Susanne A Denham

Susanne A Denham

Susanne A Denham

University Professor

Emeritus

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.

Current Research

Research interests include basic processes of young children's social-emotional development, as well as primary and secondary prevention of deviations from normal social-emotional development. Recently, her research has focused on development of forgiveness in children, measurement and assessment of social emotional skills, and teachers as socializers of children’s emotions.

Selected Publications

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., & Miller, S. (2017). Early childhood teachers' socialization of emotion: Contextual and individual contributors. Child and Youth Care Forum. Online, https://doi-org.mutex.gmu.edu/10.1007/s10566-017-9409-y

Bassett, H. H., Denham, S. A., Fettig, N. B., Curby, T. W., Mohtasham, M., & Austin, N. (2017). Temperament in the classroom: Children low in surgency are more sensitive to teachers’ reactions to emotions. International Journal of Behavioral Development41, 4-14. DOI: 10.1177/0165025416644077

Campbell, S.B., Denham, S.A., Howarth, G.Z., Jones, S.M., Whittaker, J.V., Williford, A.P., Willoughby, M.T., & Yudron, M. (2016). Commentary on the review of measures of early childhood social and emotional development: Conceptualization, critique, and recommendations. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Online first version. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2016.01.008

Denham, S. A., Ferrier, D.E., Howarth, G.Z., Herndon, K. J., & Bassett, H. H. (2016). Key considerations in assessing young children’s emotional competence. Cambridge Journal of Education. Online first, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2016.1146659

von Salisch, M., & Denham, S. A., & Koch, T.  (2016). Emotion knowledge and attention problems in young children: A cross-lagged panel study on the direction of effects. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45 45-56. . doi:10.1007/s10802-016-0157-5

Zinsser, K. M., Denham, S.A., Curby, T.W., & Chazan-Cohen, R. (2016). Early childhood directors as socializers of emotional climate. Learning Environments Research International. Advance online publication, 19, 267-290.DOI 10.1007/s10984-016-9208-7

Denham, S. A. (2015).  Assessment of social-emotional learning in educational contexts.  In The handbook of social and emotional learning, J. Durlak, R. W. Weissberg, and T. P. Gullotta (Eds.). New York: Guilford Press.

Expanded Publication List

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., & Miller, S. (2017). Early childhood teachers' socialization of emotion: Contextual and individual contributors. Child and Youth Care Forum. Online, https://doi-org.mutex.gmu.edu/10.1007/s10566-017-9409-y

Bassett, H. H., Denham, S. A., Fettig, N. B., Curby, T. W., Mohtasham, M., & Austin, N. (2017). Temperament in the classroom: Children low in surgency are more sensitive to teachers’ reactions to emotions. International Journal of Behavioral Development41, 4-14. DOI: 10.1177/0165025416644077

Campbell, S.B., Denham, S.A., Howarth, G.Z., Jones, S.M., Whittaker, J.V., Williford, A.P., Willoughby, M.T., & Yudron, M. (2016). Commentary on the review of measures of early childhood social and emotional development: Conceptualization, critique, and recommendations. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Online first version. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2016.01.008

Denham, S. A., Ferrier, D.E., Howarth, G.Z., Herndon, K. J., & Bassett, H. H. (2016). Key considerations in assessing young children’s emotional competence. Cambridge Journal of Education. Online first, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2016.1146659

von Salisch, M., & Denham, S. A., & Koch, T.  (2016). Emotion knowledge and attention problems in young children: A cross-lagged panel study on the direction of effects. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45 45-56. . doi:10.1007/s10802-016-0157-5

Zinsser, K. M., Denham, S.A., Curby, T.W., & Chazan-Cohen, R. (2016). Early childhood directors as socializers of emotional climate. Learning Environments Research International. Advance online publication, 19, 267-290.DOI 10.1007/s10984-016-9208-7

Curby, T. W., Brown, C. A., Bassett, H. H., & Denham, S. A. (2015). Associations between preschoolers' social-emotional competence and preliteracy skills. Infant and Child Development, 24, 549-570. doi:10.1002/icd.1899

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., Sirotkin, Y. S., Brown, C. A., & Morris, C.A.S. (2015). “No-o-o-o peeking”: Preschoolers’ executive control, social competence, and classroom adjustment. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 29, 212-215.

Denham, S. A., & Zinsser, K. M. (2015).  Social and emotional learning in early childhood.  In T. P. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of prevention and health promotion. (2nd edition. Pp. 926-935). New York: Springer.

Sette, S., Bassett, H. H., Baumgardner, E., & Denham, S. A.  (2015). Structure and validity of affect knowledge test in a sample of Italian preschoolers. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 176, 330-347. 10.1080/00221325.2015.1075466

von Salisch, M., Hänel, M., & Denham, S. A. (2015). Self-regulation, language skills, and emotion knowledge in young children from Northern Germany. Early Education and Development, 26, DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2015.994465

Zinsser, K., Denham, S.A., Curby, T. W., & Shewark, E. (2015). "Practice what you preach": Teachers' perceptions of emotional competence and emotionally supportive classroom practices. Early Education and Development, 26, 899-919.  DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2015.1009320

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., Way, E., Kalb, S. C., Warren-Khot, H. K., & Zinsser, K.  (2014). How would you feel? What would you do?” Development and underpinnings of preschoolers’ social information processing. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 28, 182-202.

