Welcome to the Applied Developmental Psychology Website!

GMU offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Developmental Psychology. The program focuses on development during childhood and provides basic knowledge about typical and atypical development, skills for assessing developmental level and conducting research, and techniques for planning and evaluating programs that foster optimal development. Opportunities exist for mentored research, comprehensive training in advanced statistical analysis, practica at local sites, training and experience in teaching, and applied work under faculty supervision at community sites.

ADP searching for new faculty member!

The ADP program is searching for a Tenure-Line Assistant Professor in Applied Developmental Psychology to start Fall 2017! Please see here for the full position description and instructions on how to apply! Review of applications begin October 1, 2016. The ADP programs hopes to have 1-2 more replacement faculty search, pending approval over the next 2 years.

Dr. Susanne Denham is Retiring!

University Professor Dr. Susanne Denham is retiring at the end of the academic year afer 32 years of faithful service to Mason and the community. Dr. Denham received her PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland - Baltimore County. She has excelled as a researcher and is a world-renowned scholar in children's social-emotional competence. Early on, she developed a task that could measure children's emotion knowledge that is used today internationally. The task, The Puppet Task - or more formally the Affect Knowledge Test - used puppets to depict scenarios and asked questions about emotions the person would feel. More recently, Dr. Denham had a grant from the Dept. of Education Institute of Education Sciences to explore the ways in which preschool teachers socialize children's emotions. She is still publishing findings from this exciting project. Throughout all her work, not only was there a deep passion for the science, but also a desire to have the knowledge be used by parents and teachers to make the world a more caring place that promotes children's emotional competence. Dr. Denham not only excelled as a researcher, but she was a great colleague, mentor, and leader. She served for many years as the Applied Developmental Psychology program director, which saw tremendous growth in national prominence under her leadership. She also served as a faculty member in the School Psychology program, as chair of the college faculty, and on innumerable editorial boards, faculty renewal/tenure committees, and conference/organization planning committees. She will be moving to Richmond, VA, with her husband, Roger, to enjoy the many active and cultural amenities that the area affords. She will, however, stay abreast of research developments and continue to be the Editor of Early Education & Development. She will be dearly missed by her program, department, and university. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Dr. Curby Receives new Grant!

In a collaboration between ADP graduate, Kate Zinsser ('13), and Dr. Curby, the Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences has funded a study to develop an observational measure of teachers' social-emotional teaching. Surprisingly little is known about specific strategies teachers use to support children’s social and emotional development. Students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) is certainly valued, especially in early childhood. Indeed, with its focus on the whole child and origins apart from formal school systems, the field of early childhood has long recognized that children’s social-emotional skills feature prominently in their ability to function in preschool environments. Yet, scant research has documented how and why what teachers do in the classroom does or doesn’t support children’s social and emotional learning. This four-year iterative measurement development and validation project will ultimately results in a psychometrically rigorous observational assessment of teacher practices that support children emerging emotional competence which can be used in research, intervention evaluation, and teacher professional development.

ADP Program Newsletter

Click here to download (PDF) the latest ADP Program newsletter.

Fall 2016 ADP Colloquia Series

All colloquia are located in Innovation Hall 131 @ 12:00pm on Wednesdays unless otherwise noted.

All members of the GMU community are welcome to attend.

Date Presenter Source Title
Sept 7 Dr. Constance Lindsay American University Teacher-Student Race Match and Student Disciplinary Outcomes in North Carolina
Sept 14 Melissa Stiksma, David Disabato, & Dr. June Tangney

GMU Psych Dept-wide Brown Bag

JC Meeting Room D

An introduction to latent class and profile analysis in Mplus
Sept 21 Kamonya Omatete Program Manager, Fairfax County What you need to know about foster care and the child welfare system
Sept 28 Dr. Amy Coren Northern VA Community College Life as Faculty at a Community College: Opportunities at NVCC
Oct 5 Dr. William Gormley Georgetown University Critical Thinking and K-12 Education
Oct 12 Dr. Steve Forssell George Washington University Research on children raised in same-sex parented households and LGBTQ youth mental health: Where do we stand now?
Oct 19 Charlotte Strauss Career Services, GMU Career Services Resources for Graduate Students at GMU
Oct 26 Dr. Robyn Mehlenbeck GMU Center for Psychological Services Parents helping their teen lose weight, and the GMU Psych clinic – resources and opportunities
Nov 2 Dr. Amy Rathbun American Institutes for Research (AIR) Applied Research Opportunities at AIR
Nov 9   Dr. Andy Feldman Brookings Institute How to make government more effective through evidence-based research
Nov 16 ADP Student presentations    
Nov 30 Dr. Rodney Hopson GMU, CEHD Addressing Wicked Problems in Social Science Research, Policy, Evaluation and Practice
Dec 7 Dr. Ellen Rowe GMU Psychology Implementing a mindfulness program in a high school; Lessons learned