Sam Ehrenreich, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Science
Photo of Sam Ehrenriech


Samuel Ehrenreich, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. He obtained his Ph.D, in Psychological Science from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2012 and has been a faculty member in the HDFS program since the fall of 2017.

Ehrenreich’s research interests focus on the role of digital communication adolescent’s development. Adolescents spend a great deal of time engaged with digital communication platforms, including text messaging, social media platforms, and video streaming services. Although these new media have the potential to meaningfully impact adolescents, there is a growing debate about the extent to which these platforms help or hinder adolescent development.

Ehrenreich has used several observational research methods to directly view the content of adolescent communication and examine how it relates to psychosocial outcomes. Using a unique dataset of the 29 million text message exchanged by approximately 215 adolescents during their four years of high school, Ehrenreich has examined how this communication relates to the development of substance use and rule-breaking behaviors, sexual behaviors, television viewing habits, aggressive behavior, and experiences with bullying. Samuel also studies how social media activity may relate to adolescents’ psychological adjustment, particularly internalizing symptoms and substance use. He is especially interested in how passive social media use (spending extended periods of time scrolling through peers’ social media feeds without actually interacting with peers) may relate to adjustment outcomes.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Psychological Science, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • M.S., Psychological Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • B.S., Child Learning and Development, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • B.A., Psychology and Sociology, The University of Texas at Dallas