William Evans, Ph.D.

Professor of Human Development and Family Science, State Extension Specialist
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William Evans obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UCLA and has been at UNR since 1991. He is a Professor in the College of Education, and holds joint appointments with Cooperative Extension as the State Specialist for Youth Development and Program Evaluation, with the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Social Psychology, and with the Nutrition and Justice Studies graduate programs. As a developmental scientist and evaluation specialist, he has received over 5.5 million in extramural funding to support his research activities, has authored over 75 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has over 100 presentations at national and international conferences. He has served on numerous national advisory committees, including the Federal Interagency Working Group on Youth, the Land Grant University National Evaluation Outcome Committee, and the National Advisory Committee of the CDC Suicide Prevention Center. As the State Specialist for Youth Development, he routinely assesses the educational needs of the state using multiple methods and provides leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of education/prevention programs that address critical youth needs. In this role, he has provided leadership or was an active team member for numerous community needs assessment and asset mapping projects statewide. He also has been involved nationally and statewide in the development of a number of education programs focused on youth and their families that have emphasized the enhancement of life skills for youth, the prevention of youth violence and suicide, and the reduction of risky behaviors and delinquency. In addition, he engages in the evaluation of community-based programs and has been the lead evaluator on numerous regional and national projects.

Evans currently has multiple federally-funded grant projects on evaluation and youth issues, including directing the national cluster evaluation of the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) and developing and pilot testing a Text-enabled CVE Gatekeeper Help-line and Referral System.  He also teaches in the HDFS program and for the Social Psychology Interdisciplinary Program. Recent topics have included Family Theories, Program Evaluation and Development, and Research Methods.  His research interests include a variety of adolescent risk, resiliency, and developmental issues; and he has focused on youth worker issues, youth violence and suicide, adolescent risk and technology, adolescent sense of coherence, and the evaluation of community-based programs over the past several years.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Maletsky, L. D. & Evans, W.P. (2016). Organizational factors that contribute to Youth Worker's promotion of youth voice. Child and Youth Services.
  • Williams, M. J., Horgan, J. G., & Evans, W. P. (2015). The critical role of friends in networks for countering violent extremism: Toward a theory of vicarious help-seeking. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 7(4), 1-21
  • Broadus, A. & Evans, W.P.  (2014). Developing the Public Attitudes about Addiction Instrument. Addiction, Research and Theory.  
  • Weiser, D., Weigel, D.J., Lalasz, C.B., & Evans, W.P. (2014). Family background and propensity to engage in infidelity. Journal of Family Issues.
  • Weiser, D., Weigel, D.J., Lalasz, C.B., & Evans, W.P. (2014). A prototype analysis of infidelity.  Personal Relationships.
  • Armstrong M., Hartje, J, & Evans, W.P. (2014).  Factors affecting juvenile detention workers intent to continue working in juvenile corrections.  Criminal Justice Review, 39(1), 5-18.
  • Maitoza, R. & Evans, W.P.  (2014). BRITE: A program to promote resilience among unemployed families.  Journal of Extension, 52(2).
  • Evans, W.P., Davidson, L, & Sicafuse, L. (2013). Someone to listen: Increasing youth help-seeking behavior through a text-based crisis line for youth.  Journal of Community Psychology, 47(4), 471-487.
  • Luna, N., Evans, W.P., Davis, B. (2013).  Indigenous Mexican culture, identity and academic aspirations: Results from a community-based curriculum project for Latina/Latino students.  Race Ethnicity and Education, 2, 14-29.
  • Davidson, L, Evans, W.P., & Sicafuse, L. (2011).  Competency in establishing positive relationships with program youth:  the impact of organization and youth worker characteristics. Child and Youth Services, 32:4, 1-19.
  • Carter, M.J., Evans, W.P., Zapata, J., Taifa, A. (2011).  School-based family counseling evaluation: warm feelings, perilous pratfalls, and empirical hopes.  International Journal for School-Based Family Counseling, 4, 1-21.
  • Evans, W.P., Sicafuse, L., Killian, E., Davidson, L. & Loesch-Griffin, D. (2010). Youth Worker Professional Development Participation, Preferences, and Agency Support. Child and Youth Services, 31:1, 35-52.
  • Marsh, S. C., Evans, W. P., & Williams, M. J. (2010).  Social support and sense of program belonging discriminate between youth-staff relationship types in juvenile correction settings. Child Youth Care Forum, 39, 481-494. 
  • Marsh, S. C. & Evans, W. P. (2010).  Personal and Social Characteristics Associated with Perceived Likelihood of Success in Incarcerated Youth,  Residential Treatment For Children & Youth, 27: 4, 304-313.

Ph.D. students


  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara