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Social Development Lab

Welcome to the website for Virginia Tech's Social Development Lab

We study how children learn to think, feel, and act in social relationships as they mature.

Topics of particular interest to us are:

  • What parents think about children's emotions
  • How parents teach children about emotions, friendships, and helping others
  • How children understand their own and others' emotions
  • How children make decisions about helping friends and people who are not their friends

We are especially interested in how positive emotions (for example, happiness, forgiveness, hope, pride) influence parents' and children's relationships and their actions.

Our overall goal is to learn how parents and children from a variety of cultural backgrounds use emotions to develop and maintain positive relationships and to reach their aspirations.

Click here for directions to the Social Development Lab in Blacksburg, and here for directions to our lab in Roanoke.

Thank you for your interest!