• Ph.D. 2011 – Texas Tech University, Human Development and Family Studies
  • M.S. 2008 – Texas Tech University, Human Development and Family Studies
  • B.A. 2006 – Midwestern State University, Psychology

Areas of Expertise

  • Adolescent Development
  • Sexual Health
  • Family Diversity


Dr. Helyne Frederick is currently a faculty member in the UNC School of Education, and directs the undergraduate program in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS). She is passionate about helping students and professionals maximize their skills in providing services for children and families. She previously served as an Associate Professor and Program Director for the Family and Consumer Sciences Program at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She developed an HDFS program for Winthrop and led the program to obtain the Certified Family Life Educator credential from the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Frederick also directs the HDFS internships at UNC which places students in educational, health, and social services organizations.


Dr. Frederick’s program of research examines both familial and extra-familial factors associated with risky sexual behaviors for adolescents and young adults, particularly black and Caribbean youth. Dr. Frederick uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research. More specifically, she conducted qualitative interviews with Grenadian adolescents about their reproductive health and communication with their mothers about sexuality issues. Along with colleagues in the US, she published a manuscript examining Caribbean and American women perception of sexual communication and other health behavior issues with mothers. This study was published in 2018 by Health Care for Women International. Her work also involves use of the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health to examine the interpersonal factors related to risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted disease contraction among African-American adolescents and young adults. This project included a longitudinal analysis to examine how the relationship quality and type as well as cognitive processes in early adolescence are associated with risky sexual outcomes and contraction of an STD by young adulthood.She also engages in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and examines culturally sensitive pedagogy for teaching Family Life Education and the dynamics of teaching large classes.