gershoff Elizabeth Gershoff is the Amy Johnson McLaughlin Centennial Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences and the director of the Population Research Center, both at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on how parental and school discipline affect child and youth development and how parent education and early education programs can improve the lives of at risk children. She is an internationally recognized expert on the effects of physical punishment on children. Gershoff earned a PhD in child development at the University of Texas and completed postdoctoral training in psychology and prevention research at Arizona State University. She was previously an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan and a research scientist at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University.