Social & Emotional Development Lab (Thompson)

The purpose of our work is to better understand the psychological development in children, especially in the early years of life, and to apply what we have learned to improving programs, practices, and policies affecting children and their families.

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Research Topics

Development of Emotion Understanding Study

This study examines developmental changes in children’s emotion regulation skills as enacted with a close friend.

Early Social Understanding Study

This short-term longitudinal study investigates the influence of relational factors, such as the quality of mother-infant interaction and maternal socialization processes, on young children’s interactions with an unfamiliar adult.

Preschoolers' Emotional & Communication Study

This short-term longitudinal study examines the development of early moral character in preschool-age children and maternal and relational predictors of individual differences in these socio-moral behaviors.

Toddler Social Understanding Study

This study investigates the role of several relational influences and individual differences on 18- to 20-month-olds’ behavior in social interactions.

Preschoolers' Emotional Development Study

This study examines sources of individual differences in the quality of mothers’ conversations with their children about emotion, and how these conversations influence preschool children’s emotion knowledge of self and other, and emotion regulation.