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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Ross Thompson Bio

Ross A. Thompson, Ph.D.
ZERO TO THREE Board President


Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis.

Board President, ZERO TO THREE; Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science; Society for Research in Child Development; founding member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child; Editorial Board, ZERO TO THREE Press; Scientific Advisory Board, National Institute for Early Education Research.

Contributions to the Field
Dr. Thompson’s expertise focuses on early personality and socio-emotional development in the context of closer relationships. His work in the cross-disciplinary field of developmental relational science pursues dual tracts. First, his research explores the influence of relational processes on emotional growth, conscience development, emotion regulation and self-understanding. Second, he has worked on the applications of developmental relational science to public policy problems concerning children and families, such as divorce and child custody, child maltreatment, grandparent visitation rights, and research ethics.

Current Research
Current projects focus on the development of emotion regulation in preschoolers; depressive symptomatology in relation to maternal self-efficacy and infant-mother interaction; and toddlers' social and emotional sensitivity to need in others.

Recent Honors/Awards/Recognition/Books Published 
Ann L. Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research, 2007.



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