B. Bradford Brown
Position title: PROFESSOR
Phone: (608) 262-0838
880A Educational Sciences
1025 West Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53706-1796
Professional Achievements: Curriculum Vitae
More information: Presentations and Publications
Since joining the faculty in 1979, Dr. Brown has become one of the nation’s leading authorities on adolescent peer relations, particularly the formation and functioning of adolescent peer groups.
He has authored and edited many scholarly volumes on various aspects of adolescent development, including the award-winning The World’s Youth: Adolescence in 8 Regions of the Globe. Dr. Brown is past Editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence. He has served on the Executive Council of the Society for Research on Adolescence and was a co-organizer of the 1999 SRCD Peer Relations Preconference.
His energetic teaching has won him recognition as one of the University’s best instructors from several campus organizations. For his contributions in teaching, research, and service he received the UW School of Education Distinguished Achievement Award.
Dr. Brown is a Faculty Associate in the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research. He teaches courses on adolescent development, human development theory, and social and personality development.
In working with teenagers in the community, I have been constantly struck by the contrast between adults’ wariness of adolescent peer relations and the value that young people themselves accord to peers.
My research reflects this contrast in its focus on some of the more controversial features of adolescents’ social worlds. I am interested in both the structure and process of peer relations. Thus, I examine the organization of peer groups, processes of peer influence, family-peer linkages that contribute to adolescent autonomy development, and transformations in peer relationships precipitated by new communication technologies.
In our research lab, we examine a variety of topics related to these issues. My current work involves social adjustment to college among students of varying backgrounds, ethnic and cultural influences on parental oversight of adolescent peer relations, peer influences on teen driving behavior, and the use of social media during early adolescent and late adolescent transitions (to middle school and college). This work illustrates the many ways in which peers contribute to teenagers’ academic and social adjustment.