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Clancy Blair

Professor Emeritus Steinhardt Applied Psychology

Applied Psychology

(212) 998-5853

Clancy Blair is a developmental psychologist who studies self-regulation in young children. His primary interest concerns the development of cognitive abilities referred to as executive functions and the ways in which these aspects of cognition are important for school readiness and early school achievement. He is also interested in the development and evaluation of preschool and elementary school curricula designed to promote executive functions as a means of preventing school failure. In 2002, Blair and his colleagues at Penn State University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a longitudinal, population-based study of family ecology and child development beginning at birth. In his part of the project, Blair is examining interaction between early experiential and biological influences on the development of executive functions and related aspects of self-regulation. Ultimately, Blair and his colleagues plan to follow this sample through the school years and into young adulthood. Prior to coming to NYU, Blair spent ten years as an assistant and then associate professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State. He received his doctorate in developmental psychology and a master's degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996.

Selected Publications

  • Blair, C. (2002). School readiness: Integrating cognition and emotion in a neurobiological conceptualization of child functioning at school entry. American Psychologist, 57, 111-127.
  • Blair, C. & Razza, R.P. (2007). Relating effortful control, executive function, and false-belief understanding to emerging math and literacy ability in kindergarten. Child Development, 78, 647-663
  • Blair, C. (2010). Stress and the development of self-regulation in context. Child Development Perspectives, 4, 181-188.
  • Blair, C., Granger, D. Willoughby, M., Mills-Koonce, R., Cox, M., Greenberg, M.T., Kivlighan, K., Fortunato, C. & the FLP Investigators (2011). Salivary cortisol mediates effects of poverty and parenting on executive functions in early childhood. Child Development, 82, 1970-1984.
  • Blair, C. & Raver, C.C. (2012). Child development in the context of adversity: Experiential canalization of brain and behavior. American Psychologist, 67, 309-318.
  • Ursache, A., Blair C., Stifter, C., Voegtline, K., & the FLP Investigators (2013). Emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy interact to predict executive functioning in early childhood. Developmental Psychology, 49, 127-137.
  • Willoughby, M., Holochwost, A., Blanton, Z., & Blair, C. (2014). Executive functions: Formative versus reflective measurement. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 12, 69-95.
  • Blair, C. (2016). Developmental science and executive function. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 3-7.
  • Blair, C. & Raver, C.C. (2016). Poverty, stress and brain development: New directions for prevention and intervention. Academic Pediatrics, 16, S30-S36.


Human Development Research and Policy

The Human Development Research and Policy program prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, and more.

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