Candidate Statements for Division 7. Developmental Psychology

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Sarah L. Friedman, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

My career path afforded me different perspectives on psychology as a scientific discipline. I worked as a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, a grants manager at the National Institute of Education (predecessor of Institute of Education Science-IES), a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a Director of an IES supported Regional Education Laboratory and a Research Director at the Health Division at a nonprofit Research and Analysis Corporation (CNA) before joining the George Washington University as a Research Professor. My 126 publications and 8 edited books address a wide range of topics in the area of child development. These include (a) the effects of preterm birth on children’s cognitive, educational and social development; (b) the interface of brain, cognition and education; (c) the development of planning skills; (d) longitudinal follow-up research strategies; (e) environmental influences on psychological development; (f) child care and children’s psychological and health development (g) military connected children and families. I am a Fellow of the American Psychological Society (APS), American Psychological Association (Divisions 1, 7 and 33), a recipient of two Merit awards at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the recipient of a 2003 APA Meritorious Research Service Commendation. While on APA Council (2016-2017), I served on the organizational policies/procedures and the Diversity working groups and on the Children, adolescents and families and the Women caucuses. I am eager to continue working on healing and improving APA through Council.




Candidate: Brett Laursen, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

Brett Laursen is Professor of Psychology and Director of Graduate Training at Florida Atlantic University, and Docent Professor of Social Developmental Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Professor Laursen received his Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota and an Honorary Doctorate from Örebro University, Sweden. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 7, Developmental), the Association for Psychological Science, and the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development. Professor Laursen is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Professor Laursen’s research concerns influence within and outcomes associated with parent-child and peer relationships. A related focus is on quantitative developmental methodology. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, Professor Laursen is the co-editor (most recently) of the Handbook of Developmental Research Methods and the Handbook of Peer Interactions, Relationships, and Groups.

Professor Laursen has closely followed Division 7’s pivotal role in the Council of Representatives since the release of the Independent Report and will be a strong advocate for motions that promote accountability and transparency. He has served in leadership roles for several professional societies, including co-Chairing the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Chairing the Finance Committee for the Society for Research on Adolescence, and serving as Treasurer and Membership Secretary for the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development.