I conduct my research at NYU Steinhardt's Play and Language Lab, where we examine infant and toddler learning and development in social and cultural contexts. I seek to understand how developing skills across a variety of domains reciprocally affect one another concurrently and over time (the theoretical construct of “developmental cascades”). In particular, we study language, communication, and play/exploratory behaviors, and how mothers’ and fathers’ interactions with children –such as contingent responsiveness and richness of child-directed language – relate to children’s developmental trajectories and, conversely, how emerging skills in children influence their everyday learning experiences and interactions with parents. We examine these bi-directional processes in children from diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds using longitudinal analyses, naturalistic observations at home, laboratory studies, and interviews with parents. Our research team includes undergraduates, Masters students, PhD candidates, and postdoctoral fellows who share a commitment to advancing a nuanced understanding of how learning and development unfolds in different cultural and ethnic groups in the United States and internationally.
Prepare for a career as a professor, researcher, or human services professional, or a director or evaluator of mental health and health promotion programs.
The Human Development and Social Intervention program prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, and more.