A variety of core concerns underlie child development research conducted in human development and family studies. Much of the research is motivated by questions about individual differences in children’s health and psychological development, as well as the origins and consequences of such variation. Another core issue is the way children change over time and the degree to which earlier developmental patterns and experiences can predict future growth and development.
Because the department has a multidisciplinary orientation, faculty are interested not only in biological and experiential causes and consequences, but also in working at multiple levels of analysis. Researchers take into account biology, genetics, psychophysiology, and health, as well as sociocultural factors, environment, and moment-to-moment interactions in the family and beyond.