Applied Developmental Psychology: Social and emotional development of children
Dr. Susanne Denham is an applied developmental psychologist with particular expertise in the social and emotional development of children.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Western Maryland College, Dr. Denham went on to receive her MA from the Johns Hopkins University and her doctorate from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Prior to coming to George Mason University in 1985, Dr. Denham was an instructor at the University of Maryland, College Park and has been a Guest Scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health Developmental Psychology Laboratory. Apart from using her experience as a mother, which helped motivate her to initiate and explore her research on emotion and development in children, Dr. Denham has also used her 11 years of hands-on experience as a school psychologist to aid in her research
She has been funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (in partnership with Head Start and the Administration for Children and Families), the W.T. Grant Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She has served on numerous editorial boards, and is past co-editor of the journal Social Development, as well as current editor of Early Education and Development.
Her teaching and research interests include basic processes of social-emotional development, social cognition, and social competence, particularly in young children, as well as developmental psychopathology (i.e., primary and secondary prevention of deviations from normal social-emotional development). Recently, her research has focused on the development of forgiveness in children, the measurement and assessment of social emotional skills, and the role of teachers in the socialization of a child’s emotions.
Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., Kalb, S. C., Mincic, M., Segal, Y., & Zinsser, K. (in press). Observing preschoolers’ social-emotional behavior: Structure, foundations, and prediction of early school success. Journal of Genetic Psychology.
Denham, S. A. Bassett, H. H., Mincic, M.M., Kalb, S. C., Way, E., Wyatt, T., & Segal, Y. (in press). Social-emotional learning profiles of preschoolers' early school success: A person-centered approach. Learning and Individual Differences. Special issue on Emotions in the Classroom.
Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., Way, E., Mincic, M., Zinsser, K., & Graling, K. (in press). Preschoolers’ emotion knowledge: Self-regulatory foundations, and predictions of early school success. Cognition and Emotion.
Denham, S. A., & Brown, C. A., & Domitrovich, C. E. (2010). “Plays nice with others”: Social-emotional learning and academic success. In special issue, H. Teglasi (Ed.), Overlaps between socio-emotional and academic development, Early Education and Development, 21, 652-680.
Root, A. K., & Denham, S. A. (2010). The role of parent and child gender in the socialization of emotional competence. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Denham, S. A., Wyatt, T., Bassett, H. H., Echeverria, D., & Knox, S. (2009). Assessing social-emotional development in children from a longitudinal perspective. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63, 37-52.
Denham, S. A. (2006). Social-emotional competence as support for school readiness: What is it and how do we assess it? Early Education and Development, Special Issue: Measurement of School Readiness, 17, 57-89.
Denham, S. A., Blair, K. A., DeMulder, E., Levitas, J., Sawyer, K. S., Auerbach-Major, S. T., & Queenan, P. (2003). Preschoolers’ emotional competence: Pathway to mental health? Child Development, 74, 238-256.
Denham, S. A., Zoller, D. & Couchoud, E. A. (1994). Socialization of preschoolers' emotion understanding. Developmental Psychology, 30, 928-936.
PSYC 669 Social Emotional Development;
PSYC 654 Naturalistic Observation
Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., Kalb, S. C., Way, E., & Perna, A. (2010, June). Focusing on getting along with others: Self-regulation and social problem-solving. In Symposium, "Self-Regulation and Social Success: Understanding and Promoting It", David Schultz, Chair, at the 10th Annual Head Start National Research Conference, Washington, D.C
Denham, S. A. (2009, October). Emotionally competent, self-regulated preschoolers and getting ready for school: What matters and in what context? Invited address Psychology and Education Departments, Virginia Tech.
Denham, S. A. (2009, July). Dealing with feelings: Foundations and consequences of young children’s emotional competence. Invited address given at Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal.
Denham, S. A. (2008, October). Assessing and promoting emotional competence in preschoolers. Keynote Speech, Observing and Assessing the Preschool Learner, Conference held at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.
In the Media
Has been interviewed several times in the past 3 years by Parents Magazine for articles on young children’s emotional development and parenting.