Social (and Emotional) Development (PSY624-P)

Fall 2015, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00-12:15, Flipse 302


Instructor:                                Daniel Messinger, Ph.D. (Homepage)

Office Hours:                           Tuesday 12:30pm-3:30pm, or by appointment

Office:                                      FLP 308


Phone:                                     (305) 284-8443


Objective: The goal of the course is to review contemporary theory, research, and methods relevant to understanding social and emotional development, particularly during childhood.  The course focuses on both normative and atypical development; an understanding of one enriches an understanding of the other. Individual differences, sociocultural diversity, and a historical perspective on the study of all these themes, will be emphasized throughout.


Readings: Each week, several readings will be assigned that are representative of current work in the field. These papers will be available linked to this syllabus. Empirical and review articles from the literature are available on-line (click the indicated reading; they are in Acrobat which can be downloaded here). If a reading assignment is marked as "Extra," it is suggested but not required.


Honor code. All assignments are governed by the Honor code: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received any aid on this exam/paper, etc.” Please review the graduate honor code here.


Class Sessions. I will provide overview and basic background material to inform our discussion. Some of this material will be in the form of PowerPoint slides that I will review in class and post on-line (I will also include links to some interesting supplementary web-sites). Illustrative videos and in-class activities will help us get a real-flavor for some of the topics (i.e. coding security of attachment). Please have access to the readings (hard copy or electronic) during class sessions.


Preparing readings for class discussion. Review the reading as a starting point for leading a class discussion. Summarize the central point and the main points (main points!) of the article; then tell us what the most interesting issues for discussion emerge from the article. Limit your presentations to 5 minutes. End with a couple of questions about the meaning of this article and its message in terms of other readings, larger issues, your own work, etc. Please write-up your notes that summarize the reading and suggest discussion points in 2-3 PowerPoint slides. These should be emailed to the class the evening before class and brought to class with handouts for all. Download the PowerPoint slides that I have prepared for the class and indicate how your material can be integrated. The goal is to encourage class participation and discussion.


Discussion Facilitation: Students will be responsible for facilitating discussion during class approximately several times over the course of the semester. To do so, you will be responsible for presenting the article and coordinating class discussion. Please familiarize yourself with the class’ online slides as you will use them to present your article. Most lectures will be available from the links below. As needed, please edit the slides and create new slides. If you create a new slide, please consider putting your last name in the footer section of the slide. Slides will be due by email 12 hours before class. Your presentations should cover integrative themes across the readings (particularly for that day), the pros and cons of different research methods for addressing the topic, and ideas regarding potential future directions/applications of the findings. The discussion sessions you are responsible for will be worth 20% of your final grade and will be based on the thoughtfulness and quality of your presentations and ensuing discussion.


Exams: Students will complete a take-home midterm


Final project.

The final project should concern typical or atypical social/emotional development. You should find a project that interests you and will help you professionally (consult with your advisor). Alternatives for a final project:

1) A publication quality research project such as a draft of a thesis. The idea is to learn about social and emotional development by doing research that will facilitate your career goals.

2) A NIH R03/R01 or NSF grant (or, potentially, fellowship) proposal (6, 12, or 15 single-spaced pages, respectively). The idea here is to tie together your knowledge of an area with a proposal to do research in this area.

3) A publication-quality literature review in summary-article format (i.e., organized by theme, not by article).

        4) Possibility of contributing or writing a Wikipedia article or articles on a topic related to social development. See the related initiative of the Association for Psychological Science


During the last class session(s), you will present your project using PowerPoint. Class-time will be devoted to helping you develop your final projects and there will be assignments during the semester (i.e. written topic selection, overview) to make the projects an integral part of our class. Collaborative proposals and presentations are allowed. They must include a significant component of individual work for each collaborator and must result in a proportionately higher quality final project (e.g., 2 people could collaborate on a RO1 proposal).


Participation: 20% of your final grade will be assigned based on your preparation of articles, level of engagement, participation in classroom discussions, and your thought questions. 15% will be based on the mid-term. Participation may include your written responses to in-class queries. These will be brief and typically cover a single key concept found in the readings that we have discussed in class. Attendance is mandatory. Your final project (both the oral presentation and the final paper) will constitute 65% of your grade.


