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Kevin Roy Ph.D.

Kevin Roy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Family Science
1142T School of Public Health
College Park , Maryland 20742
Office Phone: 301-405-6348


  1. Ph.D., Human Development and Social Policy, 1999, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  2. M.A., Human Development and Social Policy, 1995, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  3. B.S.F.S., School of Foreign Service, 1988, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.


Recent Accomplishments

Roy’s research focuses on the life course of men on the margins of families and the work force. Through a mix of participant observation and life history interviews, he has explored the intersection of policy systems, such as welfare reform and incarceration, with parents' caregiving and providing roles. He has examined contextual barriers to involved fatherhood, including neighborhood factors that constrain physical mobility of poor young men in a 2004 paper in Social Problems. Similarly, in the recent volume, Situated Fathering: A Focus on Physical and Social Spaces (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), Roy served as co-editor and contributor to development of a theoretical framework for understanding how context shapes fathering. In his chapter, he described how policies in correctional facilities serve to reshape family relationships through monitoring of space and contact with children. His research on how men’s parenting is shaped by previous experiences with their own transitory fathers, in a 2006 article in Journal of Family Issues, is one of the few articles to study the process of compensatory role modeling among low-income men. Roy has also addressed single mothers' efforts to find employment and secure support for their children. In a forthcoming article in Family Relations, he and co-author Linda Burton present a theoretical model for how mothers recruit biological and non-biological fathers to contribute to children’s well-being in poor families. Similarly, he was the lead author for an article selected as one of the twenty best publications considered for the Rosbeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research (in Family Relations, 2004). In this article, he and his colleagues use ethnographic data to identify patterns of time use for low-income mothers who balance welfare to work requirements, limited transportation, and sporadic child care arrangements. His research on related topics has been published in American Journal of Community Psychology, Research on Human Development, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Family Process, Fathering, and Sociology of Education.

Funded Research

Roy is the recent recipient of a W.T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program grant (2006-2011) to investigate intergenerational influences on young men’s transitions to adulthood. He is the lead principal investigator (P.I.) (with Jay Fagan, Temple University, and Rob Palkovitz, University of Delaware) in a project funded through the National Poverty Center’s Small Grants Program (2006-2007), to identify risk and resilience factors for paternal involvement among low-income men and families. He has recently completed an R03 project through NICHD (2003-2006), in which he served as the P.I. of a project to document low-income fathers' transitions among multiple families with multiple children.

Future Plans

Over the next five years, Roy will continue to study young men’s transitions to adulthood using large national datasets and life history interviews. He will seek funding and continue research on the other end of the life course, with a focus on the health and work/family trajectories of single older fathers. With colleagues abroad, Roy will develop a multiple PI project to examine the experiences of young transitory fathers in South Africa and the United States. He will develop a book project based on analyses of ethnographic and longitudinal life history data from 150 interviews with low-income fathers.


Family Science: