Melissa Labuda, Ph.D.

Melissa Labuda
Assistant Teaching Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Dawson Building, 112A
Penn State Scranton
120 Ridge View Drive
Dunmore, PA 18512

Discipline Focus: Research in courtship, love and marriage; embitterment and locus of control and the role and faith as a protective factor in soldiers' wives; lived experience of students entering college with academic deficits.

Research Interests

  • International and domestic courtship and formation of love relationships
  • Military personnel, their families and their preparation before deployment and upon their return 
  • How roles and perceptions change after divorce

Research Experience

Dissertation: Individuals Involved in Online Dating Sites Description of the Process of Developing a Relationship: A Grounded Theory Study

Manuscript 1  A Brief Overview of Courtship from the 1700’s to Present

  • This is a literature review providing an overview of courtship practices from the  1700’s culminating in a discussion of the many changes that have occurred in the process of courtship over the past 300 years

Manuscript 2 “I Want to Make Sure I’m Doing What it Takes”: Parental Role Changes Following Separation

  • This is original research investigating the role of parental role changes following separation 

Current Research:

  • Parenting After Separation and Divorce
  • Turning Points Shortly After Separation 
  • Stepfamilies After Separation

Recent Publications and Invited Presentations

  • LaBuda, M.  (2017) Courtship: Then and Now, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships In-process
  • LaBuda, M.  (2017) Courtship: Then and Now, International Association of Relationship Researchers Conference Presentation, Syracuse, NY.
  • LaBuda, M (2014). We met online: A qualitative study. The Fifth International Congress on Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection. Chisinau, Moldova.
  • LaBuda, M. (2012). Individuals Involved In Online Dating Sites Description Of The Process Of Developing A Relationship: A Grounded Theory Study. A Dissertation.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
    Specialization in General Psychology
    Capella University, Minneapolis, MN
  • Master of Science in Counseling Psychology
    Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy
    Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
    The Pennsylvania State University
    State College, PA
Canvas Badge graphic
  • LaBuda, M. (Author and Presenter). (October 18, 2022). "Teacher's Behavioral Health Training," LEAD 22, PA Principals Association, Kalahari Resort, Pocono Manor, PA, 30 in attendance, Accepted. State.

    This was a presentation based on the collaboration between local school districts, the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, and Penn State Scranton. The collaboration includes providing four days of training for local school district elementary school teachers so they can better assist the students in their classrooms.

  • LaBuda, M. (Author and Presenter) (November 18, 2022). “Student engagement drives project development!” Global Learning for an Open World, Online 

    This was a presentation highlighting the importance of student engagement while completing Experiential Digital Global Experiences in a CMAS 258 course.

Conference Presentations

  • I Want to Make Sure I’m Doing What it Takes: Parental Role Changes Following Separation, Co presented with Ray Petren, PhD National Council on Family Relations Conference (2018) San Deigo, California. 
  • We Met Online: A Qualitative Study of Successful Online Dating International Congress on Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection (2014) Chisinau, Moldova
  • Courtship: Then and Now International Association of Relationship Researchers (2017) Syracuse, New  York

Workshop Presentations

  • Ethics Seminar (2013). Presented at Eastern University, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Qualitative Research Seminar (2013), Presented during Synergy 2013 at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, Pa.
  • Qualitative Research Seminar (2013). Presented at Eastern University and Online utilizing Adobe Connect, Philadelphia, Pa. 
HDFS 129 Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies
HDFS 301 Values and Ethics in the Helping Professions
HDFS 239 Adolescent Development
CMAS 258 Introduction to Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies
HDFS 311 Interventions in the Helping Professions
HDFS 254N Reading Our Lives
HDFS 417 BioCultural Studies of Human Development