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Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development

Research Projects

Centers and Institutes

The Eliot-Pearson Children's School
The Eliot-Pearson Children's School is the laboratory-demonstration school affiliated with the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. The school serves as a model and demonstration facility, providing a training and observation site for new and experienced teachers and a research facility for faculty and supervised students in the Department of Child Study and Human Development. The Children's School enrolls approximately 80 children. It has preschool and kindergarten to second grade classes that vary in length and frequency.

Developmental Technologies Research Group (DevTech)
Established and directed by Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers, DevTech aims to understand how new technologies can play a positive role in children's development and learning.

Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development (IARYD)
Established and directed by Dr. Richard M. Lerner, the Institute has the mandate and goal to be a center of excellence for the conduct and dissemination of top-tier scholarship and for the education and professional development of graduate and undergraduate students interested in enhancing the lives of diverse children, families, and communities.

Tufts Interdisciplinary Evaluation Research (TIER)
(formerly Massachusetts Healthy Families Evaluation)
Tufts Interdisciplinary Evaluation Research (TIER) is committed to conducting high-quality, collaborative evaluation research that contributes to expanding usable knowledge in fields such as applied developmental science, policy science, and urban planning, and to improving policies and programs for children, families, and communities.

The Crehan Lab
Our studies focus on social development in the context of autism spectrum disorder. Please explore our website and reach out with questions.

Special Projects

The following list of special projects provides a description of just some of the projects going on within the department but outside its centers and institutes. For more information about special projects, consult faculty profiles.

Child and Family WebGuide
Established and developed by Dr. Fred Rothbaum, the WebGuide provides parents and professionals access to reliable websites where they can receive the most up-to-date information and best advice for raising, educating, and treating children and adolescents. The WebGuide is maintained by students trained in evaluating sites and in the technology of developing sites. For more information, contact Dr. George Scarlett or visit their website.

Children's Television Project (CTV)
The CTV project is an on-going investigation of the sociolinguistic dimensions of children's animated television. For more information, visit the CTV website, or contact Dr. Calvin Gidney or Dr. Julie Dobrow.

Evelyn Pitcher Curriculum Lab
The lab is a multipurpose research and curriculum development space, housing the Early Childhood Makerspace at Eliot-Pearson as well as a well-equipped art workshop; seminar space for courses and professional development activities open to the local community; and a lending library of books and early childhood STE classroom materials. For more information, visit the Pitcher Curriculum Lab website, or contact Dr. Bruce Johnson.

Families and Children in Challenging Circumstances (FaCCC)
Directed by Dr. Ellen Pinderhughes, FaCCC works to contribute an understanding of developmental processes that occur within families whose children are at risk for dysfunctional behavior — so that policies, interventions and services can be improved or designed to facilitate optimal child outcomes. Specific ongoing studies include: research on adoptive families with a focus on child and family readjustment; research on at-risk children in biological families which involves hypothesis testing examination with large samples over multiple years. For more information, contact Dr. Ellen Pinderhughes.

Navigating Multiple Cultural Worlds and Identities
This ongoing research project is designed to investigate the processes and circumstances under which children gain expertise in navigating between multiple worlds and identities. The underlying assumption is that navigating multiple identities is a critical component of the development of self and identity – especially for children of immigrants and those from underrepresented racial and ethnic communities who experience life as minorities in the U.S. For more information, contact Dr. Jayanthi Mistry.

Neighborhood Contexts
Dr. Tama Leventhal and her colleagues direct a number of studies on the role of neighborhood contexts in the lives of children, youth, and families, studies inquiring how the neighborhoods where children and youth live matter for their development, for whom they matter most, and when they matter most for children's development. For more information, contact Dr. Tama Leventhal.

Rise
The primary goal of the RISE project is to improve school readiness for dual language learners (DLLs), by strengthening connections between home and school and by fostering positive approaches to learning through hands-on science, technology, and engineering (STE) content. For more information, contact Dr. Christine McWayne or Dr. Jayanthi Mistry.

Somerville Integrated Data Systems Project
Although the department has a long history of involvement in the University's host communities of Somerville and Medford, there has been an increased emphasis on developing more formal community-based partnerships that are well aligned with our re-envisioned Early Childhood Education program. Three organizing themes characterize the newly envisioned programs: equity in early childhood, collaboration with community-based organizations for program development and teaching, and applied research. For more information, contact Dr. Christine McWayne.

Learn more about CSHD faculty and research