Feature Article

Div. 7 award winners

Learn about the research of recent Div. 7 award winners.
G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Contribution

The 2014 G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology was awarded to Michael Lamb, PhD. Lamb, whose research focuses on developmental psychology as well as forensic interviewing and factors affecting children's adjustment, is head of the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group at Cambridge University and editor of the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law . He and his colleagues have shown how developmentally sensitive interviewing improves the amount and quality of information obtained from young victims, witnesses and offenders in investigative settings. Other research by Lamb has documented the roles played by parent-child relationships and other experiences in shaping children's adjustment and well-being.

Urie Bronfenbrenner Award

Adele Diamond, PhD and Ann Masten, PhD, were awarded the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award.

Diamond is professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines the development of executive functioning in infants and young children. She has investigated gene c, environmental and neural bases of development and has been involved in applications of this research in real world settings. Masten is distinguished professor of child psychology at the University of Minnesota. Her research program centers on competence, risk and resilience in children and adolescents. She has focused on the processes by which youth who are exposed to various kinds of adversity are able to experience positive developmental outcomes.

Boyd McCandless Award

Adriana Galván, PhD, is the award recipient of the Boyd McCandless Award. Galván is assistant professor of developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on adolescent brain development. She has specifically examined how changes in the brain during adolescence, coupled with social factors, are related to behavior and decision making in typically developing and at-risk youth.

Honorable Mention — Jessica Cantlon, Stella Lourenco, Kristin Shutts, Katie Kinzler

Mentor Award

Susan Carey, PhD, the recipient of the Mentor Award, is professor of psychology at Harvard University. Her research program focuses on language acquisition, as well as how conceptual development. She has examined how children develop an understanding of biological concepts, as well as the meanings of single words.

Dissertation Award

Hyowon Gweon, PhD, the recipient of this year's Dissertation Award, is a graduate student at MIT, and will be joining the Psychology Department at Stanford University next year. She examines the cognitive and neural mechanisms related to the development of representational and inferential processes that underlie human learning.

Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award

The Society of Research in Child Development has announced that Michael Lewis, PhD, won the award for the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development for his lifetime contribution to the scientific body of knowledge and understanding of children's development. This 2013 award follows Lewis' winning the 2009 Urie Bronfenbrenner award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from Div.7 as well as the 2012 Hedi Levenback Pioneer Award from the New York Zero-to-Three organization for his pioneering research in child development.

2013 John and Polly Sparks Early Career Grant

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2013 John and Polly Sparks Early Career Grant, which supports early career psychologists conducting research in the area of early intervention and treatment for serious emotional disturbance in children. The John and Polly Sparks Foundation partnered with APF to empower early career psychologists to produce scientifically based research and programs that could provide models for broad-based applications across the country.

Amy Przeworski, PhD, received the first annual John and Polly Sparks Early Career Grant. Przeworski is assistant professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University. Przeworski earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in clinical psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. She completed a clinical internship and a National Institute of Mental Health T32 postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown University Medical School. Przeworski has more than 10 years of experience in treating and researching anxiety disorders in children, adolescents and adults and has published numerous journal articles and chapters on this topic. With $10,000 in funding from the Sparks Foundation, Przeworski will examine barriers to screening for anxiety and depressive symptoms in pediatric primary care practices and will create a screening and prevention program that can be easily implemented in such practices. Since 1953, APF has been supporting innovative research and programs that launch careers and seed the knowledge base on critical issues around the globe. For more information, please visit the APF website.

Eleanor Maccoby Book Award

“Trusting What You're Told: How Children Learn from Others” by Paul Harris

If children were little scientists who learn best through firsthand observations and mini experiments, as conventional wisdom holds, how would a child discover that the earth is round— never mind conceive of heaven as a place someone might go after death? Overturning both cognitive and commonplace theories about how children learn, “Trusting What You're Told” begins by reminding us of a basic truth: Most of what we know we learned from others. Children recognize early on that other people are an excellent source of information. And so they ask questions. But youngsters are also remarkably discriminating as they weigh the responses they elicit. And how much they trust what they are told has a lot to do with their assessment of its source. “Trusting What You're Told” opens a window into the moral reasoning of elementary school vegetarians, the preschooler's ability to distinguish historical narrative from fiction and the six-year-old's nuanced stance toward magic: skeptical, while still open to miracles. Paul Harris shares striking cross-cultural findings, too, such as that children in religious communities in rural Central America resemble Bostonian children in being more confident about the existence of germs and oxygen than they are about souls and God. We are biologically designed to learn from one another, Harris demonstrates, and this greediness for explanation marks a key difference between human beings and our primate cousins. Even Kanzi, a genius among bonobos, never uses his keyboard to ask for information: he only asks for treats.

“Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town” by Barbara Rogoff

Born with the destiny of becoming a Mayan sacred midwife, Chona Pérez has carried on centuries-old traditional indigenous American birth and healing practices over her 85 years. At the same time, Pérez developed new approaches to the care of pregnancy, newborns and mothers based on her own experience and ideas. In this way, Pérez has contributed to both the cultural continuities and cultural changes of her town over the decades. In “Developing Destinies,” Barbara Rogoff illuminates how individuals worldwide build on cultural heritage from prior generations and at the same time create new ways of living. Throughout Pérez's lifetime, her Guatemalan town has continued to use long-standing Mayan cultural practices, such as including children in a range of community activities and encouraging them to learn by observing and contributing. But the town has also transformed dramatically since the days of Pérez's own childhood. For instance, although Pérez's upbringing included no formal schooling, some of her grandchildren have gone on to attend university and earn scholarly degrees. The lives of Pérez and her town provide extraordinary examples of how cultural practices are preserved even as they are adapted and modified. “Developing Destinies” is an engaging narrative of one remarkable person's life and the life of her community that blends psychology, anthropology and history to reveal the integral role that culture plays in human development. With extensive photographs and accounts of Mayan family life, medical practices, birth, child development and learning, Rogoff adeptly shows that we can better understand the role of culture in our lives by examining how people participate in cultural practices. This landmark book brings theory alive with fascinating ethnographic findings that advance our understanding of childhood, culture and change.

Honorable Mention: “Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas: Papua New Guinea Studies” (part of the Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives series) by Geoffrey Saxe