Institute of Human Development
The Institute of Human Development has sparked pioneering studies - since 1927 - of individual development from newborns to adolescents to the elderly. Institute members, students, and visiting scholars explore the biological, psychological, social and culture forces that shape human growth. We are united by our commitment to understanding the individual's developmental capacities and how social environs shape the vitality of children and adults. One of the first research centers established by the University of California, IHD hosts an interdisciplinary community of scientists, including young scholars and students who shape innovative research, program models, and policy options.
IHD hosts a colorful array of scholars conducting work on development across the age span and digging into questions from various theoretical and philosophical traditions, including cultural studies, psychology, public health, sociology, and neuroscience. Topics cover six general areas of human development, including:
Early Childhood Development and Education
Several researchers in IHD study early development and/or education. In addition, IHD has long standing connections with the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center and more recent connections with other child care units on campus, the Early Childhood Education Program, which includes the new Haste Street Child Development Center. This theme encompasses both research and educational endeavors.
Contexts and Development
This theme involves collaborations on the effects of existing and changing contexts on individual and group development. The discipline of Psychology has long focused on development within individuals. In recent decades, there has been an emerging interest in the contexts in which individuals develop and adapt, especially in families, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, and cultures or subcultures. And, as investigators realize that these contexts change, there has begun to be interest in how to assess groups, and how to understand group development.
Developmental and Evolutionary Neuroscience
Some members of IHD engage on research in development and evolutionary neuroscience. Given the prevalence and importance currently placed on evolution and neuroscience, it is of mutual benefit for developmentalists and neuroscientists to engage in dialogue and collaborations.
Studies of Developmental Psychopathology are well represented in IHD. In addition to stimulating greater collaborative activities, this theme serves to make connections with research in early childhood development and developmental neuroscience.
Social and Emotional Development
There is a long tradition in IHD of psychological research on social and emotional development that has examined social relationships, social interactions, family processes, socialization, and social and moral reasoning.
IHD researchers also examine public policies and local initiatives that lift the development and well-being of children. This cuts across nonprofit organizations, schools, health care, and private agencies that serve children, adolescents, and families.
The Harold E. Jones Child Study Center
Since the inception of IHD, a special relationship with the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center (CSC) has been part of our mission. The CSC is a site for (a) research by faculty, postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students, and (b) training of teachers in "best practices."
The Greater Good Science Center
Supports the research of a group of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students involved in understanding the development of psychological peace and the overcoming of psychological distress in individuals, families, peer groups, and social institutions.