Alyssa McElwain

alyssa mcelwain is an associate professor in the human development and family sciences program in the department of family and consumer sciences at the university of wyoming


Associate Professor

Human Development and Family Sciences

(307) 766-5111



I primarily teach upper-division undergraduate course focused on human development and family science (HDFS) with an emphasis on prevention through family life education. I also supervise undergraduate HDFS student internships. In all my classes, my goal is to provide an engaging learning environment where students actively participate in their learning. I also strive to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom through experiential learning. I think that learning occurs best when people work hard and practice using the information they are learning.



Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, 2015
M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy, Purdue University, 2008
B.S. Psychology, Kansas State University, 2006


Courses Taught

  • Professional Practices in HDFS
  • Family PolicyAdolescence
  • Parent-Child Relationships
  • Special Problems in FCS: Relationship Education
  • Internship in Human Development and Family Science
  • Professionalism and Communication in FCS



My research focuses on understanding close relationships during adolescence and emerging adulthood through both basic and applied approaches. I am also interested in how experiential learning affects student outcomes. Recently, my research focuses on:

  • Peer-led relationship education programming for adolescents and emerging adults
  • The effectiveness of youth-focused relationship education programs
  • The role of parenting practices in individual well-being within different cultural contexts
  • Experiential learning and student development and learning outcomes.




CV + Publication History


McElwain, A. (2019). Learning by doing: Undergraduate student perceptions of a family life education service-learning assignment. Family Science Review, 23(3), 71-90.

McElwain, A., McGill, J., & Savasuk, R. (2017). Youth relationship education: A meta-analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 499-507.

McElwain, A., Finnegan, V., Whitaker, A., Kerpelman, J., Adler-Baeder, F., & Duke, A. (2016). Evaluation and lessons learned from an undergraduate service-learning course providing youth-focused relationship education. Evaluation and Program Planning, 58, 116-124. https://

Contact Us

Dr. Alyssa McElwain

Office: Ag C 256

Phone: (307) 766-5111


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