College of Agricultural, Human, & Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Human Development

Patricia Pendry

Associate Professor


  • Ph.D. Human Development and Social Policy (2007)
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 
  • B.Phil. Psychology, Summa cum Laude (2000)
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 

Areas of Emphasis

  • Effects of Family Stress on Child Development: Links between Interparental Discord, Child HPA Axis Activity and Developmental Psychopathology 
  • Human Animal Interaction and Child Development: Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) on Child Social Competence, HPA Axis Activity and Developmental Psychopathology
  • Evaluation of Prevention Programs Targeting Child, Adolescent Psychopathology, Family Functioning and Wellbeing


Current Research Projects- Meet the Pendry Lab

Family Life and Stress Study
The Family Life and Stress Study - funded by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research  (NCFMR) - examines the role of child exposure to interparental discord, dysregulation of HPA axis activity, and its role in the development of child and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behavior problems.

PATH to Success Study
Inspired by the desire to alleviate stress-related child adjustment problems through preventive programs, this randomized controlled trial examines the efficacy of an 11-week, equine facilitated learning program to strengthen adaptive diurnal activity of the HPA axis, enhance social competence  and reduce adjustment problems of at-risk adolescents.

Physiology and Emotion during Human Equine Interaction
This study examines the diurnal and momentary activity of adolescents’ HPA axis and their emotional and behavioral responses to various equine facilitated learning (EFL) program activities.

Pony Club Study
This study examines associations between adolescents’ physiological responses (e.g., cortisol, alpha-amylase) to various human equine interactions in naturalistic settings.

This is a proposed pilot project to develop a family-level EFL program, and examine its effects on adolescents’ physiological functioning, developmental psychopathology and various obesity-related outcomes (e.g., family meals).



Role: Primary Investigator
8/01/2010- 8/30/2012
NIH RO3/ Human-Animal Interaction and Child Development:
Efficacy Trial of Equine Assisted Counseling on Child Competence and Stress

Role: Primary Investigator
8/01/2008- 8/30/2010
National Center of Marriage Research
Family Instability, Interparental Conflict and Child Adjustment: Exploring the Role of Children’s Physiological Stress-System Activity and Negative Emotionality

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

Pendry, P., Carr, A.M., Smith, A. N. & Roeter, S.M. (2014). Improving Adolescent Social Competence and Behavior: A Randomized Trial of an 11-Week Equine Facilitated Learning Prevention Program. Journal of Primary Prevention (35), 281-293.DOI 10.1007/s10935-014-0350-7.

Pendry. P., Smith, A.N., & Roeter, S.M. (2014). Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Diurnal Patterns of Child Cortisol, Human Animal Interaction Bulletin 2 (1) , 80-95.

Pendry. P., Carr, A., Papp, L.M., & Antles, J. (2013). Child Presence During Psychologically Aggressive Interparental Conflict: Implications for Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior. Family Relations, 62, 755-767. DOI:10.111/fare.12033.

Pendry. P., & Roeter, S.M. (2013). Experimental Trial Demonstrates Positive Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Child Social Competence. Human Animal Interaction Bulletin, 1(1),1-19.

Pendry, P., & Adam, E.K. (2013). Child-related Interparental Conflict in Infancy Predicts Child Cognitive Functioning in a Nationally Representative Sample. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22, 502-515, DOI: 10.1007/s10826-012-9603-3.

Pendry, P., Roeter, S.M., Smith, A.N., Jacobson, S., & Erdman, P. (2013). Trajectories of Positive and Negative Behavior During Participation in Equine Facilitated Learning Program for Horse-Novice Youth. Journal of Extension, 51(1), DOI:1R1B5, ISSN 1077-5315.

Pendry, P. (2013). EFL Improves Children’s Social Competence. Strides. Invited article in the bi-monthly publication of the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International, (4), 36-42.

Papp, L.M., Pendry, P. Simon, C., & Adam, E. K. (2012). Spouses’ Cortisol Associations and Moderators: Testing Physiological synchrony and Connectedness in Everyday Life. Family Process, DOI/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01413.x.

Lisonbee, J.A., Pendry, P., Mize, J., & Parrett Gwynn, E., (2010). Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and Sympathetic Nervous System Activity and Children’s Behavioral Regulation. Mind, Brain, and Education, 4(4), 171-181, DOI./10.1111/j.1751-228X.2010.01096.x.

Papp, L.M., Pendry, P., & Adam, E.K. (2009). Mother-adolescent Physiological Synchrony in Naturalistic Settings: Within-Family Cortisol Associations and Moderators. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(6), 882-894, DOI: 10.1037/a0017147.
Pendry, P., & Adam, E.K. (2007). Associations Between Parents’ Marital Functioning,
Maternal Parenting Quality, Maternal Emotion and Child Cortisol Levels
. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31 (3), 218–231, DOI: 10.1177/0165025407074634.

Adam, E.K., Snell, E.K., & Pendry, P. (2007). Sleep Timing and Quantity in Ecological and Family Context: A Representative Time-Diary Study. Journal of Family Psychology, 21 (1), 4–19, DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.1.4.


Recent Scholarly Presentations

Pendry, P., Carr, A. M., Smith, A. M., & Roeter, S. M.. Associations between momentary emotion, basal cortisol production and reactivity, and observed behavior in a sample of normal and at-risk 5th through 8th grade children during their first mounted equine facilitated learning activity. Paper accepted for the Triennial International Conference of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations, Chicago, Illinois, July, 2013.

Pendry, P., & Carr, A. M. (2013). Cortisol Levels and Momentary Emotion Influence Behavior of Adolescents During Equine Facilitated Learning Program. Paper symposium presented at  the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Seattle, Washington, April, 2013.

Pendry P. (2013). Effects of Human Equine Interaction on Human Functioning, Development and Wellbeing Invited Paper Presentation conducted at the National Equine Forum, London, United Kingdom, March 5, 2013.

Pendry P. (2013). Effects of Human Equine Interaction on Human Functioning, Development and Wellbeing.  Invited Paper Presentation conducted at Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, March 8, 2013.

Pendry. P., Smith, A.N., & Roeter, S.M. (2013). Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Diurnal Patterns of Child Cortisol. Poster presented at the 2013 Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Meeting, Seattle, Washington, April, 2013.

Roeter, S., & Pendry. P. (2013). Effects of an 11-week equine facilitated learning program on child engagement coping. Poster presented at the 2013 Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Meeting, Seattle, Washington, April, 2013.


Patricia Pendry







Mailing Address:

Human Development
Washington State University
523 Johnson Tower
P.O. Box 644852
Pullman, WA 99164-4852


Phone: (509) 335-8365
Fax: (509) 335-2456


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