department of psychology

306 Chafee Hall, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881

uripsymajor@gmail.com401.874.2193 (p); 401.874.2157 (f)

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Child/Family/Developmental Focus Area


The Child/Family/Developmental Psychology focus area is a domain of specialization building on strengths long existing within the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. The focus area interfaces child clinical, school, family, and developmental psychology, supporting research with individuals ranging in age from infancy to adulthood. Recognizing the importance both of social context – family, peers, school, culture – and neurocognitive factors, it places emphasis on prevention and intervention.


The primary objective of this focus area is to develop competent scientists and practitioners interested in the investigation of child/family/developmental issues and the application of research to practice.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Provide students with a broad theoretical background in the study of children, families, and lifespan development.
  • Foster scholarly expertise in one or more areas of research specialization within this field.
  • Build core competencies in practical applications of science including critical components of service delivery, as well as creation and implementation of research-based policies.


  • Provide graduate students with experiences and guidelines for attaining expertise in this area.
  • For Clinical and School Psychology students, activities within the Child/Family/Developmental specialization will strengthen their applications for internships.
  • Encourage greater interest and expertise in contemporary issues pertaining to children, families, development, and developmental contexts (schools, homes, communities) among students and faculty.
  • Aid graduate students who wish to pursue careers with a child/family/developmental concentration.

Student Preparation

The typical student who focuses in Child/Family/Developmental would take three courses in the area of children, families and/or development. With program committee permission, up to two directed readings/special topics courses may be included in the total of three CFD psychology courses.

When students prepare for their comprehensive exams, they should ensure that at least one question pertains to child, family, or developmental psychology. Alternatively, with committee approval, a published book chapter, journal article, or grant submission in the area of child, family, or developmental psychology may fulfill this requirement.

Finally, students are expected to have several research and/or applied experiences (15 weeks in duration) with a focus on children, families, and development. These could include: Research with faculty, externships, practica, and internships.

Program of Study

PSY 647 (Spring): Child Therapy
PSY 672 (Fall and Spring): Child Health Practicum
PSY 663 (Fall): Child/Adolescent Personality Assessment
PSY 668 (Spring): School Psychological Consultation
PSY 683 (Spring): Psychology of the Exceptional Child

PSY 672 (Fall and Spring): Family Therapy Practicum
HDF 533 (Fall): Family Policy and Program Evaluation
HDF 535 (Fall): Families Under Stress: Coping & Adaptation
HDF 563/564 (Fall): Marital and Family Therapy
HDF 569 (Spring): Assessment in Family Therapy
HDF 570 (Spring): Research in Hum. Dev. and Family Studies

Human Development:
PSY 603 (Fall): Development
PSY 665 (Spring): Developmental Psychopathology
HDF 500 (Fall): Human Development Seminar
HDF 501/511 (Fall): Infant & Early Child Development
HDF 505 (Spring): Human Sexuality & Counseling
HDF 514/520 (Fall): Seminar in Older Adulthood
HDF 568 (Spring): College Student Development and Learning

CMD 564 (Spring): Lang. Disorders in School-Aged Children
CMD 584 (Fall): Lang. Disorders in Devel. Young Children
CMD 585 (Fall): Language Disorders in Adults
PSY 540 (Fall): Learning Disabilities: Assess. & Intervention
PSY 602 (Not currently offered): Reading Acquisition and Reading Disability: Research and Implications for Practice


Focus Area Coordinator
Susan Loftus-Rattan, Ph.D. (School)

Child/Family/Developmental Faculty in Psychology
Susan Brady, Ph.D. (School)
Paul Bueno de Mesquita, Ph.D. (School)
Ellen Flannery-Schroeder, Ph.D. (Clinical)
Lindsey Anderson, Ph.D. (Director of the Psychological Consultation Center)
Kathleen Gorman, Ph.D. (Behavioral Sciences/Developmental)
Robert Laforge, Sc.D. (Behavioral Sciences)
Lyn Stein, Sc.D. (Clinical)
Gary Stoner, Ph.D. (School)
Theodore A. Walls, Ph.D. (Behavioral Sciences)
Lisa Weyandt, Ph.D. (School)
W. Grant Willis, Ph.D. (School)

Other Child/Family/Developmental Faculty
Jerome Adams, Ph.D. (Human Development and Family)
Sue K. Adams, Ph.D. (Human Development and Family)

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