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Faculty & Research

Nancy E. Hill

Charles Bigelow Professor of Education

Nancy E. Hill

Degree:  Ph.D., Michigan State University, (1994)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.1182
Vitae/CV:   Nancy E. Hill.pdf
Office:  Larsen 703
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Assistant to set up the appointment
Faculty Assistant:  Jonathan Whichard


Nancy Hill is a developmental psychologist and her research identifies the unique and interactive ways in which race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status influence parenting beliefs, practices and child outcomes, especially among African American, Latino, and Euro-American children. Her research has identified the ways in which similar parenting practices may have different meanings for and impacts on children's mental health and development based on cultural, community, and economic contexts. Recent and ongoing projects include Project Alliance/Projecto Alianzo, a multiethnic study of parental involvement in education at the transition between elementary and middle school; The Middle School Transition Study (MST), which is focused on how family and classroom contexts shape students’ sense of self as they transition to middle school; and Multiethnic, Pooled Data Study, which merges 11 datasets and more than 30,000 students to examine the effects of universal and cultural parenting practices on students' identity development, mental health and achievement among five ethnic/racial groups. She is the co-founder of the study group on Race, Culture, and Ethnicity, an interdisciplinary group of scientists who develop theory and methodology for defining and understanding the cultural context within diverse families.Recent books include "African American Family Life: Ecological and Cultural Diversity" (Guilford, 2005); "Families, Schools, and the Adolescent: Connecting Research Policy and Practice" (Teachers College Press, 2009); and a two volume set: "African American Children's Mental Health: Development and Context" (Hill, Mann, & Fitzgerald) and "African American Children's Mental Health: Prevention, Intervention, and Social Policy" (Mann, Hill, & Fitzgerald), both with Praeger Press (2011).

Click here to see a full list of Nancy Hill's courses.

Areas of Expertise
Society for Research on Adolescence, Social Policy Best Article Award for Hill & Tyson, 2009,(2010)
Sponsored Projects

Improving adolescents’ academic adjustment holistically: Inter-agency collaborations at the state and local levels (2013-2014)
William T. Grant Foundation

Far too many talented youth drop out of school and many others are undereducated and do not reach their potential. Despite significant gains in graduation rates over the last several decades, the dropout rates of African American and Latino youth are significantly higher than Euro-American and Asian American youth (Hill, 2011; Hill & Torres, 2010). Further, substantial achievement gaps persist between African American and Latino youth and their Euro-American and Asian American counterparts. Latinos and African Americans are underperforming at every grade level and begin school less ready. And, the gaps widen as youth progress in school, with sharp increases in gaps evident at each school transition (i.e., school entry, middle school, and high-school transition, Brooks-Gunn, Klebanov, & Duncan, 1996; Lee & Burkam, 2002; Magnuson & Duncan, 2005). Academic outcomes are not the only markers of adjustment that are significant. There are ethnic differences in behavioral readiness for school. Although current federal policies push for accountability for all — schools, families, community agencies, and parents are identified as both the problem and as the target for the solution. Indeed, family–school relations and parental involvement in education have been identified as essential to closing demographic gaps in achievement and maximizing students’ potential (Dearing, Kreider, Simpkins, & Weiss, 2006; Hampton, Mumford, & Bond, 1998). As such, federal policies like the No Child Left Behind Act (i.e., NCLB, 107th Congress, 2002) mandate parental involvement in education and family–school relations across elementary and secondary school levels. However, even the best frameworks and policies designed to enhance family-school engagement, increase parental involvement in education, and develop ‘partnerships’ have had mediocre success. Despite best efforts, far less than all parents regularly attend parent-teacher conferences, attend PTA/PTO meetings, volunteer in school, or help with homework. Further, ideals such as the creation of partnerships between school personnel and parents have the potential to further disadvantage ethnic minority and low income families, who often do not find that school personnel understand their plight, understand their rationales for distrust, or believe in their child’s potential (Hill, 2009, 2011; Hill & Torres, 2010). Through the Distinguished Fellows Program, Hill seeks to strengthen the practical and policy applications of her research and to better understand how policy makers in the education realm think about and implement programs and policies to support families and youth so that she can conduct the type of research that will be most impactful. The Fellowship Goals are as follows: 1. To broaden understanding of how families make use of resources to support their school-aged children, especially adolescents 2. To witness how and why policy makers use (or do not use) data and research to develop and implement education policies and programs for families and youth

