RECENT RESEARCH BY DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY FACULTY
Adolescent Time Perspective and Perceived Discrimination among Diverse Groups
Dr. Zena Mello and her colleagues published two measures that assess time perspective in adolescents. These instruments enable researchers to examine adolescents’ thoughts and feelings about the past, the present, and the future. They have already been translated and used in Germany, Italy, and Nigeria. In a separate area, she has examined perceived discrimination. She showed how females and ethnic minority adolescents anticipate sexism and racism in their future schooling and work, and how this relates to their academic achievement.
Intervention programs that reduce conflict among divorced parents
Dr. Jeffrey Cookston recently published an article in Family Court Review providing evidence that after participation in a divorcing parent education curriculum parents reported less conflict, anxiety, and depression. These results are important as they represent only the second time that a psychoeducational intervention program reduced conflict between parents after divorce. Incidentally, Dr. Cookston was also the lead author on that paper published in Family Processes in 2007. The Family Court Review article was discussed on the Huffington Post.
Exercise and executive functioning linked among obese children
Dr. Patricia Miller and her colleagues recently published an article reporting that their exercise intervention improved executive functioning (cognitive control) in obese children aged 7-11. Other outcomes were improved math achievement scores and altered brain activity. Importantly, the random clinical trials design included a no-exercise control group that did not improve. Other current research by Dr. Miller examines executive functioning more generally, including the role of gesturing in its development.
Cross-cultural patterns in mathematic and verbal skill acquisition among young children
Dr. Jae Paik has recently led and collaborated with her international colleagues from Netherlands, Peru, and Taiwan examining cross-cultural differences in the math abilities of preschoolers. In another line of research, Dr. Paik examined the effects of contexts and comparison processes on U.S. and Korean 2- and 3-year-olds' verb acquisition.