Processes in Social and Affective Development
The Program in Processes in Social and Affective Development supports research and research training relevant to normative social, affective, and personality development in children from the newborn period through adolescence. Within this context, investigations of sociocultural, familial, individual, and biological influences on social and affect development are also of interest.
Social Development. Interest areas include interpersonal processes, forming and maintaining relationships (including parent–child, caregiver, peer, friend, and sibling), attachment models, and moral development. Also encouraged are studies of social competence, social withdrawal, social role formation and maintenance, and prosocial behavior. The Program encourages translational research to understand the uses of media and empirical research that addresses the psychological, social, cognitive, and behavioral effects of media.
Affective Development. The Program supports basic and translational research on the processes and mechanisms involved in the experience, expression, and regulation of emotion. Such research can shed light on whether child-by-environment models are effective guides for investigating processes that promote psychosocial adjustment. Studies of personality, temperament, and motivation and the relations among these domains are of interest, as are self-processes (self-esteem, self-evaluation, self-concept, self-control, self-efficacy, and social identity).
The program also supports both basic and applied research on the interaction between humans and animals, and the impact of HAI in three major areas:
- Foundational studies of the interaction itself and its impact on typical development and health;
- Applied studies (to include but not limited to clinical trials of the therapeutic use of animals); and
- Population-level studies of the impact of animals on public health, social capital, and the cost-effectiveness of using pets/animals in reducing/preventing disease and disorders.
Program Director: Layla Esposito