Developmental Psychology Research

To make the biggest impact on individual lives and communities, we need to understand behavior as it unfolds across time and contexts.

That means studying people as part of dynamic interactive systems that include families, peers, romantic partners, schools, neighborhoods, and the broader culture. The developmental concentration is less about what you study and more about how you study it.

Our faculty study a wide range of developmental processes and outcomes in children, adolescents, young adults and adults. We work collaboratively in labs, schools, neighborhoods and communities. We embrace an innovative and interdisciplinary collaborative approach, and our basic and applied developmental science touches both local and international communities. Our passions are creating knowledge, developing people and engaging communities in research that supports community goals.

The research conducted by our faculty focuses on a number of areas, including:

  • Mental health and health disparities among Latine, African American, & Multiracial youth and families
  • Positive youth development in family, school, and community settings
  • Ethnic-Racial identity development across the lifespan
  • Risk and protective factors associated with adverse childhood experiences
  • Social and emotional development among African American and Latine families
  • Family cultural and socialization processes
  • Psychophysiological correlates of emotion
  • Ethnic-Racial discrimination and colorism
  • Child, parent/caregiver, and family stress and adaptation
  • Prevention of firearm violence
  • Risk and resilience
  • Child emotional security in threatening contexts
  • Culturally affirming and responsive school environments
  • Prevention of substance abuse, particularly in the international context
  • Child emotional, mental, and physical health