David Perry directs the Social Development Lab, which investigates social and personality development during childhood. One set of studies is concerned with aggressive behavior during childhood: Why do some children become perpetrators of aggression? Why are some children singled out for consistent abuse by their peers? What are the consequences of chronic victimization for children's subsequent development? Why do some victimized children react with depression but others with violence? Another set of studies concerns children's attachments to their parents during middle childhood: What are the best ways to assess attachment styles in preadolescent children? What causes some children to form secure attachments but others to form enmeshed "preoccupied" attachments or untrusting "avoidant" attachments? Do these attachment styles influence children's subsequent development and adjustment? A third set of studies concerns gender identity development during middle childhood: Are there different dimensions of gender identity? If so, what are the determinants and consequences of individual differences along these dimensions? Do culture and race matter when examining the implications of gender identity for adjustment? Professor Perry's work has previously been supported by the National Science Foundation and is currently supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Hodges, E.V.E., Finnegan, R.A., & Perry, D.G. (1999) Skewed autonomy-relatedness in preadolescents' conceptions of their relationships with mother, father, and best friend. Developmental Psychology, 35, 737-748.
Egan, S.K., & Perry, D.G. (1998). Does low self-regard invite victimization? Developmental Psychology, 34, 299-309.
Finnegan, R.A., Hodges, E.V.E., & Perry, D.G. (1998). Victimization by peers: Associations with children's reports of mother-child interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1076-1086.
Links: Personal Home Page