This proposal is a revision of a renewal application for stipends, tuition, and additional support for a pre-doctoral Training Program in Social Development at the University of Maryland. The program will focus on multi-level training in social development, including socio-affective, social-cognitive, social neuroscientific, social-relational, and social-cultural processes, and will include normal and clinical populations. We propose to train a total of 12 trainees over the five year period of the grant, using funds from NIH and matching funds from the University of Maryland. The training program will provide scientific knowledge and research experience in the area of social development that prepares pre-doctoral trainees for positions as faculty members in institutions of higher education and investigators in dedicated research institutions. The program involves 9 core faculty and 14 affiliated faculty. Core faculty members are from the Developmental Science specialization within the Department of Human Development. Affiliated faculty members include scholars in the departments of Human Development, Statistics, and Psychology at the University of Maryland as well as from off-campus institutions (e.g., Georgetown University, George Mason University, NICHD, NIMH). Pre-doctoral trainees are enrolled in the doctoral program in the Department of Human Development. Trainees conduct research and gain knowledge of social development through course work, statistical and methodological work, research apprenticeships, and exposure to cutting edge research and scholar/scientists from a variety of fields in a weekly Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture seminar series. The relevance of this research for public health regarding children's social development is multi-fold. Trainees will be trained to conduct research and teach courses in higher education on the etiology and developmental course of adaptive and maladaptive social behavior in a variety of areas. Research topics include factors associated with both risk and protective factors for healthy social development such as the development of social, emotional, and motivational competence;the development of strong, healthy interpersonal relationships;experiences with bullying, aggression, social withdrawal, victimization, and social rejection;the role of moral judgments and prejudice in exclusion;and the roles of parent-child and teacher-child relationships in developmental outcomes. Thus, the program is strongly related to public health in that the courses, the research, the expertise developed as a function of completing the program, and the topics covered in the training bear on fostering, faciliating, and maintaining the healthy development of individuals.

Public Health Relevance

The Training Program in Social Development is strongly related to public health in that the courses, the research, and the expertise trainees receive in the program focus on understanding, fostering, faciliating, and maintaining the healthy social development of children, adolescents, and adults. Trainees who complete the program will be prepared to conduct the next generation of research on social development, which will contribute further to our understanding of the impact of social develpoment on public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Esposito, Layla E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Maryland College Park
Other Health Professions
Schools of Education
College Park
United States
Zip Code
Righi, Giulia; Westerlund, Alissa; Congdon, Eliza L et al. (2014) Infants' experience-dependent processing of male and female faces: insights from eye tracking and event-related potentials. Dev Cogn Neurosci 8:144-52
Heverly-Fitt, Sara; Wimsatt, Maureen A; Menzer, Melissa M et al. (2014) Friendship quality and psychosocial outcomes among children with traumatic brain injury. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 20:684-93
Barker, Tyson V; Reeb-Sutherland, Bethany C; Fox, Nathan A (2014) Individual differences in fear potentiated startle in behaviorally inhibited children. Dev Psychobiol 56:133-41