Final project dates (cc. you advisor on all of these).

9/1.     Potential topic (a title).

9/17.   One paragraph single-spaced summary.

10/6.   One page single-spaced abstract, and a timetable of all necessary steps to complete the project which should be updated with your progress and resubmitted for all subsequent final project topics.

[10/20. Distribute midterm. Due 10/27.]

10/22.  Updated one page abstract and a two-page outline of the final project. 

11/12.   Review of first drafts of final project.

11/17.   First draft of final paper containing all components of the projects (e.g., results)

12/8.    PowerPoint presentations of final project.

12/16.   Final paper due.


Other important dates.

No class meeting 10/8 (break) 10/29, 11/5, 11/24-26 (thanksgiving)


Classes and Assigned Readings

Week 1

August 25th Introduction to social development and to the class. 


August 27th – Overview: Temperament, emotion, attachment, the self, and the broader context of social and emotional development.

Erikson, E. (1950). Eight Ages of Man, Childhood and Society (pp. 247-274): Norton. Katherine1


Extra:  Thompson, R. A., Winer, A. C., & Goodvin, R. (2011). The individual child: Temperament, emotion, self, and personality. In M. H. Bornstein & M. E. Lamb (Ed.), Developmental science: An advanced textbook (6th ed.) (pp. 427-468). New York, NY, US: Psychology Press.


Week 2

September 1st – Genetics and epigenetics. Environmental and genetic interaction 

Szyf, M. and J. Bick (2012). "DNA Methylation: A Mechanism for Embedding Early Life Experiences in the Genome." Child Development. Katherine2


September 3rdTemperament


Penela, E. C., Walker, O. L., Degnan, K. A., Fox, N. A., & Henderson, H. A. (2015). Early behavioral inhibition and emotion regulation: Pathways toward social competence in middle childhood. Child Development, 86(4), 1227-1240. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12384 Emily1


Extra:  Degnan, K. A., Hane, A. A., Henderson, H. A., Moas, O. L., Reeb-Sutherland, B. C., & Fox, N. A. (2010) Longitudinal stability of temperamental exuberance and social-emotional outcomes in early childhood. Developmental Psychology. 



Week 3   Emotion.

September 8th.  Discrete emotions.

Cole, P. M., & Moore, G. A. (2015). About face! Infant facial expression of emotion. 7, 116-120. doi: 10.1177/1754073914554786 William1


Thompson, R. A. (2015). Doing It with Feeling: The Emotion in Early Socioemotional Development. Emotion Review, 7(2), 121-125. doi: 10.1177/1754073914554777

Camras, L. A., & Shutter, J. M. (2010). Emotional facial expressions in infancy. Emotion Review, 2(2), 120-129. doi: 10.1177/1754073909352529

Shechner, T., Hong, M., Britton, J. C., Pine, D. S., & Fox, N. A. (2014). Fear conditioning and extinction across development: evidence from human studies and animal models. Biol Psychol, 100, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.04.001

September 10.  Intensification (email) and Emotion Outcomes:

Mattson, W. I., Cohn, J. F., Mahoor, M. H., Gangi, D. N., & Messinger, D. S. (2013). Darwin’s Duchenne: Eye constriction during infant joy and distress. PLoS ONE, 8(11). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080161. Joseph1


September 15. Predictors of interactive competence.

Paukner, A., Simpson, E., Ferari, P., Mrozek, T., & Suomi, S. (2014). Neonatal imitation predicts how infants engage with faces. Developmental Science, 17(6), 833–840. Liz1


Extra. Reeb-Sutherland, B.C., Levitt, P., & Fox, N.A. (2012). The predictive nature of individual differences in early associative learning and emerging social behavior. PLoS ONE; 7: e30511. PDF 

September 17. Culture in Development

Wörmann, V., Holodynski, M., Kärtner, J., & Keller, H. (2014). The emergence of social smiling: The interplay of maternal and infant imitation during the first three months in cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45(3), 339-361. doi: 10.1177/0022022113509134 Krystal1

Extra. Chen, X. (2012). Culture, peer interaction, and socioemotional development. Child Development Perspectives

Week 4.

