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Human and Family Development

Paul Silverman ( Professor of Psychology), Chair, Human and Family Development


The Human and Family Development minor is an interdisciplinary minor concerned with the study of life-span human development and family relations, and the impact of biological, environmental and socio-cultural factors on both.  The HFD minor encompasses a broad range of areas:  Early Intervention, Gerontology, Early Childhood, Normal Development, Family Development, and Exceptional Development.  The minor is designed to supplement the knowledge base of students by providing a human and family development specialty orientation to their fields of major interest. Students with career goals that include communications, psychology, education, social work, sociology, anthropology, pre-medical sciences, nursing, and physical therapy will benefit from the specialty orientation in human and family development. Students with other career goals also will find the program rewarding; a business major interested in family service administration or consumer economics; a radio-television major interested in children's programming; a forestry major interested in recreational management appropriate for a particular population.
Human and family development encompasses a broad range of topics, all of which share the view that human growth is a valid subject of scientific study. Knowledge of the processes and contents of psychological, social and biological growth of the individual separately and within the family context will benefit the quality of life of both the student/investigator and the public. The purpose of this program is to equip students with a general knowledge of issues relevant to normal and atypical patterns of human and family development and to provide them with some practical skills and insights which will enhance their abilities in a variety of professions which deal with developmental and family issues. The minor has general, early intervention, and gerontology tracks.
The interdisciplinary curriculum reflects four specific goals: (1) to provide students with an extensive knowledge base of theory and research concerning lifespan development and the role of the family in development; (2) to train students to be critical consumers of research and evaluation results in the human and family development areas; (3) to provide students with practical experience in at least one applied service discipline in the human development areas; and (4) to provide students with the opportunity to take topical courses in normal and atypical development of the individual and family.
All students seeking a minor must formally enroll in the minor and select a faculty advisor from the Human and Family Development Committee.

Requirements for a Minor

To earn a minor the student must complete 24 credits, with 11 at the 300 level or above. All students are required to take a 12-credit core curriculum and, with the help of a faculty advisor, to develop a written statement of goals and interests along with a planned curriculum that includes 12 additional credits of electives consistent with the stated goals and interests. At least 6 credits of electives must be outside of the student's major.

Core Curriculum:

  • PSYX 230S or 233 (PSYC 240S or 245) (3 cr.)
  • HFD 494 Seminar in Human Development (at least 1 cr.)
  • HFD 498 Internship (Variable cr.; 2 required)

One of the following:

  • HFD 412 Family Development (3 cr.)
  • COMM 411 Family Communication (3 cr.)
  • SOCI 332 (SOC 300) Sociology of The Family (3 cr.)

Plus one of the following research courses:

  • PSYX 120 or 320 (PSYC 120 or 320) Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • SOCI 318 (SOC 201) Social Science Methods (4 cr.)
  • COMX 460 (COMM 460) Communication Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • SW 400 Social Work Research (3 cr.)
  • C&I 520 Educational Research (3 cr.)


The following list of electives is categorized to assist the student wishing to focus on one of these areas. Students may plan curricula which do not correspond to these categories, but should choose among courses from this list. Occasionally "special topics" courses are offered. Students may use these as electives with the consent of their advisors.