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., & Wyatt, T. (2014). The socialization of emotional competence. In J. Grusec & P. Hastings (Eds.), The handbook of socialization (2nd edition, pp. 590-613). New York: Guilford Press.

Denham S.A., Bassett H. H., Zinsser K., & Wyatt T. M. (2014).  How preschoolers’ social-emotional learning (SEL) predicts their early school success: Developing theory-promoting, competency-based assessments. Infant and Child Development. DOI: 10.1002/icd.1840

Ferrier, D. E., Bassett, H. H., & Denham, S. A. (2014). Relations between executive function and emotionality in preschoolers: Exploring a transitive cognition-emotion linkage. Frontiers in Psychology, online publication, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00487

Roberts, W. L., Strayer, J., & Denham, S. A.  (2014). Empathy, anger, guilt: Emotions and prosocial behaviour. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 46, 465-474.

Zinsser, K., Shewark, E., Denham, S. A., & Curby, T. W.  (2014). A mixed-method examination of preschool teacher beliefs about social emotional learning and relations to observed emotional support. Infant and Child Development. Online publication DOI: 10.1002/icd.1843

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.

Grants and Fellowships

NICHD/ACF “Social-Emotional Assessment for School Readiness”.

Bill Melinda Gates, Kirlin, Rauner Foundations, “Assessments for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning with Preschool and Elementary-School Children”. 

Institute for Education Sciences: Early Childhood Teachers as Socializers of Young Children's Emotional Competence

NICHD:  Computerized Social-Emotional Assessment Battery for School Readiness

Courses Taught

Prior to Emerita Status:

PSYC 669 Social Emotional Development;

PSYC 654 Naturalistic Observation

Education

1981-1985 Doctoral studies, applied developmental psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County. Ph.D. awarded June 1985.                         

1975-1976 Graduate courses in special education, Western Maryland College, Westminster MD.

1972-1974  The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Psychology, Baltimore MD:  M.A. in psychology received May 1974.

1968-1972  Western Maryland College, Westminster MD:  B.A. received August 1972, Summa Cum Laude, Departmental Honors.

Recent Presentations

Denham, S. A. (2017, October). Early childhood teachers as socializers of young children’s emotional competence. Invited presentation, ICAPES conference, Iasi, Romania.

 Denham, S. A. (2017, September). Early childhood teachers as socializers of young children’s emotional competence. Invited presentation, World Education Day, Dalian, China.

Denham, S. A. (2016, July). The foundations of life-long emotional competence. In Symposium, The development of emotional competence: A symposium honoring Carolyn Saarni, P. M. Cole, Chair, at The 24th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, Vilnius, Lithuania.

 

Denham, S. A. (2016, July). Discussant in Symposium, Development of self-regulation of emotional and cognitive processes, M. Holodynski & S. Pauen, Chairs, at The 24th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Denham, S. A. (2016, July). Discussant in Symposium, Emotion knowledge, emotion (dys)regulation, and their consequences in non-typically and typically developing youngsters, M. von Salisch, Chair, at The 24th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, Vilnius, Lithuania.

In the Media

Has been interviewed several times by Parents Magazine for articles on young children’s emotional development and parenting, and appeared on the Diane Rehm Show.

Dissertations Supervised

Kristina Herndon Liverette, Do Teachers Observe the Same Social-Emotional Exchanges in the Classroom as Researchers? (2016)

Samantha Plourde Karalus, Creating a Structural Measurement Model of Socialization of Social-Emotional Competence: The Contribution of CLASS and FOCAL-T (2016)

David Eric Ferrier, The Contribution of Cognitive Self-Regulation to Social Competence: A Latent Change Score Analysis (2016)

Naomi Watanabe, Parental Socialization of Emotion in Japan: Contribution to Preschoolers' Emotion Knowledge (2015)

Nicole B. Fettig, Temperament and Emotion Regulation: Predicting Social Competence, Internalizing, and Externalizing Behavioral Outcomes (2015)

Grace Howarth, Temperament and Reactions to Frustration in Preschool Classrooms: An Exploration of the Moderating Effects of Emotion Knowledge (2014)

Craig Bailey, The Socialization of Emotion Regulation in Preschool Classrooms (2014)

Todd M. Wyatt, Self-regulation in Preschool Children: Hot and Cool Executive Control as Predictors of Later Classroom Learning Behaviors (2013)

Katherine M. Zinsser, Early Childhood Education Directors’ Impact on Social-Emotional Teaching and Learning (2013)

Sara Kalb, Early Social-Emotional Competence: Preschool and Kindergarten Predictors (2012)

Claire Elizabeth Cole, Attention Biases to Threat Link Components of Temperament to Social Withdrawal in Very Young Children (2011)