September 22 – Early interaction: Process

Mesman, J., M. H. van Ijzendoorn, et al. (2009). "The many faces of the Still-Face Paradigm: A review and meta-analysis." Developmental Review 29(2): 120-162. Emily2

Kaye, K., & Fogel, A. (1980). The temporal structure of face-to-face communication between mothers and infants.Developmental Psychology, 16(5), 454-464.  

Bigelow, A. E., & Power, M. (2014). Effects of Maternal Responsiveness on Infant Responsiveness and Behavior in the Still-Face Task. Infancy, 19(6), 558-584. doi: 10.1111/infa.12059

Ruvolo, P., Messinger, D., & Movellan, J. (in press). Infants time their smiles to make their moms smile. PLOS ONE.


September 24 – What does early interaction predict?

Hane, A. A., & Fox, N. A. (2006). Ordinary variations in maternal caregiving of human infants influence stress reactivity. Psychological Science, 17, 550-556. Liz2

Raby, K. L., Roisman, G. I., Fraley, R. C., & Simpson, J. A. (2014). The Enduring Predictive Significance of Early Maternal Sensitivity: Social and Academic Competence through Age 32 Years. Child Development, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12325 

Week 5. 

September 29. Attachment defined and describing secure and insecure attachment

Peltola, M. J., Forssman, L., Puura, K., van Ijzendoorn, M. H., & Leppänen, J. M. (2015). Attention to Faces Expressing Negative Emotion at 7 Months Predicts Attachment Security at 14 Months. Child Development, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12380. Katherine3

Johnson, S. C., Dweck, C. S., & Chen, F. S. (2007). Evidence for Infants' Internal Working Models of Attachment. Psychological Science, 18(6), 501-502. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01929.x


Attachment site: http://johnbowlby.comOverview of attachment classifications (on p. 11) and coding.

Ainsworth, M. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). An interpretation of individual differences. Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation (pp. 310-326). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Social evaluation by preverbal infants.

October 1 - Predicting attachment security

Raby, K. L., Cicchetti, D., Carlson, E. A., Cutuli, J. J., Englund, M. M., & Egeland, B. (2012). Genetic and Caregiving-Based Contributions to Infant Attachment. Psychological Science, 23(9), 1016-1023. doi: 10.1177/0956797612438265. Joseph2



Barry, R. A., Kochanska, G., & Philibert, R. A. (2008). G x E interaction in the organization of attachment: mothers' responsiveness as a moderator of children's genotypes. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 49(12), 1313-1320


Evidence for Infants’ Internal Working Models of Attachment
Susan C. Johnson, Carol S. Dweck, and Frances S. Chennson


Belsky, Jay; Houts, Renate M.; Fearon, R. M. Pasco. Infant attachment security and the timing of puberty: Testing an evolutionary hypothesis. Psychological Science, Vol 21(9), Sep 2010, 1195-1201.


van IJzendoorn, M. H., Rutgers, A. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van Daalen, E., Dietz, C., Buitelaar, J. K., et al. (2007). Parental sensitivity and attachment in children with autism spectrum disorder: Comparison with children with mental retardation, with language delays, and with typical development. Child Development, 78, 597-608.


De Wolff, M., & van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (1997). Sensitivity and attachment: A meta-analysis on parental antecedents of infant attachment. Child Development, 68(4),


van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Schuengel, C., & Bakermans Kranenburg, M. J. (1999). Disorganized attachment in early childhood: Meta-analysis of precursors, concomitants, and sequelae. Development and Psychopathology, 11(2), 225-249.


Week 6  

October 6. What does secure attachment predict?

Beijersbergen, M. D., Juffer, F., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (2012). Remaining or becoming secure: Parental sensitive support predicts attachment continuity from infancy to adolescence in a longitudinal adoption study. Developmental Psychology, 48(5), 1277-1282. doi: 10.1037/a0027442 Krystal2


Lucassen, N., Tharner, A., Van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Volling, B. L., Verhulst, F. C., Lambregtse-Van den Berg, M. P., & Tiemeier, H. (2011). The association between paternal sensitivity and infant-father attachment security: a meta-analysis of three decades of research. J Fam Psychol, 25(6), 986-992. doi: 10.1037/a0025855

van Ijzendoorn, M. (1995). Adult attachment representations, parental responsiveness, and infant attachment: A meta-analysis on the predictive validity of the Adult Attachment Interview. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 387-403.

