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J. Mitchell Vaterlaus, PhD, LMFT

Mitch Vaterlaus

Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator

Human Development & Family Science

122 Herrick Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3540

Dr. J. Mitchell Vaterlaus instructs courses related to interpersonal relationships and family systems, family law and public policy, and human and family diversity issues (e.g., race, class, gender, and culture). His research program includes two major focuses. First, Dr. Vaterlaus’ experiences as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and community educator inform his research interest in applied family science. Some examples of his work in this area include: identifying best practices in providing relationship education for minority populations, qualitative program evaluation, evaluating community partnerships when implementing Family Life Education, and identifying strengths in African American marriages. Second, Dr. Vaterlaus studies the role of new media and technology on family and human development. Some research projects in this area include: discovering how parents monitor adolescent and young adult technology use, motivations for text messaging in young adulthood, and understanding the connection between health and social media use in young adulthood.


Vaterlaus, J. M., Patten, E. V., Roche, C., & Young, J. A. (2015). #Gettinghealthy: The perceived influence of social media on young adult health behaviors. Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 151-157. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.013

Vaterlaus, J. M., Skogrand, L., & Chaney, C. (2015). Help-seeking for marital problems: Perceptions of individuals in strong African American marriages. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37, 22-32. doi: 10.1007/s10591-014-9324-4

Vaterlaus, J. M., Beckert, T. E., Tulane, S., & Bird, C. V. (2014). “They always ask what I’m doing and who I’m talking to”: Parental mediation of adolescent interactive technology use. Marriage and Family Review, 50, 691-713. doi: 10.1080/01494929.2014.938795

Vaterlaus, J. M., Bradford, K., Skogrand, L., & Higginbotham, B. J. (2012). Providing relationship education for low-income and diverse audiences: A phenomenological investigation. Family Science Review, 17, 40-61.