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Department of Psychology Gartstein Temperament Lab


Counties of partnering labs (2017)

The Gartstein Temperament Lab collaborates with many other research teams around the world, including researchers from Brazil, Chile, China, Finland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the United States.

WSU Partners

Dr. Sammy Perone, Department of Human Development, Pullman

Dr.Perone’s research interests include early childhood development; connections among learning, cognitive, and brain development; emergence of executive function; early intervention and school readiness; and dynamic systems theory and neural networks.

Dr. Sara Waters, Department of Human Development, Vancouver

Dr. Waters’ research interests include emotional and physiological regulation development, parent-child attachment relationship, and early adversity and trauma.

Dr. Chris Connolly, Pullman

Exercise Physiology & Performance Laboratory. Dr. Connolly’s research focuses broadly on physical activity during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  His recent work is interdisciplinary and has drawn from health communication and sports psychology theory to examine some of the factors which may impede or enable pregnant women’s leisure-time physical activity behavior.  These include risk perceptions, efficacy beliefs, social support, pregnancy-induced nausea, and interactions with prenatal healthcare providers.  Dr. Connolly’s second research agenda involves the assessment of fitness levels and capacities among intercollegiate athletes.  More specifically, his interest lies in evaluating the physiological effects of specific training programs at various time points in the athletic season and the application of that data to improve performance during intercollegiate competition.

Dr. Erica Crespi, School of Biological Sciences, Pullman

Dr.Crespi’s research seeks to understand how environmental stressors and nutrition affect early developmental processes in vertebrates. She focuses on examining the ways in which the neuroendocrine stress axis and energy balance factors interact to regulate growth, morphogenesis, and immune function during early life stages. She’s also interested in how these endocrine systems program later life behavior, physiology, growth, and reproduction through their organizing effects during early development.

Dr. Mike Skinner, Pullman

Skinner Lab. The general interest of the lab is in mammalian reproduction and environmental epigenetics on a systems biology level. The laboratory has had a long standing research program to study gonadal development and function on a molecular, cellular and physiological level (systems biology). Recently, the ability of environmental factors to act on gonadal development has been shown to cause the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation which impacts areas of biology such as medicine or evolution. This has now become a predominant research program in the lab.

Dr. Courtney Meehan, Pullman

Biocultural Anthropology Laboratory. Dr.Meehan’s research interest concerns the evolution of human childhood. Specifically, focusing on infant and child physical, social, and emotional development, parental and alloparental reproductive and investment strategies, and breastfeeding, lactation, and human milk composition. She conducts cross-cultural research in the Central African Republic among the Aka hunter-gatherers and the Ngandu horticulturalists, Ethiopia among the Sidama agro-pastoralists and in the US among local populations.

Dr. Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, College of Nursing, Spokane

Dr.Barbosa-Leiker’s areas of interest are in structural equation modeling of health related data with emphasis on models of change over time and invariance testing across gender and occasion. Specifically, she analyzes traditional and nontraditional risk factors associated with heart disease and the metabolic syndrome via latent growth modeling and mixture modeling, and assessed the psychometric properties of various psychosocial scales associated with heart disease. She’s also interested in examining the role of mental illness and substance abuse in heart disease, particularly in rural populations.

Dr. Brian French, Pullman 

Psychometric Laboratory. Dr.French’s research focuses on educational and psychological measurement issues including the application of psychometric methods to gather score validity evidence for instruments, and the use of methodological studies to evaluate and improve methods in terms of efficiency and accuracy used to gather test score validity evidence. The goal of this research is to address fairness issues in decisions made about individuals.

United States Partners

Dr. Martha Ann Bell, Virginia Tech

Cognition, Affect, and Psychophysiology Lab (The CAP Lab).  Dr. Bell’s team research focuses on brain-behavior relations, with an emphasis on frontal lobe development in infants and children.

Dr. David Bridgett, Northern Illinois University

Emotion Regulation & Temperament Laboratory. The Emotion Regulation & Temperament Laboratory is located in the Department of Psychology in the Psychology-Computer Science Building at NIU. Within the overall goal of producing a high quality, visible program of research, the laboratory is also dedicated to providing high quality education and hands on research training to undergraduate students and to providing graduate students with ample opportunities for professional development and preparation for entry into the profession of psychology.

Dr. Wallace Dixon, East Tennessee State University

Program for the Study of Infancy. The research studies conducted in the lab include topics such as the study of toddler temperament and language acquisition, prevention of preterm birth through stress reduction, and mother-child interaction and attachment.

Dr. Liliana Lengua, University of Washington

Center for Child and Family Well-Being.  The Center for Child and Family Well-Being promotes the positive development and well-being of children and families by building multi-disciplinary research programs, translating research findings for application, and sharing knowledge through education, professional training and outreach to the community.

Dr. Esther Leerkes, University of North Carolina @ Greensboro

Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Leerkes research focus centers around parent-child relations in infancy and early childhood, including: 1) identifying contextual, biological and psychological factors that contribute to sensitive maternal behavior, particularly in response to negative child emotions; 2) examining links between maternal sensitivity and subsequent child outcomes such as emotion regulation, attachment security, behavior problems, and adjustment to school; and 3) examining the impact of parenting a child with unique temperamental characteristics on adult development, well-being, and relationships during the transition to parenthood.

