Faculty members in the Child and Adolescent Development (CAD) area conduct innovative and interdisciplinary research linking theory and methodology. The research currently being conducted draws from attachment theory, ecological systems theory, cognitive development theory, sociocultural theory, and family systems theory. Research topics include (1) various spheres of human development and functioning such as social emotional development, cognitive development, parent-child relationships, and abnormal development, (2) the influences of ecological contexts (e.g., parents, peers, school, and neighborhood) on developmental processes (3) intertwined relationships between genes and ecological contexts, and (4) risk for and resilience to child and adolescent development. Direct observations of young children, dyadic interviews with parents and children, and secondary longitudinal data analyses are some examples of methodology applied to the research studies in the program.

Faculty members encourage students to actively participate in research and the publication process, often as co-presenters and authors. Current students in the program had a collaborative role in data collection, coding human behaviors, data analyses, and publishing manuscripts. Please visit the faculty member’s individual pages to see recent publications.

Students in the CAD program take courses taught by CAD faculty, other Human Development faculty, psychology faculty, and other faculty with expertise in teaching research methods, statistical analysis, and qualitative methods. Students who complete the Ph.D. in CAD acquire a breadth of research training, equipping them to conduct independent research using a range of methodological and analytical expertise.

Child Development Center for Learning and Research

The mission of the CDCLR is to provide model programs and leadership for the local, state and national early childhood communities in teaching, research and the service missions of the university. 

Child Development