Developmental

  1. Clinical
  2. Cognitive
  3. Developmental

Bierman, Karen

  1. Ph.D., 1981, University of Denver
kb2@psu.edu

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Karen Bierman has interests in child-clinical psychology and social-emotional development. Her research has focused on peer relations, social skills for peer acceptance, and intervention programs to facilitate social adjustment. Currently, she is involved with the multi-site FAST Track Program, which focuses on the early identification and prevention of conduct problems in elementary-aged children; the Head Start REDI program, a randomized field trial evaluating curriculum components and reading strategies designed to enhance school readiness; and the FOCUS prevention trial examining the diffusion of empirically supported prevention programs to support school readiness through university-community partnerships.

Buss, Kristin

  1. PhD, 2000, University of Wisconsin-Madison
kab37@psu.edu

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Kristin Buss is interested in emotional development and temperamental variation from birth through early childhood. Her work spans multiple areas of research within social development, psychobiology, and neuroscience. Her current work is focused on the development of risk for adjustment problems, such as anxiety symptoms in toddlers with fearful temperaments. This work has demonstrated significant effects for types of situations where children show fear as well as their physiological stress reactivity.

Eiden, Rina

  1. Ph.D., 1992, University of Maryland
rde5106@psu.edu

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Rina Eiden’s research focuses on understanding developmental trajectories among children at risk for maladjustment due to multiple adversities linked to parental substance abuse, as well as early childhood interventions designed to ameliorate these risks and promote competence. Her studies, many of which follow cohorts of children across multiple developmental stages (e.g., birth to adolescence), seek to understand developmental mechanisms that may explain the association between parental risk factors and child outcomes (e.g., infant-parent attachment, parent-child self-regulation, individual differences in children’s autonomic and stress reactivity, and immune/inflammatory mechanisms). She has a particular interest in prenatal and early childhood interventions for substance using parents, with the goal of promoting family health, including positive developmental cascades for children.

Gilmore, Rick

  1. Ph.D., 1997, Carnegie Mellon University
rogilmore@psu.edu

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Rick Gilmore's research asks three questions: What are the representations underlying spatial perception and action? How are these representations instantiated in the brain? How do they develop, and why? The developmental cognitive neuroscience approach he takes to these questions combines insights from behavioral studies, biological experiments, and computational models. The ultimate aim is a unified, biologically and computationally plausible, account of the development of spatial perception and action early in life.

Liben, Lynn

  1. Ph.D., 1972, The University of Michigan
liben@psu.edu

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Lynn Liben is interested in both cognitive and social development, and in their interface. Current work in cognitive development focuses on children's growing ability to understand graphic representations, including maps, satellite imagery, photographs, and drawings. For example, in a collaborative grant with geographers, astronauts, earth scientists, educators, and other members of the psychology department, she is studying the use of various scientific visualization tools (e.g., Geographic Information Systems software) with children and adults. Also under study are the origins and amelioration of sex differences in spatial skills. Work in social development focuses on gender and racial stereotypes, with particular interest in the ways in which cognitive processes play a role in understanding and modifying these stereotypes.

Lunkenheimer, Erika

  1. Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan
ezl5238@psu.edu

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Dr. Lunkenheimer’s research program revolves around regulatory processes in the family, with the dual goals of (1) understanding how mother-child and father-child interaction patterns act as risk and protective processes for developmental psychopathology and (2) uncovering malleable relationship processes that could aid in the tailoring and improvement of preventive intervention programs for families at risk.  Grounded in dynamic systems theory and using dynamic time series statistical approaches, Dr. Lunkenheimer studies the moment-to-moment coregulation of emotions, goal-oriented behaviors, and physiology between parents and young children in relation to familial risk factors and child outcomes (e.g., children’s self-regulation).  A primary interest is examining the role that these parent-child coregulation patterns play in the development of child maltreatment, as well as their association with related maltreatment risk factors (e.g., harsh parenting, parental mental health problems and stress, children’s behavior problems).  Ultimately, this work is designed to obtain a better understanding of the etiology of developmental psychopathology and inform the prevention of child maltreatment. 

Nelson, Keith

  1. Ph.D., 1970, Yale University
k1n@psu.edu

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Keith Nelson's interests concern cognitive developmental theory. His research involves children's acquisition and use of language and art. He also works with microcomputer-multimedia applications in educational research aimed at improving communication, art, and thinking in normal and handicapped children. Another facet of theorizing deals with the ways that cognition, emotion, and motivation are intertwined in children's learning.

Van Hell, Janet

  1. Ph. D., 1998, University of Amsterdam
jgv3@psu.edu

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Janet Van Hell is interested in the cognitive and neural processes related to language development and language use. There are two broad themes to her current research. One focuses on cognitive and neural processes that enable the learning and use of multiple languages in bilinguals at different levels of proficiency. Her students and her study developmental patterns of cross-language interaction and transfer related to lexical and morpho-syntactic processing, as well as neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in language-switching. They also study sign-speech bilinguals who use spatial and oral languages from two different modalities. The second research theme focuses on language development in school-aged children with typical or atypical development (including children with dyslexia or with specific language impairment, children who are deaf, and bilingual children from an ethnic minority background).

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