Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Denise Daniels

Denise Daniels


Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Education, Developmental Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., Human Development, Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA
  • B.A., Developmental Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Courses Taught

  • CD 102 Orientation to the Child Development Major
  • CD 329 Research Methods in Child Development
  • CD 350 Developmental Issues in Education
  • CD 424 Children's Development in Diverse Cultures
  • CD 431 Assessing Children's Development and Environments
  • CD 450 Perspectives on Childhood and Adolescent Development

Research Interests

My research focuses on three related areas: (1) the development of children’s self-understandings and motives to learn; (2) the relation between adults’ psychological understandings (e.g., beliefs about development) and their provision of learning experiences for children; and (3) the effects of early school experiences on children’s motivation and well-being. My research has been guided by an ecological perspective, which emphasizes how adults create contexts that shape and are shaped by children. It has inspired my involvement in community and state endeavors to establish guidelines for the professional development of early childhood educators, and expand high quality programs and services for young children and their families.


Selected Publications/Professional Activities

  • Daniels, D. (2019, March).  Undergraduate students’ beliefs about child development and parenting. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, MD.
  • Daniels, D. (2017, March) Children’s views of motivational dispositions. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.
  • Daniels, D.  (2016). Teaching child development. In M. Smith & N. Defrates-Densch (Eds.) Challenges and innovations in educational psychology teaching and learning (p. 219-231). Information Age Publishing.
  • Daniels, D. (2015, March). The role of persistence in early school adjustment. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Daniels, D. (2014). Children's affective orientations in preschool and their initial adjustment in kindergarten. Psychology in the Schools, 51, 256-272. doi 10.1002/pits.21748.
  • Daniels, D. (2011). Supporting early school success. [Special issue:  The Transition Years].  Educational Leadership, 68(7), 18-22.     [invited] 
  • Daniels, D. & Clarkson, P. (2010).  A developmental approach to educating young children. APA Educational Psychology Division/Corwin Press.

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