Hill, N. E. & Wang, M-T (in press). From middle school to college: Promoting engagement, developing aspirations and the mediated pathways from parenting to post high school enrollment. Developmental Psychology,,(forthcoming)

Hill, N. E. (in press). Family-school relationships during adolescence: Communication and levels of engagement. In S. M. Sheridan & E. M. Kim (Eds.), Research on family-school partnerships: An interdisciplinary examinatino of the state of the science and critical needs. New York: Springer,(2015)

Wang, M-T, Hill, N. E., Hofken, T. (2014). Parental involvement and African American and European American adolescent academic, behavioral, and emotional development in secondary school. Child Development, DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12284,(2014)

Hill, N. E. (2012). Parent-child and child-peer close relationships: Understanding parental influences on peer relations from a cultural context. In T. J. Loving & L. Campbell (Eds.), Close relationships across the lifespan. (pp. 109-134) Washington DC: APA Books,(2012)

Hill, N. E. (2011). Undermining partnerships between African-American families and schools: Legacies of discrimination and inequalities. In Hill, N. E., Mann, T. L., & Fitzgerald, H. E. (Eds.), African American Children’s Mental Health: Development and Context (Vol. 1) (pp. 199-230). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.,(2011)

Hill, N. E. & Witherspoon, D. W. (2011). Race, ethnicity, and SES. In M. Underwood & L. Rosen (Eds.) Handbook on Social Development. (pp. 316-346). New York: Guilford.,(2011)

Hill, N. E. & Torres, K. A. (2010). Negotiating the American Dream: The Paradox of Aspirations and Achievement among Latino Students and Engagement between their Families and Schools. Journal of Social Issues, 66(1), 95-112.,(2010)

Chao, R. K. & Hill, N. E. (2009). Recommendations for developmentally appropriate strategies for parental involvement during adolescence. In N. E. Hill & R. K. Chao (Eds.) Families, schools and the adolescent: Connecting research, policy, and practice. (pp. 195-207). New York: Teachers College Press.,(2009)

Hill, N. E. & Chao, R. K. (2009). Background in theory, policy, and practice. In N. E. Hill & R. K. Chao (Eds.) Families, schools and the adolescent: Connecting research, policy, and practice.(pp. 1-15). New York: Teachers College Press.,(2009)

Hill, N. E., Tyson, D. F., & Bromell, L. (2009). Parental involvement in middle school: Developmentally appropriate strategies across SES and ethnicity. In N. E. Hill & R. K. Chao (Eds.) Families, schools, and the adolescent: Connecting research, policy, and practice. (pp. 53-72). New York: Teachers College Press,(2009)

Hill, N. E. & Tyson, D. F. (2009). Parental involvement in middle school: A meta-analytic assessment of the strategies that promote achievement. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), 740-763.,(2009)

Tyson, D. F., Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., & Hill, N. E. (2009). Regulating Debilitating Emotions in the Context of Performance: Achievement Goal Orientations, Achievement-Elicited Emotions, and Socialization Contexts. Human Development, 52 (6), 329-356,(2009)

Hill, N. E. (2009). Culturally-based worldviews, family processes, and family-school interaction. In S. Christenson & A. Reschly (Eds.). The Handbook on School-Family Partnerships for Promoting Student Competence (pp. 101-127). New York: Routledge/Taylor Francis,(2009)

Hill, N. E. & Chao, R. K. (2009) Families, Schools, and the Adolescent: Connecting Research Policy and Practice-School Relations in Adolescence: Interdisciplinary linkages among Research Policy and Practice. New York: Teachers College Press.,(2009)

