Diane McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Diane McLaughlin, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emerita of Rural Sociology and Demography

Areas of Expertise

  • Community change and family and individual well-being
  • Rural youth
  • Consequences of Marcellus Shale development for families and communities


  • Ph.D. Rural Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University, 1990
  • M.S. Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University,1980
  • B.S. Agricultural Business Management, The Pennsylvania State University, 1978


Research Interests

Understanding how the characteristics of the places in which people live influence individuals' and families' opportunities, behavior, and well-being is the central theme of my research. My current research foci include educational, occupational and residential aspirations and attainment of rural youth, the consequences of Marcellus Shale development for families and communities and the role of economic restructuring and demographic change for family structure, employment opportunities and income inequality in rural and urban areas.

Outreach/Extension Interests

My outreach and extension efforts support community development efforts. Most recently, I have participated in the development of educational materials related to understanding community change.  I also am interested in integrating outreach with resident teaching to provide opportunities for students to gain experience working with community leaders and organizations in ways that benefit the communities.

Current/Recent Courses

  • CEDEV/RSOC 452  Rural Organization
  • RSOC 516 Social Change in Rural America
  • RSOC 552 Theoretical Frameworks of Rural Community Research

Recent Selected Publications

McLaughlin, Diane K., Carla M. Shoff and Mary Ann Demi. forthcoming 2014. "Influence of Perceptions of Current and Future Community on Residential Aspirations of Rural Youth."  Rural Sociology.

McLaughlin, Diane K. and Carla M. Shoff. 2014. "Children and Youth in Rural America." In C.L. Bailey, L. Jensen and E. Ransom (eds). Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.

McLaughlin, Diane K., Anne Delessio-Parson and Danielle Rhubart. 2013. Housing and Marcellus Shale Development. The Marcellus Impacts Project Report #5. 36 pp. Report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

McLaughlin, Diane K., Danielle Rhubart, Anne Delessio-Parson, Mark Leach, Kathryn Brasier and Kristin Babbie. 2013. Population Change and Marcellus Shale Development. The Marcellus Shale Impacts Project Report #1. 25 pp. Report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Davis, Lisa A., Diane K. McLaughlin and Namrate Uberoi. 2013. The Impact of Marcellus Shale Development on Health and Health Care. The Marcellus Shale Impacts Project Report #2. 42 pp. Report to the Center for Rural Pennslyvania.

Brasier, Kathryn J., Diane K. McLaughlin, Danielle Rhubart, Richard C. Stedman, Matthew R. Filteau and Jeffrey Jacquet. 2013. "Risk Perception of Natural Gas Development in the Marcellus Shale." Journal of Environmental Practice. 15(2): 108-122.

Stedman, Richard C., Jeffrey B. Jacquet, Matthew R. Filteau, Fern K. Willits, Kathryn J. Brasier and Diane K. McLaughlin. 2012. "Marcellus Shale Gas Development and New Boomtown Research: Views of New York and Pennsylvania Residents." Journal of Environmental Practice 14(4): 382-393.

Fortunato, Michael W-P and Diane K. McLaughlin. 2012. "Interaction and Purpose in Highly Entrepreneurial Communities." Entrepreneurship Research Journal 2(1):Article 5.

Brasier, Kathryn, Matthew Filteau, Diane K. McLaughlin, Jeffrey Jacquet, Richard c. Stedman, Timothy W. Kelsey and Stephan Goetz. 2011. "Residents' Perceptions of Community and Environmental Impacts from Development of Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale: A Comparison of Pennsylvania and New York Case Studies." Journal of Rural Social Sciences 26(1):32-61.

McLaughlin, Diane K. and Alisha Coleman-Jensen. 2011. "Economic Restructuring and Family Structure Change 1980 to 2000: A Focus on Female-headed Families with Children." Pp. 105-123 in Economic Restructuring and Family Well-being in Rural America." Kristin Smith and Ann R. Tickamyer, eds. University Park, PA; The Pennsylvania State University. 

Alter, Ted, Kathy Brasier, Diane McLaughlin, Fern Willits, Teri Ooms and Sherry Tracewski. 2010. Baseline Socioeconomic Analysis for the Marcellus Shale Development in Pennsylvania. Report to Appalachian Regional Commission. Wilkes-Barre, PA: The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development.                 

Demi, Mary Ann, Diane K. McLaughlin and Anastasia R. Snyder. 2009. "Rural Youth Residential Preferences: Understanding the Youth Development-Community Development Nexus.  Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, 40(4):311-330.                                    

Smith, P. Johnelle, Diane K. McLaughlin and C. Shannon Stokes. 2009. "Differential Neonatal and Post-Neonatal Infant Mortality Across US Counties: The Role of Socioeconomic Conditions and Rurality." Journal of Rural Health



Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award, 2005, The Pennsylvania State University.

Community of Teaching Excellence Award, 2003, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.