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Jamie Alexander, PhD, CFLE

Assistant Professor

Human Development and Family Science Extension Specialist

4101 Beryl Road, 240H


Dr. Alexander is an Assistant Professor and Family Science and Human Development Specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at North Carolina State University where she teaches in the Youth, Family, and Community Sciences Graduate Program. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on how factors and contexts in which adolescents and emerging adults are embedded influence developmental outcomes. Her current work focuses on the intersections between parenting practices, adolescent and emerging adult development, career development, and purpose in life among racial-ethnic minorities. Her Extension program, OPTICS, which utilizes a purpose-driven career development model, is designed to foster Black teens’ career preparation and ultimately aims to help teens successfully transition to and thrive in satisfying purposeful career roles. OPTICS does this by engaging teens and their parents with relevant research-based information as well as providing practical tips to support and empower teens’ purpose and career development.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Opportunities for Purpose-Transformed Identities for Career Success (OPTICS)

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • AEHS 502: Family Theories
  • AEHS 510: Supervised Professional Experience (rotation)
  • AEHS 540: Environmental Influences on the Family
  • AEHS 543: Applied Concepts in Parenting and Family Life Education
  • AEHS 578: Research Methods

Contributing Websites

Selected Publication

  • Alexander, J. D., & Harris, C. (2022). Parenting styles’ effects on college students’ career decision-making self-efficacy. Career Development Quarterly, 70, 229– 236.
  • Harris, C., Alexander, J. D., & Vazsonyi, A. T. (2022). Maternal closeness, kinship ties, and future orientation among rural African American youth: The mediating role of ethnic identity. Journal of Adolescence, 1– 7.
  • Alexander, J., Cox, R., & Behnke, A, & Larzelere, R. (2017). Is all parental “non-involvement” equal? Barriers to parental involvement and their relationship to Latino academic achievement. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 39, 169 – 179.
  • Cox, R. B., Shreffler, K. M., Merten, M. J., Schwerdtfeger Gallus, K. L., & Dowdy, J. (2014). Parenting, peers, and perceived norms: What predicts attitudes toward sex among early adolescents? Journal of Early Adolescence, 35, 30 – 53.


BS Human Development and Family Studies University of North Carolina at Greensboro

MS Human Development and Family Studies NC State University

PhD Human Development and Family Science Oklahoma State University

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Parenting
  • Career Development
  • Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood