Carolyn T. Halpern, PhD
Dr. Halpern is professor and chair of the Department of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a developmental psychologist and deputy director/co-investigator of the Waves IV and V National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) program project.
Dr. Halpern’s research interests center on improving understanding of healthy sexual development and the implications of adolescent experiences for developmental and demographic processes into adulthood, particularly as these relate to sexual and romantic relationships.
Dr. Halpern has nearly 30 years of research experience in the study of adolescent and young adult sexuality and risk-taking in both U.S. and global settings, and more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on these topics. She has received multiple university-wide and national awards for mentoring and academic leadership.
Human Sexuality | Syllabus
Teaching InterestsTheoretical Foundations of Maternal and Child Health (taught 1999-2013)
Adolescent Health (taught 1999-2005)
Research ActivitiesDr. Halpern’s research interests center on improving understanding of healthy sexual development and the implications of adolescent experiences for developmental and demographic processes into adulthood. Her early research focused on the hormonal underpinnings of pubertal change and how the interactions of physical, psychological and social changes contribute to adolescent sexual initiation and behavior. Her current NICHD-funded research examines comprehensive sexual initiation patterns among youth, and the implications of those patterns for later sexual behavior and sexual health.
Service ActivitiesAssociate Editor for Public Health and Policy, Journal of Adolescent Health (2015 – present)
Invited member, NICHD Contraceptive Research Review Panel; Chair of “Accomplishments” and “Behavior” sub-committees (2014-2015)
Associate Editor, Journal of Research on Adolescence (2013 - 2015)
Chair Multi-Disciplinary Membership Committee, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (2010 - 2013)
Member UNC Graduate School Administrative Board
Volunteer Guardian, Guardian ad Litem Program, Wake County, NC; court-appointed advocate for abused and neglected children (1983 - 1999)
Advisory Board Member, Future of Sex Education (FoSE) Collaboration (2013 - present)
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina] (2013 - Present)
Member, Board of Directors, Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens, North Carolina (SHIFT NC) (Formerly)
Preconception stress, birth weight, and birth weight disparities among U.S. women. Strutz KL, Halpern CT, Hogan VK, Siega-Riz AM, Suchindran CM, Hussey JM (2014). American Journal of Public Health.
Predictors of varying emergent adolescent and young adult sexual patterns. Reese B, Choukas-Bradley S, Herring AH, Halpern CT (2014). Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Sex differences in adult outcomes by changes in weight status from adolescence to adulthood: results from Add Health. Chung A, Skinner AC, Maslow GR, Halpern CT, Perrin EM (2014). Academic Pediatrics, 14.
PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Houston, 1982
MA, Developmental Psychology, University of Houston, 1979
BS, Psychology, University of Houston, 1976