Shelley Eriksen

Shelley Eriksen, Ph.D.Shelley-Eriksen

  • Professor of Human Development
  • Joint appointment in the Sociology Department
  • Email:
  • Phone: (562) 985-2124
  • Office location: LA3-103C
  • Office hours: Not teaching in HDEV F’21

Research Interests

Dr. Eriksen’s research interests are focused on families, gender and health. Dr. Eriksen’s dissertation examined the closeness, contact and practical care that adult siblings provide each other at various stages of the life course. The adults she interviewed for her dissertation also made her aware of how early troubles among childhood siblings–particularly manifested as conflict or physical violence–left a unique mark on later adult sibling relationships. Thus, she pursued a parallel inquiry into the nature and character of sibling violence. More recently, along with her colleague Sara Goering (University of Washington, Seattle), Dr. Eriksen conducted a survey study of cosmetic surgery recipients to assess the social and psychological factors that underpin their decision to seek surgery, and the various ethical positions that recipients and non-recipients take on this human enhancement technology.

Dr. Eriksen continues her research on siblings via a collaborative project with Dr. Beth Manke. Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health, this study focuses on the family and sibling support mechanisms for children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.


M.A. (1990) and Ph.D. (1998) in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst


  • HDEV 340: Family and Work: Life Course Processes
  • HDEV 357: Approaches to Adulthood Through Aging
  • HDEV 403: The Acquisition of Culture: Socialization in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • HDEV 470: Internship Seminar/Practicum