Dr. Samuel Putnam, Bowdoin College

Professor Putnam specializes in social development. He teaches a survey course in child development, a lab in developmental research methods, introduction to psychology, and a seminar in social development. His research interests involve exploring interactions between nature and nurture in the development of sensation seeking, negative emotionality, and attentional control.

Dr. Shelley McGuire, University of Idaho 

Shelley McGuire’s research focuses primarily on understanding better how maternal diet and nutritional status influence human milk composition and maternal/infant health during breastfeeding. Of particular interest to her research is understanding the importance of dietary lipids to maternal and infant health.

Dr. Cindy Smith, Virginia Tech

The Children’s Emotions Lab is located on the third floor of Wallace Hall on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. We conduct studies on children’s emotions during a variety of situations. We are interested in what emotions children display in these situations as well as what the children do to cope with their emotions. For instance, why do some children show a lot of frustration and others do not? What strategies do young children use to deal with frustration? Or joy?

We are also interested in how parents influence their children’s lives, particularly how they may influence their children’s emotions. We are also interested in the parents’ lives because that context can be important to both the parents’ behaviors as well as children’s behaviors.

Dr. Tracy Spinrad, Arizona State University

Tracy Spinrad’s research interests focus on emotion-related regulation in young children. She is particularly interested in studying toddlers’ emotions and regulation (i.e., effortful control) and the relations of young children’s emotionality and regulation to later social-emotional competence and maladjustment. She also focuses on parenting in her work, and is particularly interested in understanding the role that parents play in teaching their young children how to deal with emotions. Spinrad also has interests in children’s moral development (i.e., empathy, prosocial behaviors), physiological markers of reactivity and regulation, and bidirectional relations between children’s temperament and. She is also involved in a project designed to examine the role of socio-emotional factors on a school-readiness intervention for low-income preschoolers.

The Toddler Emotional Development Project at Arizona State University is designed to study how children grow and develop during their early years. The main goal of the project is to understand patterns of emotion and behavior in toddlers and how these patterns relate to their behavior as they grow older.

Dr. Charlie Super, University of Connecticut

Dr. Super is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies @ University of Connecticut. His research interests are in: Cultural Regulation of Human Development, Particularly Biological, Cognitive, and Emotional Development During Infancy and Childhood; Parental and Professional Ethnotheories of Child Development and Behavior; Interventions to Promote the Physical and Mental Health of Children and Families; Research Methods Appropriate for Comparative and Culturally Based Research.

Dr. Sara Harkness, University of Connecticut

Dr. Harkness is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies @ University of Connecticut.  Her research interests are in: the Cultural Structuring of Human Development; Parents Cultural Belief Systems and Parenting; Cognitive, Affective and Social Development in Early Childhood, Child Language Socialization; Theories of Culture and Human Development; Cultural Influences on Health At The Household and Community Levels; Family Policy.

Dr. Gregory  Hancock, University of Maryland

Dr. Hancock has research interests in: structural equation models; latent growth models; latent variable experimental design and analysis

Center for Integrated Latent Variable Research (CILVR) is housed within the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation (EDMS) program at the University of Maryland. EDMS faculty are recognized scholars in various facets of latent variable statistical models, whether it be item response theory, latent class analysis, mixture models, or structural equation modeling. EDMS is also unique in its geographic location, situated along the East Coast of the United States near the nation’s capital, centrally located for scholars from the US and Europe, and a short distance from some of the world’s top latent variable scholars working in academia, government, and applied research settings. Thus, EDMS is well positioned in its composition and its location to serve as a focal point for integrated latent variable research.

International Partners


Dr. Beatriz Linhares University São Paulo

Neurosciences and Behavior


Dr. Tim Oberlander: University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute University


Dr. Felipe Lecannelier: Fundación Chilena de Apego (Chilean Foundation of Attachment)


Dr. Zhengyan Wang, Capital Normal University

College of Education


Dr. Kati Heinonen, University of Helsinki Institute of Behavioral Sciences


Dr. Rosario Montirosso, Associazione La Nostra Famiglia – Eugenio Medea Institute 

Department of Child and Adolescent Neurology


Dr. Sae-Young Han, Ewha Womans University

Dept. of Child Development


Dr. Blanca Huitron, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Department of Psychology

Dr. Vero Garcia: National Autonomous University of Mexico

Department of Psychology

The Netherlands:

Dr. Carolina de Weerth Radboud University Nijmegen

Developmental Psychology

Dr. Roseriet Beijers: Radboud University Nijmegen

Developmental Psychology

Behavioral Science Institute

 Dr. Mirjana Majdandzic, University of Amsterdam

Research Institute of Child Development and Education


Dr. Oana Benga, Babes Bolyai University

Department of Psychology


Dr. Helena Slobodskaya

FSBI Scientific Research Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine SB RAMS,


Dr. Carmen Gonzalez-Salinas, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo

Department of Developmental Psychology and Education