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Paul Hastings


  • Ph.D., Applied Developmental Psychology, University of Toronto
  • M.A., Experimental Psychology, University of Toronto
  • B.S., Faculty of Science, McGill University


Professor Hastings is chair and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and a member of the core faculty of The Health Emotions, Relationships and Development Lab (HERD), which explores the factors contributing to children's social and emotional development. He examines the contributions of "nurture" through children's close relationships with family and friends, and "nature" through their autonomic and neuroendocrine regulatory systems. His research focuses on understanding how these factors shape developmental trajectories toward adaptive functioning, like compassion and social competence, and maladaptive functioning, like aggression and anxiety. Professor Hastings is a member of several professional organizations, including American Psychological Association-Division 7, Association for Psychological Science, California Psychological Association, International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development and Society for Research in Child Development. He has also served as a consulting editor for the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and on the editorial boards of several publications, including Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, Parenting: Science and Practice, Social Development, Developmental Psychology, and Child Development.

Research Focus

His research centers around understanding the ways in which biological and environmental factors shape the trajectories of children’s emotional and social development. This focus encompasses normal and adaptive development, such as the physiological arousal experienced by healthy and well-functioning children when they experience various emotions. It also extends to atypical and maladaptive development, such as the difficulties experienced by anxious children when they enter a daycare or preschool, if their parents have not effectively prepared them for these kinds of social and academic challenges.  

Selected Publications

  • Mills, R. S. L., Hastings, P. D.,  Helm, J.,  Serbin, L. A., Etezadi, J.,  Stack, D. M.,  Schwartzman, A. E., & Li, H-H. (2012). Temperamental, parental and contextual contributors to early-emerging internalizing problems: A new integrative analysis approach. Social Development, 21, 239-253. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00629.x
  • Hastings, P. D., Shirtcliff, E. A., Klimes-Dougan, B.,  Allison, A. L. ,  DeRose, L.,  Kendziora, K. T.,  Usher, B. A., & Zahn-Waxler, C. (2011). Allostasis and the development of internalizing and externalizing problems: Changing relations with physiological systems across adolescence. Development & Psychopathology, 23, 1149-1165. DOI: 10.1017/S095457941000538 
  • Hastings, P. D., Ruttle, P., Serbin, L. A.,  Mills, R. S. L., Stack, D. M., &  Schwartzman, A. E. (2011). Adrenocortical stress reactivity and regulation in preschoolers: Relations with parenting, temperament, and psychopathology. Developmental Psychobiology, 53, 694-710. DOI: 10.1002/dev.20545 
  • Utendale, W. T., &  Hastings, P. D. (2011). Developmental changes in the relations between inhibitory control and externalizing problems during early childhood. Infant & Child Development, 20, 181-193. DOI:10.1002/icd.691
  • Utendale, W. T.,  Hubert, M., Saint-Pierre, A. B., & Hastings, P.D. (2011). Neurocognitive development and aggression: The role of inhibitory control deficits from 4 to 6 years. Aggressive Behavior, 37, 476-488. DOI: 10.1002/ab.20403


Professor Hastings teaches courses in the areas of Social and Personality Development, Current Research in Psychology, and Topics in Developmental Psychology.


Professor Hastings has earned grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the UC Davis Interdisciplinary Frontiers in the Humanities and Arts (IFHA) and the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain MRI SeedGrant.