Professor of Psychology Emerita

“Knowledge is only as valid (accurate) as the methods used to obtain it. Only valid knowledge is useful in advancing further knowledge and addressing real world problems. Therefore, if we wish to use knowledge to improve our world, we must assess the validity of the methods on which it is based.”

— Susan Crockenberg

Professor, 1990-2011


Publication Highlights:

  • Crockenberg, S. (1981). Infant irritability, mother responsiveness, and social support influences on the security of infant-mother attachment. Child Development, 52, 857-865.
  • Crockenberg, S., & Smith, P. (1982). Antecedents of mother-infant interaction and infant irritability in the first three months of life. Infant Behavior and Development, 5, 105-119.
  • Crockenberg, S. B. (1986). Are temperamental differences in babies associated with predictable differences in caregiving? In J. V. Lerner & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), New Directions for Child Development, 31, 53-73, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Crockenberg, S., & Litman, C. (1990). Autonomy as competence in two-year-olds: Maternal correlates of child compliance, defiance, and self-assertion. Developmental Psychology, 26, 961-971 moderate effects of child care on child development. Child Development, 74, 968-972.
  • Crockenberg, S. & Leerkes, E. (2004). Infant and maternal behaviors regulate infant reactivity to novelty at six months. Developmental Psychology, 40, 1123-32.
  • Crockenberg, S. C. & Leerkes, E. M. (2006). Infant temperament (reactivity to novelty) and maternal behavior at 6 months interact to predict later anxious behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 18, 1-18.
  • Crockenberg, S. C., Leerkes, E. M., & Barrig Jo, P. S. (2008). Predicting aggressive behavior in the third year from infant reactivity and regulation as moderated by maternal behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 37-54.
  • Crockenberg, S. C. (2008). Commentary: How valid are the results of the St. Petersburg-USA Orphanage intervention study and what do they mean for the world’s children. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 73, 263-270.
  • Crockenberg, S. C. & Leerkes, E. M. (2011). Parenting Infants. In D. W. Davis & M. C. Logsdon (Eds.) Maternal sensitivity: A scientific foundation for practice. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.

Awards and Recognition

University Scholar, 2006-2007, University of Vermont

Associations and Affiliations

Associate Editor, Child Development; Fellow, American Psychological Association; Governing Council, Society for Research in Child Development; Executive Board-International Society for Infant Studies (ICIS); Faculty Senate Executive Council and Vice-President.

Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor, Human Development, University of California, Davis; Visiting Scholar, Child Development Unit, Harvard University Medical School and Children’s Hospital; Project consultant Oregon Research Institute, “Improving Access to Early Parent Education and Support.”

Consultant to the National Resource Center for Children in Poverty; Member, Infant Mental Health Task Force, State of Vermont; Member, Academic Advisory Panel to the Joint Legislative Committee on Corrections Policy, State of Vermont; Invited Speaker at the Annual Meeting of Vermont Probate Judges.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Temperament (or gene) x environment interactions in explaining individual differences in social/emotional development; the role of context (e.g., families) in fostering development; emotion regulation as a key process in developmental psychopathology.


  • B.S., 1966, Cornell University
  • Ph.D., 1970, Stanford University