Webinar: Modeling Cognitive Aging in Context (Recording Available)

Modeling Cognitive Aging in Context, from June 30, 2020.

Recording available on the RHD Webinars page.

The webinar disseminates interdisciplinary work resulting from the first annual Summer Data Immersion program hosted by the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD) in June 2019. Together, the five studies provide a rigorous examination of lifespan contextual factors that shape adult cognitive development, with a particular emphasis on racial/ethnic disparities in cognitive aging. Context is defined broadly in terms of geographic residence, socioeconomic conditions, social network characteristics, and the spousal/partner relationship. Findings have important implications for prevention and intervention strategies to reduce the global burden of age-related cognitive impairment. 


Kimson E. Johnson(University of Michigan)

Kasim Ortiz(University of New Mexico)

DeAnnah R. Byrd (Wayne State University)

Benjamin Katz (Virginia Tech University)

Amanda Leggett (University of Michigan)  

Jennifer Brown Urban, Montclair State University

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Those who are interested in reading the complete published articles can find them in the upcoming issue of Research in Human Development, 17(1). 

SSHD Statement on Current Events

Dear SSHD members: 

America is currently undergoing profound grief, anger and reflection. This state of despair and the accompanying protests happening around the country follow from the unjust death, once again, of a black American man at the hands of authorities. The nation-wide protests are an attempt to initiate change at the larger systemic level. These actions affect everyone, and all of our voices and efforts are needed to move history and build a just nation. The legacy of racial discrimination and growing patterns of inequality across multiple social groups are also reflected in the disproportionate effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on people of color and other vulnerable populations. They are also apparent in the lack of a unified, national strategy to address the multi-level challenges that accompany this pandemic. The Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD) promotes developmental research, education, and public policy that emphasizes the links between individuals, families and the larger social structures in which they live. The developmental science that SSHD promotes is meant to maximize individual and community well-being across the lifespan/life course. Systemic problems, such as police brutality and the differential burden of the COVID-19 epidemic in vulnerable groups, call for systemic solutions, and we would encourage members of the SSHD community and the broader research, education, and public policy communities to work towards creating opportunities that will ensure that black lives matter at all ages. For only when black lives matter will all lives matter. We advocate the application of developmental science as a means to emerge from this sorrowful time as a more democratic and equitable society, one where everyone can breathe freely.

To this end, SSHD is undertaking the following initiatives. 

1.    Our flagship journal Research in Human Development will continue to publish special issues on developmental research focused on underserved minorities.  

2.    The SSHD Steering Committee will vote on making the Diversity Science Initiative a standing committee of the Society. 

3.    Applied activities and future conferences will incorporate community outreach and address matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion via speakers or collaborative sessions with local agencies/communities.

4.    SSHD will support and initiate developmental research that advances issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We welcome your suggestions for ways SSHD members and committees can make an impact on this issue. Please contact sshd.contact@gmail.com

We welcome comments and suggestions. 

The Steering Committee

Society for the Study of Human Development 

Webinar Recording Available: Time Perspective from Adolescence through Adulthood

The free webinar Time Perspective from Adolescence Through Adulthood is available for viewing and posted in the archive.

Time is as essential as the air we breathe, yet research on time perspective—how we think and feel about the past, present, and future—has yet to examine the construct from adolescence to adulthood. In this webinar based on reports on a Special Issue of Research in Human Development, the speakers introduce time perspective as a multidimensional, developmental, and modifiable construct. Then, four studies on the topic including adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults are presented. This research incorporates diverse participants and age-specific outcomes. Collectively, this work sets the stage for the next era of research on time perspective.

Zena R. MelloSan Francisco State University; Frank C. WorrellUniversity of California, Berkeley; Julia MoonSan Francisco State University; Samuel LeonardUniversity of Memphis; Sarah BarberGeorgia State University

Jennifer Urban Brown, Montclaire State University

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Those who are interested in reading the complete published articles can find them in the upcoming issue of Research in Human Development, 16(2).

Webinar Recording Available: “Being Human in Hard Times: Disturbing Trends and Signs of Hope”

The Webinar recording for Being Human in Hard Times: Disturbing Trends and Signs of Hope can now be accessed at this link.

Recent years seem to have been accompanied by great uncertainty and precarity in the United States and around the world: whether political strife within and between nations, volatility of economic markets, sexual harassment and assault, actions related to immigration and immigrant families, or violations of human rights, to name just a few issues. With the ripple effects of these events across the globe, our big world has at times never felt so small. And yet, perhaps in the larger arc of human history, change is simply a universal theme – as each generation or society faces, or feels, the unique circumstances of a time. For this reason, we have invited scholars to take a fresh look at some of the essential but underexplored aspects of human experience. We have asked authors to be visionary – to reflect on why the phenomenon they chose is crucial today, how it matters for development across the life span, how it comes about and what consequences it brings, and how it might be better theorized, measured, and analyzed to advance knowledge and its application. 

