Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Jenae Neiderhiser

Jenae Neiderhiser

Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies
Gene Environment Research Initiative Co-Director
(814) 865-4818 / (814) 867-2439


Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies

Headshot of Jenae Neiderhiser


Dr. Neiderhiser’s research is focused on understanding how genes and environment work together to shape development throughout the lifespan. Much of this research has focused on interpersonal relationships – including parent-child, spouse, sibling and peer relationships. Examining how individuals influence their environments, and what role genetics may play in this (gene-environment correlation), has long been a focus. She has also examined gene x environment interaction (GxE) and the role of early life experiences, including prenatal experiences, in shaping development throughout the lifespan. Her more recent research has included an examination of the roles of neighborhood context and pubertal hormones on child and adolescent development in combination with the other environmental and genetic influences. She has used studies of twins, siblings, adopted children, and other family members to examine these research questions. All of her research has included extensive assessment of the environment within the household, family relationships, peer relationships, adult and child adjustment, temperament and personality and other related measures. Most recently, in an effort to help address rural health disparities, she has begun a collaboration with Drs. Rina Eiden and Danielle Downs to understand risk and protective processes in families living throughout rural Pennsylvania.

Jenae is also a faculty mentor of graduate students for graduate student fellowships: The Prevention and Methodology Training Program (PAMT) and The Center for Healthy Aging.