Developmental Psychology

Development Within Interpersonal and Cultural Contexts

Our program is distinguished by research that integrates individual, interpersonal, and cultural processes of development. We emphasize understanding the lived experience of children, youth, and adults in their cultural communities. Our faculty study these developmental processes in diverse communities and institutions, including families, friends, peer groups, schools, and children’s museums.

Graduates of our program have accepted faculty positions at such institutions as University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Toronto, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, Boston College, University of Delaware, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, University of Surrey (England), Technical University of Berlin, and several California State University campuses; applied research positions at Educational Training and Research, and Stanford Research Institute; and postdoctoral positions at Harvard, UCLA, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Irvine, and Loyola University Chicago.   

Faculty research programs investigate these topics:

Contexts for learning, academic, and scientific achievement, and career identities of cultural minorities and women, including social policy and educational practice [Azmitia, Hwang, Leaper, Menendez, Rogoff]

Conversations, narratives, and memory sharing as contexts for language, cognitive, and gender development, and the development of personal and social identities [Akhtar, Azmitia, Callanan, Hwang, Leaper, Menendez, Rogoff]

Infants’ and children's cognitive and language development through observation, overhearing, and exploration [Akhtar, Callanan, Hwang, Menendez, Rogoff, Wang]

Learning and participation structures in informal settings such as museums, families, peer groups, and communities [Azmitia, Callanan, Leaper, Menendez, Rogoff, Wang]

Development and consequences of social biases based on gender, sexuality,  race, ethnicity, language, accent, and other social categories in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; awareness of societal systems of oppression; and how to combat these biases and create a more equitable society. [Azmitia, Hwang, Leaper, Manago, Rahal]

The nature of culture and development: Interdisciplinary theories and research methods that link qualitative and quantitative approaches [Azmitia, Leaper, Manago, Menendez, Rahal, Rogoff, Wang]

Technology and media as cultural tools for the development of children, adolescents, and emerging adults [Azmitia, Manago, Menendez, Rogoff, Wang]

Faculty Members Focusing on Developmental Psychology 

Nameera Akhtar

Margarita Azmitia

Maureen A. Callanan

Audun Dahl

Hyesung Grace Hwang

Campbell Leaper

Adriana Manago

David Menendez

Danny Rahal

Barbara Rogoff

Su-hua Wang

Emeriti Faculty

Catherine R. Cooper

Per Gjerde

David Harrington

Avril Thorne