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Noelle Hurd

Assistant Professor
201 Gilmer Hall

Office Hours:
Thu: 3:15-5:15

Promoting Healthy Adolescent Development (PHAD)

My overarching research interest is the promotion of healthy adolescent development among marginalized youth.  Specifically, my work has focused on identifying opportunities to build on pre-existing strengths in youths’ lives, such as supportive intergenerational relationships. Using a resilience framework, I have assessed the potential of nonparental adults to serve as resources to marginalized youth, and I have investigated the processes through which these relationships affect a variety of youth outcomes (e.g., psychological distress, health-risk behaviors, academic achievement). In addition to exploring the role of supportive relationships in contributing to youth development, I also have researched the role of broader contextual factors (e.g., neighborhood characteristics) in shaping youth outcomes. Currently, I am investigating the role of contextual factors in promoting or deterring the formation of intergenerational relationships and shaping the nature of interactions between marginalized youth and the adults in their communities. I also am further examining the mechanisms that drive the promotive effects of natural mentoring relationships and developing an intervention focused on enhancing positive intergenerational relationships between adolescents and the nonparental adults in their everyday lives. I run the Promoting Healthy Adolescent Development (PHAD) Lab at the University of Virginia.


Selected Publications


Hurd, N. M., Varner, F., Caldwell, C. H., & Zimmerman, M. A. (in press). Does perceived discrimination predict change in psychological distress and substance use over time? An examination among Black emerging adults. Developmental Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0036438


Hurd, N. M., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2014). An analysis of natural mentoring relationship profiles and their association with mentees’ mental health: Considering links via support from important others. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 25-36. DOI 10.1007/s10464-013-9598-y


Hurd, N. M., Stoddard, S. A., Bauermeister, J. A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2014). Natural mentors, mental health, and substance use: Exploring pathways via coping and purpose. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84, 1-11. DOI 10.1037/h0099361


Hurd, N. M., Varner, F., & Rowley, S. J. (2013). Involved-vigilant parenting and socio-emotional well-being among Black youth: The moderating influence of natural mentoring relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,42, 1583-1595. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-012-9819-y (first and second authors made equal contributions)


Hurd, N. M., Stoddard, S. A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2013). Neighborhoods, social support, and African American adolescents’ mental health outcomes: A multilevel path analysis. Child Development, 84, 858-874. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12018


Hurd, N. M., Sellers, R. M., Cogburn, C. D., Butler-Barnes, S. T., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2013). Racial identity and mental health among Black emerging adults:  The moderating effects of neighborhood racial composition. Developmental Psychology, 49, 938-950. DOI: 10.1037/a0028826 


Hurd, N. M., & Sellers, R. M. (2013). Black adolescents’ relationships with natural mentors: Associations with academic engagement via social and emotional development. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19, 76-85. DOI: 10.1037/a0031095


Hurd, N. M., Sánchez, B., Zimmerman, M. A., & Caldwell, C. H. (2012). Natural mentors, racial identity, and educational attainment among African American adolescents: Exploring pathways to success. Child Development, 83, 1196-1212. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01769.x


Hurd, N. M., Zimmerman, M. A., & Reischl, T. M. (2011). Role model behavior and youth violence: A study of positive and negative effects. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 31, 323-354.


Hurd, N. M., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2010). Natural mentoring relationships among adolescent mothers: A study of resilience. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20, 789-809.


Hurd, N. M., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2010). Natural mentors and health outcomes: A longitudinal analysis of African American adolescents transitioning into adulthood. American Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 36-48.


Hurd, N. M., Zimmerman, M. A., & Xue, Y. (2009). Negative adult influences and the protective effects of role models: A study with urban adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 777-789.