Meet the Director




Cindy, showing an interest in child

development at a young age!

Cynthia Stifter, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Development and Psychology

308 HHD-East Building

Ph.D., 1987, Human Development, University of Maryland


Research Interests: Socio-emotional development in early childhood, specifically how temperament, its physiological bases, and the parenting environment each and together contributes to the development of mental and physical health. Current projects (see our Current and Past Projects page) include a study on childhood obesity and a study on how children’s positive affect influences other areas of development including emotion regulation and curiosity.

Teaching Interests: Infant and child development; socio-emotional development; temperament; the development of regulatory processes


Cynthia (Cindy) Stifter is Professor of Human Development and Psychology. She earned her PhD in Human Development from the University of Maryland. She also has a MSW degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning in Baltimore. Dr. Stifter has served on several federal panels and editorial boards. Most recently she served as Associate Editor of the journal of Child Development. When Dr. Stifter is not busy doing research with children you can usually catch her outdoors, running, biking, kayaking or hiking.

Faculty Webpage