Developmental Psychology

The mission of the PhD program in Developmental Psychology is to provide students with a strong foundation in developmental theories and research from a lifespan perspective. Students examine individual and environmental influences at multiple, nested levels on the development of infants, preschoolers, children, adolescents, and adults, especially in urban environments. In particular, the program focuses on the ways in which culture and context shape developmental processes, including social and emotional, cognitive, identity, and language development.

What expertise do graduate students acquire in the Developmental Psychology program?

  • A strong foundation in the core areas of Developmental Psychology with a focus on how current research methodologies might be applied to current issues in human development.
  • The ability to think critically and creatively about how basic research can address the social problems faced by individuals in a multicultural, urban society.
  • A wide range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, including survey research, experimental, observational, ethnographic, narrative and case studies.
  • The skills to identify the influences of family members, peers, schools, neighborhoods and communities on the developmental trajectories of individuals, as well as how individuals shape their own experiences.
  • An understanding of how aspects of ethnicity, race, social class, gender, culture and health influence human development within and across national boundaries.