Child Development Research Area

The Child Development Research Area is a collection of researchers studying the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children from birth to adolescence.

Our studies encompass basic and applied research and our participants include typically developing children as well as children who have special needs (eg, children with language disability, dyslexia, or who were born very prematurely).

Areas of expertise within the group include emotional development; language development, including in bilingual children; memory development; development of literacy skills and the development of social cognition.

Our studies largely employ a multi-method approach spanning neuroimaging and EEG; neuropsychological evaluation; behavioural methods; parental interview and teacher report.

The Child Development Research Area is part of the Brain and Cognition Research Group.


Find out more about our members by exploring their profile pages.

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.


Learn more about our research into emotional development.

Is it the job of parents to keep their children happy at all times? No, says Dr John Lambie. It is more important for mental health to validate negative emotions and trying to keep someone else happy can be a form of invalidation. What is emotional validation? Validation would be to say, for example, “You look sad” rather than the invalidating “Don’t be sad. Cheer up”. Lambie discusses research which shows that emotional validation leads to better emotional awareness and better mental health in children. Given increasing levels of poor mental health in children, this timely talk explains how parents can be more emotionally validating and why this matters.


This talk was part of a launch event for 'My First Emotions', a toolkit for helping parents teach young children about emotions and how to cope with them. Visit Dr John Lambie's profile page for more information on his research.