Beffel, Jenna


Jenna Beffel


Dr. Amy Nuttall


Fall 2018


Child Development



My name is Jenna Beffel (she/her/hers) and I am a doctoral student in the Hunan Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Development. My faculty advisor is Dr. Amy Nuttall. My research interests broadly include family and sibling relationships, parenting, prosocial behavior, and developmental disabilities. These research interests have led me to research family dynamics in the context of families with children with disabilities. I am currently involved in research projects examining mothers and typically developing siblings (TDS; adolescents and emerging adults) of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with the broad goal of better understanding their experiences, psychosocial, adjustment, and developmental outcomes, and relationships. Presently, I am focusing my research on the experiences and outcomes of TDS. Specifically, I have been focusing on better understanding TDS’ experiences of parentification and positive outcomes, such as prosocial behavior, benefit finding, and the selection of a helping profession. My research focuses heavily on Family Systems Theory and Ecological Systems Theory.

Keywords and Phrases

Disabilities, siblings, prosocial behavior, caregiving, and families