Wayne State University

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Areas of Research  |  Colloquia  |  Early Childhood Center  |   Resources  |  Faculty  |  Trainees


Current research of Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute (MPSI) faculty is centered on broad themes that reflect wide-ranging factors affecting development, with a lifespan perspective, often utilizing multidisciplinary designs and methods, and a committed urban mission. Individual research projects and/or faculty laboratories frequently address one or more of these overlapping themes:  

Biological and Environmental Risk

Research in this area addresses factors and experiences such as certain birth events, illness or health status, and prenatal or early exposures to toxins, drugs, or community violence, that affect child and adolescent development and life-long health and well-being.  

Developmental Transition Research

Research in this area addresses challenges to developmental periods of life typically viewed as involving great change and growth, such as birth, early infancy and adolescence. 

Interventions Research

Research in this area addresses how children, parents and families can be helped to successfully respond to the risks, challenges and transitions in their lives.

Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience

Research in this area is focused on the relationships between brain development over the lifespan – beginning prenatally and throughout adulthood – and neurobehavioral function, health and well-being.