Developmental Science Concentration

three boys playing a game on an iPadThe developmental science PhD concentration is for students who are interested in aspects of social, cognitive, and/or language development and the cultural and family context in which that development takes place.

This concentration prepares students for careers in research, teaching, and applied developmental work. It is for students who are interested in typical development or atypical development, and who are interested in either basic research or applied research.

Successful applicants have strong academic skills, a background in psychology or human development, and a keen interest in research. Each student in the concentration works closely with one of the core faculty involved in this concentration.

For more details, see the developmental science curriculum.

Coordinator: Dr. Andrea Glenn

Dual Concentration Option

Students have the option to complete a dual concentration in developmental science and cognitive psychology or developmental science and social psychology. Students who choose this option complete all requirements for both concentrations.

First-Year Project

Students complete a first-year project in which they conduct a research project designed by their primary research mentor. Students present their research in a mini-conference at the end of the year.

Developmental Proseminar

Developmental proseminar is a weekly research presentation meeting for all faculty and students involved in the developmental concentration.

Areas of Research

To develop a specific area of expertise within the developmental concentration, students work with a specific core faculty mentor and will complete their first-year project, thesis, and dissertation in their area of research. Students are also encouraged to work with their mentors to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations. Some key areas of research at The University of Alabama are

  • Adolescent relationships
  • Adolescent socio-emotional competence
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Attention
  • Brain development
  • Civic engagement
  • Cognitive aging
  • Conceptual development
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Down syndrome
  • Early childhood development
  • Ecological systems
  • Emotion processing
  • Emotion regulation
  • Executive functions
  • Family system dynamics
  • Fantasy/reality
  • Friendships
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Intervention
  • Imagination
  • Memory
  • Peer relations
  • Positive well-being
  • Pretend play
  • Psychopathic traits
  • Reading
  • School readiness
  • Self esteem
  • Social attention
  • Social cognition
  • Social motivation and exclusion
  • Wayfinding
  • Youth aggression