Penn State

Welcome to PACT: Parents and Children Together

What We Do

Together, PACT Investigators and our community members and organizations increase the cultural sensitivity and impact of research while improving the lives of children, youth, and families in the Harrisburg region.

How We Helped

PACT reaches out to the community through participation in community events, free family workshops, trainings for professionals in education, childcare, etc., and in other ways identified by the community.

What We've Learned

PACT brings what we’ve learned through research back to community members, local organizations, the Community Advisory Board, the Penn State community, and others via social media.

Parents And Children Together (PACT) is a Penn State University Park research initiative. The PACT Initiative works to promote the health and well-being of children, youth, and families from diverse backgrounds through culturally-sensitive and community-engaged research projects implemented by Penn State researchers. PACT is funded through contributions from Penn State’s Psychology DepartmentSocial Science Research Institute (SSRI), Child Study Center (CSC), College of Health and Human DevelopmentHuman Development and Family Studies, and participating research projects.


PACT’s Holiday Drive Thru Lunch was held on Monday, December 13, 2021.
PACT participated in the Dauphin County Systems of Care, “Dump in the Trunk” event December 13, 2021.
“For the first time, APA and American psychology are systematically and intentionally examining, acknowledging and charting a path forward to address their roles in perpetuating racism,” said APA President Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD.
“Born and raised in Dauphin County, Gloria Vazquez Merrick has been impacting the Hispanic community her entire life. There are certain people who are just called to improve the lives of others. Gloria Vazquez Merrick is one of those people.”
Few studies examine how neighborhood structural factors (e.g., socioeconomic status [SES] and diversity) and perceived disorder may influence the messages parents communicate to their youth about race/ethnicity.
Driven by its Strategic Plan, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) recognizes the importance of capacity building for early career scholars.