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George M. Hayward, PhD

Welcome! I'm currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Sociology department at the Pennsylvania State University, working with the Association of Religion Data Archives (the ARDA). I graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2020.

My own research centers primarily on the topics of family and religion, especially as they relate to adolescence and the transition to adulthood. What fascinates me most about these topics is that they can have profound and enduring influences on individuals’ lives. This has motivated me to study family diversity during adolescence, the development of religion and spirituality, and how religion influences family-related behaviors, like sexual 

activity or the transition to marriage. Much of my work is guided by the life course perspective, which emphasizes the importance of timing, transitions, and social context in human development. This work has been published in academic journals such as Social Forces, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Adolescent Research Review, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, among others.


I am also a passionate, award-winning teacher. I have taught undergraduate courses on both family and religion, and am always striving to develop creative, engaging, and thought-provoking lectures, activities, and discussions for my students. I thoroughly enjoy building relationships with students, providing mentorship,  and inspiring a love for social inquiry.

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