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Program for the Study of Infancy

Department of Psychology


Child at the BeachWe have lots of exciting projects going on right now! Here are some of the highlights...

Temperament and Language Development

We just completed a study looking at language development and temperament in children across two specific age points, 15 and 21 months old. Prior to that we completed a study looking at language development, temperament, and joint attention in twenty-one month old toddlers. Specifically, we are interested in the ways that temperament might influence the way children learn words. For example, do toddlers with different temperaments learn words for new objects differently when they are distracted by something in their environment (such as an exciting television show)?

Prenatal Stress and Temperament

Stress is part of everyone's life, but we are especially interested in stress that occurs during pregnancy. One relationship we are investigating is how stressful pregnancies might influence temperament and behavior, and even whether a baby is carried to term or is born prematurely. During some of our studies we collect saliva from children an analyze cortisol levels, a hormone that is indicative of stressl. In addition, we are looking at characteristics of pregnant women that might buffer the effects of stress with hopes of eventually developing interventions that will reduce the chances of preterm birth.

Longitudinal Study at the Child Study Center

We have also been collecting data at the Child Study Center here at ETSU as part of an in-depth longitudinal study. We are currently following infants through preschool, looking at aspects of development including temperament, language, nonverbal communication and joint attention, social development, and attachment.

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