Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Associate professor’s research goes international

photo of Troy Beckert
Troy Beckert
By JoLynne Lyon

An associate professor has been studying influences that affect a teen’s sense of autonomy, identity and self-esteem. Soon he will take his research to an international level.

Dr. Troy Beckert has been selected by the University of Padua to participate in the Visiting Scientist Program.  He leaves for Italy later this spring where he will begin collecting data on the interplay between culture, families, youth culture (including social media and texting), and teen development.

Together with his collaborating sponsor, Professor Paulo Albiero at the University of Padua, Beckert will teach classes on adolescent development, mentor graduate students, and collect data from youth in surrounding high schools.  The fellowship will last for three months.

Beckert is also working with Professor Cheyi-Yin Wu of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan to collect data from Taiwanese youth for the same project.

Using data from different countries should help understand cultural influences, which should vary significantly between the three research sites. The three cultures all place a different emphasis on community, family, and the individual, Beckert said. “We have this idea to really tease out how these variables of culture influence each other. … I think these differences play a role on how kids develop.”

Beckert is an associate professor in the Family, Consumer, and Human Development Department in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

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