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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Theresa Melton

Assistant Professor

Office: 109 Sirrine Hall

Phone: 864-656-4849


Educational Background

Ph.D. Research, Statistics, and Evaluation
University of Virginia 2020

M.Ed. Research, Statistics, and Evaluation
University of Virginia 2014

B.A. Sociology
University of California, San Diego 2012

Courses Taught

YDP 8050 Youth Development in the Context of Family
YDP 8040 Assessment and Evaluation of Youth Programs
YDP 8880 Special Topics: Program Adaptation within Youth Development Settings


Dr. Theresa N. Melton is an assistant professor within Youth Development Leadership at Clemson University. Prior to this role, Dr. Melton served as a postdoctoral researcher with The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Guam. Before working in academia, Dr. Melton worked as a Grant Research Analyst and Account Manager for National 4-H Council, where she oversaw the 4-H National Mentoring Program and conducted evaluations of the Well Connected Community and Bechtel initiatives. With funding from the John Templeton Foundation, Dr. Melton is currently collaborating with Outward Bound International and researchers from Penn State University and the University of Utah on a three-year global research project to explore how outdoor experiential education can be adapted to build character across cultures. In addition to this project, Dr. Melton has partnered with the SEAS Islands Alliance, an NSF INCLUDES Alliance that engages Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in an attempt to utilize a strength-based approach to broadening participation in STEM. Dr. Melton also serves as a member of the Outward Bound International Research Advisory Committee and as a junior member of the research board for the National Mentoring Resource Center.

Research Interests

Dr. Melton’s research focuses on examining the role of youth development interventions and programming. Her research also focuses on strengthening the partnership between researchers and youth development practitioners and expanding the research methods applied to research on adolescent development, specifically exploring equity-based methodology. Her specific research interests include:

• Positive Youth Development within out-of-school time programs
• Adolescent Development
• Ecological Theories of Development
• Quantitative Research Methods
• Qualitative Research Methods
• Measurement
• Program Evaluation
• Heterogeneous Impact Evaluation
• Equity-Based Methodology

Research Publications

Melton, T. N., Agans, J. P., Lawhon, B., Mateer, T., Freeman, S., & Taff, B. D. (2022). “Pick Your Team Wisely”: A Case Study of a Long-Standing Research-Practice Partnership. Evaluation and Program Planning, 95.

Mateer, T., Melton, T. N., Miller, Z., Lawhon, B., Agans, J., Taff, B. D. (2022). A Multi-Dimensional Measure of Pro-Environmental Behavior for Use Across Populations with Varying Levels of Environmental Involvement in the United States. PLoS One,17(10), 1-22.

Stelter, R., Melton, T.N., & Stewart, K. (2022). Mentoring for Enhancing Career Interests and Exploration: A National Mentoring Resource Center Research Review.

Sjogren, A.L. & Melton, T.N. (2021). The Complexities of Student Engagement for Racially Minoritized Youth. Journal of Youth Development. 16(5), 105-121. 10.5195/jyd.2021.1068

Melton, T. N., Brehm, M. V., & Deutsch, N. L. (2020) Broadening the Perspective on Youth’s Systems of Support: An Ecological Examination of Supportive Peer and Adult Relationships During Adolescence. Journal of Community Psychology, 49(5), 1334-1357. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22461

Melton, T. N. & Deutsch, N. L. (2020). Putting Parental Supervision into Context: Taking an Assets-Based Approach in Examining the Role of Parental Supervision During Adolescence. Youth and Society, 54(3), 442-461. DOI: 10.1177/0044118X20980471

Lester, A. M., Chow, J., & Melton, T. (2020). Quality is critical for meaningful synthesis of afterschool program effects: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 49(2): 369–382. DOI:

Griffith, A., Melton, T., & Deutsch, N. (2019). How group experiences influence mentor-mentee relational development in a combined group and one-on-one mentoring program for early adolescent girls. Applied Developmental Science. 1–8. DOI:10.1080/10888691.2018.1555042

Yu, M., Deutsch, N., Futch Ehrlich, V., Arbeit, M., Johnson, H., & Melton, T. (2018). “It’s like all of his attention is on you”: A mixed methods examination of attachment, supportive nonparental youth-adult relationships, and self-esteem during adolescence. Journal of Community Psychology, 47(2): 414–434. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22129

Honors and Awards

2018 Marjorie Hare Andrews Fellowship, University of Virginia
2018 Mary Elizabeth King Pace and Robert Septimus Pace Memorial Scholarship, University of



Research Gate

NSF INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance

Outward Bound International

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall