Director, Child Study Center
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
School Readiness Initiative Director
Dr. Bierman's research program focuses on social-emotional development and children at risk, with an emphasis on the design and evaluation of school- and community-based programs that promote social competence, school readiness and positive intergroup relations while reducing aggression and violence. Currently, she is the principal investigator for the Head-Start REDI program (promoting school readiness with classroom-based and parent-focused intervention) and the FRIENDS project (promoting self-regulation among children with elevated attention-deficit hyperactivity symptoms). Dr. Bierman directs the TIES interdisciplinary predoctoral training program, and co-directs the Focus On Learning program (using family-focused intervention to promote reading readiness among at-risk kindergarten children), and the PATHS to Success program (a violence prevention program that uses coordinated school-based and family-focused intervention to promote the adjustment of children with aggressive behavior problems). She served as the principal investigator for the Pennsylvania site of the Fast Track program and oversees the School Readiness research initiative. Dr. Bierman is the Director for the Child Study Center.
Assistant Director, Child Study Center
Dr. Laureen Teti studies children’s emotion regulation and its relation to parent-child interactions in a variety of high risk families, including children prenatally exposed to cocaine and low-income urban African-American adolescent mothers. She has worked since 2005 with a small group of Penn State faculty to promote relations between the African American community in Harrisburg and child clinical and developmental researchers at the Child Study Center, which resulted in the establishment in 2007 of Parents and Children Together (PACT), a community-university partnership which includes representatives from early childhood agencies, parents, and other key leaders from the African American community in Harrisburg, PA. In her role as the CSC’s Assistant Director, Dr. Teti facilitates initiative activities and events as well as organizes the CSC’s Speaker Series.
Diane has been at Penn State for more than 15 years and has been working at the Child Study Center since August 2002. Her responsibilities range from managing daily office procedures to supporting research and education needs for faculty as well as for graduate and undergraduate students. She provides direct support to the Director and Assistant Director, communicates and collaborates among campus units, and serves as liaison for visitors and guests at the Center.
Amanda Goble, a Penn State alum and former Campaign Director at the Society for Leukemia & Lymphoma, joined the CSC as our Grants Specialist in February 2011. In her role as CSC grants specialist, Amanda will work with CSC faculty on both pre- and post-award budgets, and help with the development of grant application work plans, among other things.
Jacqui has been working at the Child Study Center since January 2010. She was initially hired to work in the coding lab on Dr. Bierman’s School Readiness projects. In July 2012, Jacqui started as the CSC’s Research Assistant. Her responsibilities as an RA include managing the FIRSt Families database, as well as editing the CSC’s website.
CSC Initiative Leaders and Advisory Board Members
Professor of Psychology
Liberal Arts Research Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies
Early Pathways to Competence Initiative Director
Dr. Cole studies emotional development in early childhood, focusing on how children learn to regulate their emotions, including the role of children’s language and attention skills and the contributions of parents as they interact with their children. In addition to conceptual work on the nature of self-regulation and emotion regulation, her recent work has focused on very young typically developing children and children who are at risk for emotional problems. At present, one of the main projects in her lab is the Development of Toddlers (DOTS); this project followed children from age 18 months to age 5 years, tracing changes in children’s anger and ability to regulate anger. In addition to studying the strategies parents use to help children learn to regulate emotions, Dr. Cole and her graduate students have developed an interest in the emotional demands parents face in helping their children become competent children as well as the effects of parental anger on children's neural processing and behavior. Dr. Cole also studies cross-cultural variations in emotional development, focusing on societal differences that influence the cultural norms of emotional regulation and how these influence the socialization practices of caregivers. Finally, Dr. Cole leads the Early Pathways to Competence research initiative and participates in the Parenting at Risk research initiative. Her EPC group meets biweekly throughout the year to provide intellectual support to faculty members developing new projects and applying for external funding.
Associate Director, Social Science Research Institute
Associate Director, Children, Youth and Families Consortium
Professor, Human Development, Psychology and Pediatrics
Parenting at Risk Initiative Director
Dr. Doug Teti studies infant and childhood socio-emotional development in low and high-risk contexts. His work investigates parental influences on infants and children, looking specifically at the impact of parental competence, mental health, and child and ecological factors. He is currently the principal investigator on several ongoing projects: SIESTA (Study of Infants' Emergent Sleep TrAjectories, funded by NICHD), Project Touch (infant massage and its impact on infant stress reactivity, the immune system, and the parent-infant relationship, funded by Penn State's Clinical and Translational Science Institute), and Minds Of Mothers Study (MOMS) mothers’ emotional regulation as indexed by prefrontal cortical EEG asymmetry, funded by NICHD). Dr. Teti regularly meets with faculty both as a group and individually as part of the Parenting at Risk research initiative to provide feedback and ideas for researchers developing grant applications.