Le, H., N., Ceballo, R., Chao, R.K., Hill, N. E., Murry, V. M., & Pinderhughes, E. E. (2008). Excavating Culture: Disentangling Ethnic Differences from Contextual Influences in Parenting. A special issue of Applied Developmental Science, 12(4).,(2008)

Hill, N. E. (2006). Disentangling ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and parenting: Interactions, influences, and meaning. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies Journal, 1(1), 114-124.,(2006)

McLoyd, V. C., Hill, N. E., & Dodge, K. A. (Eds.) (2005) African American Family Life: Ecological and Cultural Diversity. Duke Series on Child Development and Public Policy; Volume 2. Series Editors: K. A Dodge & M. Putallaz. New York: Guilford Publications.,(2005)

McLoyd, V. C., Hill, N. E., & Dodge, K. A. (2005). Emerging Issues in African American Family Life: Context, Adaptation, and Policy. In V. C., McLoyd, N. E. Hill, & K. A. Dodge (Eds.), African American Family Life: Ecological and Cultural Diversity. Duke Series on Child Development and Public Policy; Volume 2: Series Editors: K. A. Dodge & M. Putallaz. New York: Guilford Press.,(2005)

Hill, N. E., McBride Murry, V., & Anderson, V. D. (2005). Sociocultural contexts of African American families. In V. C., McLoyd, N. E. Hill, & K. A. Dodge (Eds.), African American Family Life: Ecological and Cultural Diversity. Duke Series on Child Development and Public Policy; Volume 2: Series Editors: K. A. Dodge & M. Putallaz. New York: Guilford Press.,(2005)

Bouffard, S. & Hill, N. E. (2005). Maternal perceptions of competence and children’s academic adjustment: Longitudinal relations across early elementary school. Social Psychology of Education, 8, 441-463.,(2005)

Hill, N. E., & Taylor, L. C. (2004). Parent-school involvement and children’s academic achievement: Pragmatics and Issues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13, 161-164.,(2004)

Hill, N. E., Castellino, D. R., Lansford, J. E., Nowlin, P., Dodge, K. A., Bates, J. & Petit, G. (2004). Parent-Academic Involvement as Related to School Behavior, Achievement, and Aspirations: Demographic Variations across Adolescence. Child Development, 75(4), 1491-1509.,(2004)

Hill, N. E. & Craft, S. (2003). Parent-school involvement and children’s school performance: Mediated pathways among African American and Euro-American children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 74-83.,(2003)

Hill, N. E., Ramirez, C. L., & Dumka, L. E., (2003). Adolescents’ career aspirations: A qualitative study of perceived barriers and family support among low income ethnically diverse adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 24, 934-959.,(2003)

Hill, N. E., Bush, K. R., & Roosa, M. W. (2003). Relations between parenting and family socialization strategies and children’s mental health: Low income, Mexican American and Euro-American mothers’ and children’s perspectives. Child Development, 74, 189-204.,(2003)

Hill, N. E. & Herman-Stahl, M. A. (2002). Neighborhood safety and social involvement: The impact on depression and parenting among African American and Euro-American mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 16(2), 209-219.,(2002)

Murry, V. M., Smith, E. P. & Hill, N. E. (2001). Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in studies of families in context. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63(4), 911-914.,(2001)

Hill, N. E. (2001). Parenting and academic socialization as they relate to school readiness: The role of ethnicity and family income. Journal of Educational Psychology. 93(4), 686-697.,(2001)

Hill, N. E. & Bush, K. (2001). Relations between parenting environment and children’s mental health among African American and Euro-American mothers and children. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63(4), 954-966.,(2001)

McBride-Murry, V., Hill, N. E., Berkel, C., Witherspoon, D. P., & Bartz, D. (in press). Children in diverse contexts. In M. Bornstein & T. Leventhal (Eds.), Handbook in Child Psychology and Developmental Science (Volume 4) 7th Edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

Society for Research in Child Development

Society for Research on Adolescence

Study Group on Race, Culture and Ethnicity

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