NICHD_Early_Child_Care_Research_Network (2006). "Infant-mother attachment classification: Risk and protection in relation to changing maternal caregiving quality." Developmental Psychology 42(1): 38-58


Furman, W., Simon, V. A., Shaffer, L., & Bouchey, H. A. (2002). Adolescents' working models and styles for relationships with parents, friends, and romantic partners. Child Development, 73(1), 241-255.


10/8 No class meeting (break)

Week 8

10/13.  What attachment processes are active in adulthood? How do they impact intimate relationships?

Collibee, C., & Furman, W. (2015). Quality Counts: Developmental Shifts in Associations Between Romantic Relationship Qualities and Psychosocial Adjustment. Child Development, 86(5), 1639-1652. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12403


Fraley, R. C., Roisman, G. I., Booth-LaForce, C., Owen, M. T., & Holland, A. S. (2013). Interpersonal and Genetic Origins of Adult Attachment Styles: A Longitudinal Study From Infancy to Early Adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/a0031435 Emily3

10/15 Aggression, empathy, and evolution


Brosnan, S. F., & de Waal, F. B. (2014). Evolution of responses to (un) fairness. Science, 346(6207), 1251776.

Click here to download the PDF and use the password "fransdewaal" (all in lowercase) to open. William2

10/15 Additional Lecture. Humans as Animals: Primate Politics, Culture, and Morality. Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 7:00pm

10/16 Additional Lecture. Evolution of Responses to (Un)fairness in Apes. Friday, October 16, 2015 at 12:30pm



Haun, D. B. M., Rekers, Y., & Tomasello, M. (2014). Children Conform to the Behavior of Peers; Other Great Apes Stick With What They Know. Psychological Science, 25(12), 2160-2167. doi: 10.1177/0956797614553235


Week 9

10/20. Distribute and review midterm. Due 10/27. Final project review 10/22. de Waal debrief. Aggression, empathy, and sex differences

Del Giudice, M., & Angeleri, R. (in press). Digit ratio (2D:4D) and attachment styles in middle childhood: Indirect evidence for an organizational effect of sex hormones. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. William3


Del Giudice, M., Gangestad, S. W., & Kaplan, H. S. (in press). Life history theory and evolutionary psychology. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (2nd ed.).
New York: Wiley.

10/22. Peers (popularity).

Due: Final project—2 page abstract.

Hartl, A. C., Laursen, B., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2015). A Survival Analysis of Adolescent Friendships: The Downside of Dissimilarity. Psychological Science. doi: 10.1177/0956797615588751 Krystal3

10/27. Gender

Lynn Martin, C., Fabes, R. A., Hanish, L. D., & Hollenstein, T. (2005). Social dynamics in the preschool. Developmental Review, 25(3–4), 299-327. doi: Katherine4



Messinger, D. S., Young, G. S., Webb, S. J., Ozonoff, S., Bryson, S. E., Carter, A., Carver, L., Charman, T., Chawarska, K., Curtin, S., Dobkins, K., Hertz-Picciotto, I., Hutman, T., Iverson, J. M., Landa, R., Nelson, C. A., Stone, W. L., Tager-Flusberg, H., & Zwaigenbaum, L. (2015). Early sex differences are not autism-specific: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) study. Mol Autism, 6, 32. doi: 10.1186/s13229-015-0027-y


10/29. No Class.


11/3. Prosocial development and morality. Abuse.


Cowell, J., & Decety, J. (2015). Precursors to morality in development as a complex interplay between neural, socio-environmental, and behavioral facets. PNAS, 112 (41), 12657-12662. Joseph3



Decety, J., & Michalska, K. J. (2010). Neurodevelopmental changes in the circuits underlying empathy and sympathy from childhood to adulthood. Dev Sci, 13(6), 886-899. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00940.x


Chein, J., Albert, D., O’Brien, L., Uckert, K., & Steinberg, L. (2011). Peers increase adolescent risk taking by enhancing activity in the brain’s reward circuitry. Developmental Science, 14, F1-F10.