Megan M. McClelland, Oregon State University 
Monika Ardelt, University of Florida 
Giacomo Bono, California State University, Dominguez Hills 
Chris Napolitano, University of Illinois 
Eranda Jayawickreme, Wake Forest University 
Michael Cunningham, Tulane University 
Roberto G. Gonzales, Harvard Graduate School of Education 
Salwa Massad, World Health Organization 

Jennifer Urban Brown, Montclair State University

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

Webinar Recording Available: Continuous and Discrete Time

SSHD Professional Development Webinar

Continuous and Discrete Time: How Differing Perspectives on Modeling Time Affect Developmental Inferences

Speaker: Pascal DeBoeck, University of Utah

Moderator: John Geldhof, Oregon State University

Abstract: Time is unlike other dimensions sampled in the social, behavioral, and medical sciences. People and many variables come in distinct units. Between any pair of observations made across time, however, are an arbitrary number of additional samples that could have been sampled. While sampling across time is always discrete, the underlying dimension is continuous. This incongruity has led to differing perspectives on how repeated observations should be modeled. In some common models, the unobserved interstitial samples are ignored, while in other models these unobserved samples are explicitly considered. This presentation will provide an introduction to two perspectives of how repeated observations can be modeled. Substantive data relating longitudinal measures of Anxiety, Depression, and Social Competence will be presented and analyzed using both discrete and continuous perspectives of time. The example will allow for a comparison of the inferences that can be made using these differing perspectives on time.

Webinar Recording Available: Three’s a Crowd: Developmental Research, Social Justice, and NHST

The recent Research in Human Development webinar is available for members: Three’s a Crowd: Developmental Research, Social Justice, and Null Hypothesis Significance Testing.

Members must log in first, and can access the content here.

This special issue expands upon the ideas presented by Little (2015) and places a special emphasis on the social justice aspects of the ongoing controversy surrounding Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST). Although we continuously advocate for a view of scientific research as social justice practice, the recent growth of the controversy surrounding NHST makes this topic an especially timely focus for the current issue. NHST is a ubiquitous practice that is nonetheless rife with opportunities for unanticipated contamination of research findings. Developmental science can certainly impact policy decisions, so any agent that contaminates the conclusions of that science is a vector for the transmission of social injustice. We suggest that NHST is often just such a vector. The ubiquity of statistical significance as the benchmark for publication in the social sciences has been a leading contributor to the recently popularized “file drawer problem” and the resulting “crisis of replication” that is plaguing psychology and other areas of bio-medical research. The alternatives to NHST that we propose in this issue will not fully resolve the crisis of replication or eliminate the file drawer problem, but they can go a long way towards each of these goals by rooting scientific inference in a set of criteria that is more intuitive and nuanced than a simple p-value based decision rule. This special issue is comprised of five papers contributed by authors from across the globe. Each paper addresses a different facet of the NHST controversy and/or the social justice implications of methodology in developmental science. Rather than simple criticism, the focus of each paper is on providing recommended alternatives to NHST and poor methodological practices.


Todd Little, Texas Tech University

Kyle Lang, Tilburg University

Mariëlle Zondervan-Zwijnenburg, Utrecht University

Matt Williams, Massey University

Jennifer Urban Brown, Montclair State University

Those who are interested in reading the complete published articles can find them in the upcoming issue of Research in Human Development, 14(4).

2017 Society Award Winners

The Society for the Study of Human Development has established a number of awards to highlight the scientific and pedagogical contributions of researchers in the field of human development.

2017 Award Winners

  • Early Career Award: Kristina Schmid Callina, Tufts University, and Amy K. Marks, Suffolk University.
  • Distinguished Lifetime Career Award: Willis F. Overton, Temple University.
  • Erin Phelps Award: Yoko Yamamoto, Jin Li, Jia Li Liu, Brown University and University of Connecticut for their paper "Does socioeconomic status matter for Chinese immigrants' academic socialization? Family environment, parental engagement, and preschooler's outcomes."

New Research in Human Development Issue

Table of Contents

Topic: Ecological Validity in Research on Human Development

Guest Editors: Manfred Diehl & Hans-Werner Wahl

Diehl, M., Wahl, H.-W., & Freund, A. M.  Ecological Validity as a Key Feature of External Validity in Research on Human Development

Kunzmann, U., & Isaacowitz, D.  Emotional Aging: Taking the Immediate Context Seriously

Dirk, J., & Schmiedek, F.  Variability in Children’s Working Memory is Coupled with Perceived Disturbance: An Ambulatory Assessment Study in the School and Out-of-School Context

Bielak, A. A. M., Hatt, C. R., & Diehl, M.  Cognitive Performance in Adults’ Daily Lives: Is There a Lab-Life Gap?

Wilkinson, L. R., Ferraro, K. F., & Kemp, B. R.  Contextualization of Survey Data: What Do We Gain and Does It Matter?

Ram, N., Brinberg, M., Pincus, A. L., & Conroy, D. E.  The Questionable Ecological Validity of Ecological Momentary Assessment: Considerations for Design and Analysis