Areas of Expertise
- Parent involvement in the educational and emotional lives of youth
- Effectively serving and engaging diverse communities (e.g., military and Latino families)
- Reducing youth risky behaviors and school dropout
- Couple and Relationship Education
Andrew O. Behnke, PhD, is an associate professor of human development and an extension specialist. He has served the Latino community since 1995 in the realm of youth development and access to higher education. In 2007, Dr. Behnke and Cintia Aguilar developed the “Juntos” program to help Latino families come together to make higher education a reality for Latino youth (JuntosNC.org). He conducts outreach efforts and applied research on academic achievement among Latino youth, military family programs, parent involvement in academics, couple and relationship education, dropout prevention, and access to higher education. He has received funding for 16 projects in the last 7 years and has published 24 scholarly articles and multiple book chapters in the field. His life mission is helping Latino youth and their families access and thrive in higher education and beyond.
Programs and Initiatives
- Online information and resources to support healthy families (link)
- The "Juntos" Dropout Prevention Program (link)
- The Healthy Relationship & Marriage Education Training program
- The Triangle for Latino Student Success Initiative
- The "Iluminando El Camino" Domestic Violence Program
- Rea, J., Behnke, A.O., Allen, K., & Huff, N. (2015). The role of online communication in the lives of military spouses. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37 (3), 329-339.
- Allen, K., Huff, N., Kelly, J., Bearon, L., & Behnke, A.O. (2014). Reaching families through social media: Training extension professionals to implement technology in their work. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 2 (2), 1-14.
- Hancock, T.U., Ames, N., & Behnke, A.O. (2014). Protecting rural church-going immigrant women from family violence. Journal of Family Violence, 29, 323-332.
- Herndon, M. C., Behnke, A.O., Navarro, M., Brown, J., & Storm, J. F. (2013). Needs and Perceptions of Cooperative Extension Educators Serving Latino Populations in the South. Journal of Extension [On-line], 51(1). Available at: (link)
- Carroll, E. B., Orthner, D. K., Behnke, A.O., Smith, C. M., Day, S., & Raburn, M. L. (2013). Integrating Life Skills into Relationship and Marriage Education: The Essential Life Skills for Military Families Program. Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 62(4), 559-570.
- Behnke, A. O., & Kelly, C. (2011). A new breed of Latino parent involvement programs: Involving whole families. Journal of Extension [On-line], 49(1).
- Behnke, A. O., MacDermid, S. M., Anderson, J.C., & Weiss, H. M. (2010). Ethnic variations in the connection between work-induced family separation and turnover intent. Journal of Family Issues, 31, 626 - 655.
- Behnke, A. O., MacDermid, S. M., Coltrane, S. L., Parke, R. D., Widaman, K. F., & Duffy, S. A. (2008). Family cohesion in the lives of Mexican American and European American parents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 70 (4), 1045-1059.
Youth, Family, and Community Sciences
NC State University
512 Brickhaven Drive 240J
Campus Box 7606
Raleigh, NC 27695-7606