Life Span Development

Preschools Reduce Early Academic Achievement Gaps

Despite documented associations between social class and school quality, children from impoverished backgrounds still stand to benefit from preschool education. In fact, studies have shown that children from low-income homes may obtain greater gains from preschool during the year before kindergarten than do higher income children. Tucker-Drob (2012) sought to determine whether differences between children [...]

Should the Science of Adolescent Brain Development Inform Public Policy?

The line between adolescence and adulthood varies greatly in U.S. legal and social policy, with little consistency in determinations about the age at which one may purchase alcohol or cigarettes, drive, make medical decisions, join the military, vote, or be tried for a crime as an adult. Although there is strong consensus among neuroscientists that [...]

Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents

Legal and policy debates concerning adoption, foster care, and custody by lesbian and gay parents have focused on three primary areas of concern about child development. These include the development of gender identity (the individual’s sense of being female or male), the development of gender roles (behavior that conforms to norms about how women and [...]

Cultural Socialization in Transracial Adoption

Growing numbers of adoptions have been transracial and international. In previous research on transracial adoption, the use of cultural socialization practices was found to be positively correlated with children’s adjustment, sense of belongingness with parents, self-esteem, racial/ethnic identity development, and ability to cope with discrimination.  These practices may range from those that involve little contact [...]

Why Low-Income Children Miss Opportunities to Participate in Activities Outside of School

Children in low-income families may have few opportunities to participate in activities that provide the developmental enrichment central to children’s social, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Previous research identified numerous benefits of participation in these activities (such as sports, music lessons, and community clubs), including higher levels of academic achievement and lower levels of substance abuse.  [...]

Do Babies Learn from Baby Media?

In America alone, parents of infants spend hundreds of millions of dollars on baby media with the expectation that it will increase the vocabulary of their young children. The question of whether babies actually learn from these DVDs and videos is of interest to many psychologists. DeLoache, Chiong, Sherman, Islam, Vanderborght, Troseth, Strouse, and O’Doherty [...]