Director, Social Life and Engineering Imaging Center
Associate Professor of Psychology
Human Developmental Neuroscience Initiative Director
Dr. Gilmore studies the neuroscience of perception, action planning, and memory in infants and children—specifically, the development of visual spatial perception. His work involves neuroimaging (both MRI & EEG) as well as behavioral and computational methods. Dr. Gilmore is currently Director of the Social, Life, & Engineering Sciences Imaging Center. In his role as Lead Faculty of the Human Developmental Neuroscience research initiative at the Child Study Center, Dr. Gilmore has organized workshops on fMRI techniques and using fMRI and EEG in behavorial research and hosts a weekly imaging talk series and journal club.
Liberal Arts Research Professor of Psychology
Gene Environment Research Initiative Co-Director
Dr. Neiderhiser is interested in understanding the interplay between genes and environment throughout the lifespan. The environmental influences that she has examined most closely are interpersonal relationships – including parent-child, spouse, sibling and peer relationships. Examining how individuals influence their environments, in part because of their genetically-influenced characteristics (genotype-environment correlation), has long been a focus of her work. The studies that have been used to examine these research questions include the following three sets of studies: The Nonshared Environment in Adolescent Development (NEAD) project; the Young Adult Sibling Study (YASS) and the Twin/Offspring Study in Sweden (TOSS). Finally, the Early Growth and Development Study is a prospective, longitudinal study of 559 sets of adopted children, their adoptive families and birth parents. All of these studies include extensive assessment of the environment within the household, interpersonal relationships, adult and child adjustment, temperament and personality and other related measures. DNA has also been collected or will be collected for these samples.
Associate Professor of Human Development
Gene Environment Research Initiative Co-Director
Dr. Cleveland’s research focuses on the intersection of genetic and environmental influences. He is particularly interested in the contextual moderation of both genetic and shared environmental influences on adolescent risk behaviors. A related interest is using genetically informative designs to examine causal hypotheses and putative mechanisms regarding the links between adolescent experiences and later outcomes, both positive and negative. Before coming to Penn State, Dr. Cleveland published a series of studies that suggest evocative and active G-E correlations involving received parenting and exposure to peer substance use. He has extended this line of research at Penn State by leading the efforts (with David Vandenbergh and Mark Feinberg) to add candidate genes to the PROSPER study (developed by Mark Greenberg). Adding candidate genes (e.g., DRD4, DAT1) to the quasi-experimental design of PROSPER creates a novel opportunity to examine gene-environment transactions involving family and peer contexts from early adolescence to young adulthood.
Additional CSC Advisory Board Members
Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research
Professor, Human Development and Psychology
Founding Director, Prevention Research Center
At Penn State Dr. Greenberg is Director of The Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development (http://www.prevention.psu.edu ). The Prevention Center aims to promote the well-being of children and youth and to reduce the prevalence of high risk behaviors and poor outcomes for children, families and communities. The center has four primary goals; (1) conduct collaborative research to examine the effectiveness of innovative models of preventive intervention. (2) provide training on topics related to prevention research, (3) provide assistance to Pennsylvania communities on the development, implementation, and evaluation of prevention programs, and (4) provide policy-relevant information on best practices to federal, state and local governments.
Distinguished Professor, Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies
Director of the Center for Language Science
Dr. Kroll and her students conduct research on the acquisition, comprehension, and production of two languages during second language learning and in proficient bilingual performance. Their work, using behavioral and neurocognitive methods, is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She is the PI on a recently awarded PIRE (Partnerships for International Research and Education) grant from NSF to develop an international research network and program of training to enable Penn State students at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral) and early career faculty to pursue research abroad on the science of bilingualism (http://www.cls.psu.edu/pire). She was one of the founding organizers of Women in Cognitive Science, a group developed to promote the advancement of women in the cognitive sciences and supported by the National Science Foundation (http://www.albany.edu/~lf503/wics/).
Associate Professor, Psychology
Dr. Kristin Buss is interested in emotional development and temperamental variation from birth through early childhood. Her work spans multiple areas of research within social development, psychobiology, and neuroscience. Her current work is focused on the development of risk for adjustment problems, such as anxiety symptoms in toddlers with fearful temperaments. This work has demonstrated significant effects for types of situations where children show fear as well as their physiological stress reactivity. Kristin is also the Co-Director of the Harrisburg Center for Healthy Child Development. In her work in Harrisburg, Kristin is on the Advisory Board of Parents and Children Together (PACT), a community-university partnership to encourage communication and trust between university researchers and Harrisburg community members. Kristin is also the PI on a community-based participatory research pilot examining factors that influence children’s anxiety in a high risk underserved community such as Harrisburg.