Headshot of Samantha L. Tornello

Samantha L. Tornello

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

215 Health and Human Development Building
814-865-2655
slt35@psu.edu
Pronouns: she/her and they/them

Introduction

Samantha Tornello has three major research interests: family, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The majority of Dr. Tornello's work has focused on the role of family composition and parental sexual orientation and gender in the family system (children’s development, parental dynamics, and couple functioning). How do variations (e.g., pathways to parenthood or division of unpaid labor) and changes (e.g., divorce) in family composition relate to family members’ development and functioning? Specifically, for this area of work Dr. Tornello is interested in the role and experiences of parents across gender and sexual orientation, as they relate to individual development within these differently designed families.

Dr. Tornello’s research also focuses on the experiences of becoming a parent among sexual and gender minority individuals. How do sexual and gender minority people decide to become parents and what methods do they use to create their families? How do these families function? What are the unique challenges, strengths, and issues among this population? How can we harvest the resiliency and minimize the risk impacting sexual and gender minority people and their families? She hopes that this research can add to knowledge as well as inform public debates about families, parenting, sexual orientation, gender, and children’s development.

Dr. Tornello loves to mentor graduate and undergraduate students as research assistants and collaborators.

Recent Publications

Building long-term family resilience through universal prevention: 10-year parent and child outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Feinberg, M. E., Gedaly, L., Mogle, J., Hostetler, M. L., Cifelli, J. A., Tornello, S. L., Lee, J. K., & Jones, D. E. (2021). Building long-term family resilience through universal prevention: 10-year parent and child outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Family Process. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12730

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parent, child, and family functioning

Feinberg. M.E., Mogle. J.A., Lee, J.K., Tornello, S.L, Hostetler, M.L. Cifelli. J.A., Bai, S., Hotez, E. (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parent, child, and family functioning. Family Process. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12649

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