. Randall M Jones is a Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Programs in the Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development at Utah State University. He teaches research methods (graduate and undergraduate level), and Measurement and Professional Development at the graduate level. Having documented strong and replicable relations between adolescent identity development and substance use/abuse while pursuing his doctoral studies at The University of Arizona (Educational Psychology), his current research focus includes: 1) identity development and a wide range of adolescent problem behaviors (criminal activity, delinquency, precocious sexual behavior), 2) family, social, and technological influences on identity development, and 3) reciprocal relations between adolescent identity development and adolescent environments (imposed, selected, and constructed). Outside of his work, Jones enjoys spending time with his wife and pets (Elkhounds), and meeting new friends while cruising remote locations on his motorcycle.

Research Projects

  Indicates Committee Chair    Dissertation Link     Email Link     Website

Identity and Interpersonal Relations

  • Students
  • J. Mitch Vaterlaus (PhD, 2012)     
  • Torrey Morrill (PhD, 2009)     
  • Celestial Brandley (MS, 2008)     
  • Jerry Cook (MS, 1998; PhD 2002)     
  • Tracy Funk (MS, 2001)     
  • Diana Coyl (MS, 1997; PhD, 2000)     
  • Mark Ogletree (PhD, 1999)     
  • Marilyn Hammond (PhD, 1999)     
  • James Akers (MS, 1992; PhD 1996)    
  • Larry Anderson (PhD, 1993)     

Identity and Problem Behavior

  • Students
  • Jennifer Lance (MS, 2003)     
  • Andrew Dick (PhD, 2001)
  • Kreg Edgmon (PhD, 2001)     
  • Mike McMaken (MS, 2000)     
  • Cheryl Cheek (PhD, 1999)     
  • Darci Keady (MS, 1999)     
  • Mike Dalton (MS, 1997)     
  • Diana Coyl (MS, 1997)     
  • Gail Yost (PhD, 1995)     
  • Joseph White (MS, 1994)     
  • Susan Bowman (PhD, 1994)     
  • Pamela King (MS, 1993)     

Identity and Environments

  • Students
  • Archana Singh (PhD, 2006)     
  • Denise Taylor (PhD, 2004)     
  • Darci Keady (MS, 1999)     
  • Mark Oleson (MS, 1996)     
  • Larry Anderson (PhD, 1993)


Phd in Educational Psychology, The University of Arizona, 1984

MS in Family & Human Development, Utah State University, 1982

BS in Psychology, Utah State University, 1977

Research Interests

Adolescent and pre-adolescent development in transitional (i.e., school, relationship, work) and/or social problem (i.e., substance use and abuse, pregnancy, school dropout and delinquency) contexts. My research investigates pre-adolescent psychosocial development and adolescent identity formation in relation to delinquency, sexual activity, substance use/abuse, and behavioral motivations. Findings from these studies have aided elementary, middle, and high schools in their efforts to identify "at- risk" students; to construct prevention activities; and to evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies in reducing school-based measures of "at risk" behavior (viz., academic achievement, school attendance, disciplinary behavior referrals, etc.).

The literature on "resilient children," i.e., those who "recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or sustained life stress" echoes Erikson's theoretical notions regarding psychosocial development:

  • resilient children seem to possess qualities (trust, autonomy, initiative, and industry) necessary for healthy resolution of identity;
  • resilient children appear to be inoculated against the pressures involved with substance use and associated "at risk" behaviors; and,
  • troubled adolescents (those who have not resolved identity issues) consistently report greater involvement in crime/delinquency, sexual activity, substance use/abuse, and related problems.

I am interested in developing interventions that ameliorate psychosocial difficulties with the intent of decreasing problem behaviors.

I am eager to work with students who share my interest in enhancing the quality of life among our youth, particularly in terms of facilitating a smooth transition from childhood to adulthood (ADOLESCENCE). The decisions that are made during adolescence – decisions about lifestyle, careers, education, substance use, sexual activity, delinquency, and so on – can (and often times do) severely handicap the range of possible futures. Teenagers need to be aware of the likely consequences emanating from their decisions and their behavior.

USU Course Teachings

  • FCHD 3130: Research Methods
  • FCHD 3570: Adolescence
  • FCHD 6520: Adolescent Development
  • FCHD 6060: Theories of Human Development
  • FCHD 6031: Research Methods
  • FCHD 7980: Professional Development
  • FCHD 6960: Graduate Orientation
  • FCHD 6032: Social Sciences - Measurement