Aaron Metzger earned his Ph.D. degree in psychology in 2007 from the University of Rochester, after which he completed postdoctoral training at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2007-2009). He joined the faculty at West Virginia University as a tenure-track assistant professor in 2009. His research explores social-cognitive aspects of civic development, including adolescents’ civic and political reasoning, conceptualizations of citizenship, and beliefs about civic behavior, community membership, and political institutions. In addition, Metzger examines the developmental impact of adolescents’ community service or political activity, as well as the developmental benefits of organized activity involvement. Metzger also investigates adolescent-parent communication about age-normed problem behavior such as alcohol use, risky internet use, and unhealthy eating. This research examines both parental messages to their adolescents and parental knowledge of their adolescents’ behavior including adolescents’ strategies for managing information shared with parents.
He was recently awarded research grants from The John Templeton Foundation and National Science Foundation to explore associations among developmental competencies, context, character traits, and civic development.