Professor, Department of Population Health
My research primarily focuses on the development of self-regulation in young children with a specific focus on the development of executive functions. This research has demonstrated that executive functions are central to school readiness and school achievement, are substantially influenced by experience and the characteristics of the family and home environment, and highly interrelated with the regulation of the physiological response to stress. An important focus of this research is on the ways in which experience ‘gets under the skin’ to influence the development of executive functions through effects on stress physiology. This mechanism is one that appears to be particularly relevant to the effect of poverty on child development and may be one primary route through which childhood poverty exerts long-term effects on cognitive and social-emotional development throughout childhood.
Another focus of my research has been the conduct of randomized controlled trials of innovative programs designed to promote self-regulation in early childhood. Tests of the efficacy of these programs indicates that it is possible to enhance the development of self-regulation in early childhood and doing so can benefit children’s academic achievement and social-emotional development, particularly for children from low-income homes.
MPH from University of Alabama
PhD from University of Alabama
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2021 Mar 17; 128:105203
Health & place. 2021 Feb 02; 68:102517
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Feb; 29(2):379-387
Developmental cognitive neuroscience. 2020 Dec 25; 47:100907
Psychological assessment. 2020 Dec; 32(12):1118-1132
Developmental psychology. 2020 Dec; 56(12):2236-2245