Mary Jo Graham, Ph.D

Dr. Graham earned her B.S. in child development and teaching at Michigan State University, her M.A. in education (child development specialist) at Kent State University, and her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction (college instruction) at Ohio University. She is the program coordinator a professor of family and consumer sciences and the director of the Early Education Center at Marshall University.

Dr. Graham’s project is a study of teen parents and the interventions provided through public schools with the goal of determining if these interventions have any lasting impact on the well being of families following graduation from high school. Some high schools in the tri-state region respond to teen pregnancies with a variety of interventions such as child care with required parent education programs, “pull-out” programs to provide support and parenting education, and home based teaching, while other high schools do not provide any type of intervention. The study will utilize both qualitative and quantitative data to analyze variables related to the outcomes of these interventions, such as graduation rates, substance abuse, employment stability, grandparent involvement, financial management, parenting skills, and stability of relationships over time. She will also study the patterns of attachment and health status of the infants and toddlers along with the possibility that the impact of the interventions are superseded by other factors such as the economic well being of the region. The project is interdisciplinary and uses the expertise of a team of experts from education, psychology, sociology, and health.
In addition to teaching at Marshall University, Dr. Graham has administered child care centers and resource and referral services in the Huntington area for River Valley Child Development Services, taught ungraded primary classes in the Akron Public Schools, and taught kindergarten in Tadjerouine, Tunisia for the Peace Corps. Dr. Graham has presented at various early education and child development conferences.