Catherine A. Surra, Ph.D.

Director, Behavioral Sciences and Education
Office Location: 
Olmsted Building, W319, +1 717 948 6205
Mailing Address: 

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Catherine A. Surra is a professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State Harrisburg, and the director of the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education. She is also professor emerita, University of Texas at Austin. She studies the development of marital and nonmarital romantic unions. Her research has examined how commitment evolves over time, the ways in which partners choose one another as mates, and the links between the selection process and the long-term health of heterosexual relationships. In recent work, she has developed and evaluated a website designed to foster healthy decisions about committing to relationships. She was identified as one of the most influential scholars in the field of personal relationships. Dr. Surra has received grants from The National Institute of Mental Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. She has served on the editorial board of Personal Relationships and the Journal of Marriage and Family.  She is past chair of the Research and Theory Section of the National Council on Family Relations, and is a founding member and held elected office in the International Association for Relationship Research.