Early Intervention
  • HFD 411 Infant and Toddler Development and Variability
  • HFD 412 Family Development/Families of Young Children with Disabilities
  • HFD 413 Assessment and Program  Planning
  • HFD 414 Community Service Delivery 
  • HFD 415 Implementation and Program Evaluation
  • HFD 416 Data-Based Decision Making
  • HFD 498 Internship
Early Childhood
  • EDEC 330 (C&I 330) Early Childhood Education/Curriculum
  • EDEC 310 (C&I 355) Child in the Family
  • EDSP 462 (C&I 453) Introduction to Special Education Law and Policy
  • EDEC 396 (C&I 367) Preschool Practicum
  • EDU 345 (C&I 410) Exceptionality and Classroom Management
  • EDSP 403 (C&I 420) Curriculum in Early Childhood Special Education
  • C&I 421 Issues in Early Childhood Special Education
  • EDU 494 (C&I 494) Practicum in Special Education Preschool
  • EDU 491 (C&I 495) Special Topics in Special Education
  • HFD 498 Internship (must complete all course work prior to taking course)
  • HFD 413 Assessment & Program Planning
  • PHAR 110N Use and Abuse of Drugs
  • PSYX 297 (PSYC 397) Research Experience
  • PSYX 378 (PSYC 335) Into to Clinical Psychology
  • EDU 221 (C&I 303) Educational Psychology/Measurements
  • EDU 345 (C&I 410) Exceptionality/Classroom  Management
  • PHAR 110N Use and Abuse of Drugs
  • PSYX 378 (PSYC 335) Intro to Clinical  Psychology
  • PSYX 345 (PSYC 336S) Child and Adolescent Development Disorders
  • PSYX 376 (PSYC 337) Principles of Cognitive Behavior Modification
  • SOCI 332 (SOC 300) Sociology of the Family
  • SOCI 330 (SOC 330) Juvenile Delinquency
  • SW 300 Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • SW 420S Child Abuse and Neglect
  • EDU 221 (C&I 303) Educational Psychology/Measurements
  • EDU 345 (C&I 410) Exceptionality/Classroom Management
  • PHAR 110N Use and Abuse of Drugs
  • PSYX 378 (PSYC 335) Intro to Clinical Psychology
  • PSYX 345 (PSYC 336) Child and Adolescent Psychological Disorders
  • PSYX 376 (PSYC 337) Principles of Cognitive Behavior Modification
  • SOCI 332 (SOC 330) Sociology of the Family
  • SOCI 330 (SOC 330) Juvenile Delinquency
  • SW 300 Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • SW 450 Children and Youth at Risk
  • HS 325 Clinical Issues in Geriatrics
  • HS 327 Montana Gerontology Society Annual Conference
  • HS 495 Special Topics: Health Aspects of Aging
  • PSYX 233 (PSYC 245) Fundamentals of Psychology of Aging
  • SW 455S Social Gerontology
Family Development
  • COMX 414 (COMM 410) Communication in Personal Relationships
  • COMX 311 (COMM 311) Family Communication
  • EDEC 310 (C&I 355) Child in the Family
  • PSYX 348 (PSYC 385) Psychology of Family Violence
  • SOCI 332 (SOC 300) Sociology of the Family
  • SW 423/PSYX 441 (PSYC423)/SOCI 433 (SOC 432) Addiction Studies
  • SW 450 Children and Youth at Risk

Human and Family Development Committee

Dan Doyle, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1984 (Professor, Sociology)

Christine Fiore, Ph.D., University of Rode Island, 1990 (Professor, Psychology)

Ann Garfinkle, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1995 (Associate Professor, Education)

Shannon Guilfoyle, M.Ed., The University of Montana, 2002 (COTEACH Preschool Coordinator, Education)

Susan Harper-Whalen, Ed.M., Harvard University, 1984 (Research Faculty, Education)

Lynne S. Koester, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1976 (Professor, Psychology)

Ted Maloney, M.A. (Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rural Institute: Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research and Service)

Susie Morrison, Ed.S., The University of Montana, 1995 (Assistant Research Professor, Psychology)

Lucy Hart Paulson, M.S., University of Illinois, 1980 (Research Assistant Professor, Education)

Audrey Peterson, M.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1970 (Professor, Education)

Alan Sillars, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1980 (Professor, Com­munication Studies)

Paul Silverman, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1977 (Professor, Psychology)

John Spores, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1976 (Professor, Social Work)

Meg Traci, Ph.D., The University of Montana, 2000 (Project Director, Rural Institute: Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research and Service)

Richard van den Pol, Ph.D., Western Michigan University, 1981 (Professor, Education)

Kimberly A. Wallace, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1999 (Associate Professor, Psychology)

Celia Winkler, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1996 (Professor, Sociology)


R- before the course description indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R. Credits beyond this maximum do not count toward a degree.

Human and Family Development (HFD) - Course Descriptions

199, 298, 399, 490, 494, 495, 498

Registrar's Office

Lommasson Center 201

Phone: (406) 243-2995

Fax: (406) 243-4807