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Rebecca M Ryan


Assistant Professor


Department of Psychology
General profile



+1 202-687-2215


301-G White-Gravenor


Rebecca Ryan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University, a position she began after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies in Fall 2009. She earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University in 2006. Her research explores the implications of the rise in nonmarital childbirth for children’s well-being as well as the relationship between parenting and children’s development in at-risk contexts. Both strains of research explore two fundamental influences on child well-being: the quality of parent-child interactions and parents’ ability to invest time and money in children’s environments. Her recent work aims to identify the unique role fathers play in children’s development by assessing the quality and quantity of the time they spend interacting with children and the impact of their absence across family contexts. She is the principal investigator on the NIH funded grant, The Impact of Nonresident Fatherhood on Adolescent Sexual Development and on the Institute for Research on Poverty funded grant, Associations between Family Structure Change and Child Development: The Moderating Effects of Timing and Family Income. Her broad aim is to link developmental psychology to child and family policy in an effort to enrich both fields.


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  • Ph.D. (2006) Columbia University, Developmental Psychology
  • M.Ed. (1998) Harvard Graduate School of Education, Human Development and Psychology
  • A.B. (1994) Princeton University, U.S. History