Kim, S., Kochanska, G., Boldt, L. J., Koenig Nordling, J., & O’Bleness, J. J. (2014). Developmental trajectory from early responses to transgressions to future antisocial behavior: Evidence for the role of the parent-child relationship from two longitudinal studies.  Development and Psychopathology, 26, 93-109.


11/5. No Class.


11/10. Social development in classroom settings.


Belsky, J., & Pluess, M. (2012). Differential susceptibility to long-term effects of quality of child care on externalizing behavior in adolescence? International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36(1), 2-10. doi: 10.1177/0165025411406855


Belsky, J., & Pluess, M. (2013). Genetic Moderation of Early Child-Care Effects on Social Functioning Across Childhood: A Developmental Analysis. Child Development, 84(4), 1209-1225. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12058

Rotheram-Fuller, E., Kasari, C., Chamberlain, B., & Locke, J. (2010). Social Involvement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Elementary School Classrooms. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 51(11), 1227-1234. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02289.x


Bierman, K. L., Welsh, J. A., Heinrichs, B. S., Nix, R. L., & Mathis, E. T. (2015). Helping Head Start Parents Promote Their Children's Kindergarten Adjustment: The Research-Based Developmentally Informed Parent Program. Child Dev, 86(6), 1877-1891. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12448


11/12. Due: Review of first drafts of final project.


11/17. Due: First draft of final project.




Abraham, E., Hendler, T., Shapira-Lichter, I., Kanat-Maymon, Y., Zagoory-Sharon, O., Feldman, R. (2014). Father’s brain is sensitive to childcare experiences. PNAS. Krystal4


Rilling, J. K., & Young, L. J. (2014). The biology of mammalian parenting and its effect on offspring social development. Science, 345(6198), 771-776. doi: 10.1126/science.1252723. William4


Lansford, J. E., Chang, L., Dodge, K. A., Malone, P. S., Oburu, P., Palmerus, K., Bacchini, D., Pastorelli, C., Bombi, A. S., Zelli, A., Tapanya, S., Chaudhary, N., Deater- Deckard, K., Manke, B., & Quinn, N. (2005). Physical discipline and children’s adjustment: Cultural normativeness as a moderator. Child Development, 76, 1234.


11/19. Parenting (cont.) and old age

Weisman, O., et al. (2012). "Oxytocin administration to parent enhances infant physiological and behavioral readiness for social engagement." Biological Psychiatry 72(12): 982 989. Joseph4



Belsky, J. & Shalev, I. (in press). Contextual Adversity, Telomere Erosion, Pubertal Development and Health: Two Models of Accelerated Aging—or One? Development and Psychopathology.


Belsky, J. (2014). Toward an evo-devo theory of reproductive strategy, health and longevity. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 9, 16-18.


12/1. Self-regulation, risky behaviors.

Berry, D., McCartney, K., Petrill, S., DeaterDeckard, K., & Blair, C. (2014). Gene–environment interaction between DRD4 7repeat VNTR and early childcare experiences predicts selfregulation abilities in prekindergarten. Developmental Psychobiology, 56(3), 373-391. doi: 10.1002/dev.21105 Liz4


Ellis, B. J., Del Giudice, M., Dishion, T. J., Figueredo, A. J., Gray, P., Griskevicius, V., Hawley, P. H., Jacobs, W. J., James, J., Volk, A. A., & Wilson, D. S. (2012). The evolutionary basis of risky adolescent behavior: implications for science, policy, and practice. Dev Psychol, 48(3), 598-623. doi: 10.1037/a0026220


12/3. Social development disrupted: Autism spectrum disorder [emailed].


Thomas, M. S. C., Davis, R., Karmiloff-Smith, A., Knowland, V. C. P., & Charman, T. (2015). The over-pruning hypothesis of autism. Developmental Science, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/desc.12303. Emily4


Nomi, J. S., & Uddin, L. Q. (2015). Developmental changes in large-scale network connectivity in autism. NeuroImage: Clinical, 7, 732-741.


12/8. Presentations