Rob Palkovitz is Professor Emeritus of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. His research interests are in fathering and intergenerational relationships and development, with a particular emphasis on the relationships between patterns of father involvement and developmental outcomes for men and their children. His research interest in fathering goes back to his graduate school days, when he and his wife, Judy, were expecting their first child. Palkovitz has researched father’s involvement in child rearing and the effects of fathering on development ever since. In the course of studying fathering and development, he has researched factors influencing father involvement, including coparental relationships, birth attendance and bonding, masculinity, femininity, androgyny and other personality factors, different patterns of transitions to parenthood, work patterns and career development, gender equity in division of labor, the effects of timing on father involvement, fathering and religious faith, and men’s perceptions of midlife development as they are effected by fathering, work and marriage.
A frequent participant in the National Council on Family Relations’ Theory Construction and Research Methodology Conference, he is best known for his theoretical writings about reconceptualizing different aspects of development and his commentary on fathers and families.
Palkovitz regularly taught undergraduate courses on life span development. Graduate offerings include courses on the family and the lifespan, intergenerational relationships and development, and risk and resilience. While focusing on research and theory, Palkovitz’s courses are characterized by practical application in real world settings, frequently drawing on humorous experiences with family and friends.
Along with his family, for over 25 years Palkovitz has done volunteer work with inner city foster and father absent children. He has also participated in community development work in Togo and in Kenya. Palkovitz helped to launch Waterbrook Hills, a nonprofit organization to assist enhancing social justice and facilitating positive life opportunities and family functioning for persons in challenging circumstances.
Palkovitz sometimes roasts his own blend of coffee from green Sumatran and Sulawesi beans, and enjoys hiking and outdoor activities. In July of 2011 he became a lightning strike survivor! In recent years, he has been running trails, completing 2 trail marathons and over 66 trail half marathons since January of 2012.