Early Childhood Research Group

The Early Childhood Research Group is a faculty working-group with mutual interest in early childhood education and care, both in home and in school settings. Faculty from a variety of research areas (Political Science, Psychology, Education, and Kinesiology) meet regularly with the goal of supporting each others’ research and developing collaborations. 

 

Want to get involved?
Email: crf@psych.umass.edu

Associate Professor, Kinesiology
Early Childhood Research
Research:

Sofiya's current research interest is in using physical activity in the prevention of pediatric obesity. In particular, the utilization of community family-based physical activity interventions to reduce early onset cardiovascular disease risk factors (obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus) in ethnic-minority children.

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Associate Professor, Political Science & Public Policy
Family Research Scholar 2006-07
Steering Committee
Early Childhood Group
Research:

Brenda Bushouse's  research interests include early childhood policy, nonprofit governance, and policymaking processes.

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Assistant Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Early Childhood Research
Research:

Dr. Cheries runs the Infant Cognition Laboratory at UMass, which conducts studies to examine what our concepts are like in the first year of life, prior to the influence of language, culture, and formal education. His research currently concentrates on 3 main aspects of early knowledge:

1. infant's understanding of objects (e.g., Do infants have simple intuitions about how objects behave and interact? And how might these cognitive 'rules' support the ability to identify and track objects over time?)

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Associate Professor, School of Education
Chair, Department of Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies
Steering Committee
Early Childhood Group
Research:
Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Family Research Scholar 2005-06 & 2013-14
Steering Committee
Early Childhood Group
Research:
Lisa Harvey's research interests are in the early development of ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, and emotion regulation in preschool children. Specific areas of interest include executive function, emotion regulation, parenting, parent psychopathology, fathers, gender, and culture.
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Assistant Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences (Developmental Division)
Neuroscience and Behavior Program
Family Research Scholar 2011-12
Stress Research Group
Early Childhood Group
Research:

Jennifer McDermott’s research explores the role of early experience in relation to children’s cognitive and affective development. Her past work reveals that early adversity impairs physiological and behavioral indices

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Assistant Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Family Research Scholar 2010-11
Early Childhood Group
Research:

Rebecca Spencer is interested in the influences of sleep on cognitive function and development. Her most recent work suggests that the benefits of sleep on learning diminish with age that is unrelated to reduced total hours of sleep, and preliminary evidence suggests a possible connection with levels of fragmentation in the REM sleep stage. As a Family Scholar, Spencer worked on several grant proposals to address the question of

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Assistant Professor, Education
Family Research Scholar 2011-12
Early Childhood Group
Research:

Sara Whitcomb's research interests include implementation of mental health promotion and positive behavior support efforts in schools, and behavioral and instructional consultation.  During her CRF Scholar year, Dr.

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Assistant Professor, Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies
Early Childhood Research Group
Research:

SeonYeong Yu's educational background and research focus on early childhood special education with a particular interest in social emotional competence, challenging behavior, social interaction and peer relationships. Her recent research studies are concentrated on young children's understanding and acceptance of peers with disabilities, ultimately to facilitate positive peer relationships and friendships between children with and without disabilities in inclusive classroom settings.

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