An integral part of our Infant Mental Health Program is our Early Childhood and Family Research Lab, co-directed by Professor of Psychology Carol George and Professor of Education Linda Perez. In a highly collaborative environment, students and faculty study infants’ and children’s early social and emotional development during the formative years of pregnancy through age five. Our research goal is to further the understanding of connections between normative development and developmental risk. Each project adds to this understanding and reinforces our practice in strengths-based infant, child, and family intervention programs.
As a discipline, infant mental health is firmly rooted in basic research and intervention models derived from developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology. The field embraces the scientist-practitioner model, a model that has served as the foundation for excellence in clinical health and science fields for over a century. As scientists, infant mental health researchers who work within the academy are experimentalists trained in science to address basic and clinical questions; as clinicians, professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, special education professionals, nurses, and doctors) are trained in research methodology in order to understand how empirical research is essential to good practice and developing effective intervention programs.