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Lifespan Developmental Psychology

We seek to understand human development across the lifespan at specific stages or ages in life (i.e., childhood, adolescence, aging).

Program Overview

Our course content focuses on childhood through the end of life, including social as well as cognitive development. Students also can develop specializations within specific sub-areas (cognitive development, social development) and age groups (e.g. childhood, adulthood and aging). This is a research-intensive program that encourages individually tailored educational planning, depending on students’ career plans.


All students are expected to work closely with their faculty advisors and to be actively involved in research throughout their graduate training. A major strength of our program is the low ratio of students to faculty, ensuring that students get the mentoring that is necessary to foster their development as independent researchers.

The Psychology Department maintains several specialized laboratories for conducting research. Other specialized labs exist within the department for conducting research on visual and auditory perception and on decision-making. Additional spaces are also available for individualized interviewing and testing.

A wide variety of participant populations are also readily available for research purposes. We maintain good relations with both area preschools and the Wake County School System for research with children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and have also had success working with local health-care providers, senior centers and church groups in ongoing research on adult development and aging.