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.

person graph-01

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.


On July 26th, 2023, PACT Director Dr. Witherspoon and her family welcomed their newest addition to the family. Congratulations Dr. Witherspoon!
Penn State Investigator Dr. Martha Wadsworth has joined the PACT Executive Team as Associate Director in the Fall of 2023.
On November 25th, 2022, Dr. Laura Bray welcomed a baby girl to her family. Dr. Bray serves as the Associate Director of PACT.
Students of the Context and Development Lab, ran by PACT Director Dr. Dawn Witherspoon, held a table at the 2022 Kwanzaa Festival.
The 2022 Drive Thru Luncheon was held on December 2nd, 2022.
In October of 2022, Eugenia Moten, Assistant Director and ambassador of PACT, held a book signing for her book, titled (If The Truth Be Told) So? Now What? This is Moten’s first published book. She also shared information and materials about PACT at the event.