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Holloway Hall

Welcome to the Institute for Developmental Research

Affiliated Staff

Marta E. Losonczy-Marshall Ph.D
Director of IDR 
Associate Professor of Psychology

Jason S. McCartney Ph.D
Chair of Psychology Department
Associate Professor of Psychology

Lance C. Garmon Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Meredith Patterson, Ph.D Assistant Professor of Psychology

Rhyannon Bemis, Ph.D.       Assistant Professor of Psychology

Founding Members;

Ellyn G. Sheffield Ph.D
Towson University

Jason S. McCartney Ph.D
Chair of Psychology Department

Marta E. Losonczy-Marshall Ph.D
Director of IDR

Lance C. Garmon Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychology at Salisbury University

The Institute for Developmental Research at SU was founded in 2004.  Its mission is to promote collaborative research in the field of developmental psychology, bringing together the social, emotional, clinical, physiological and cognitive domains and to cultivate and share with the community knowledge that enhances child, adolescent and adult development and family well-being.

Current Community Involvement

Faculty members are planning on helping the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center with training for child care workers.

Past Community Involvement

Dr. Rhyannon Bemis (2013, June) gave a presentation on Oppositional Defiant Disorder to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury Maryland.


Dr. Losonczy-Marshall (2013, May) gave a presentation on "Why are Children Aggressive?" to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury Maryland.

Dr. Garmon
(2012, June) gave a presentation on "Effects of Media on Children" to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury, Maryland.

Dr. Losonczy-Marshall (2012, April) gave a presentation on "The Importance of Play" to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury Maryland.

Dr. Patterson (2011, October) gave a presentation on "Death in the Lives of Children" to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury Maryland.

Dr. McCartney (2011, June) gave a presentation on "A Child's Journey to Self Control" to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury Maryland.

Dr. Losonczy-Marshall (2011, February) gave a presentation on Children's Aggression to child care workers at the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center in Salisbury Maryland.

Dr. Losonczy-Marshall (2010, November) gave a presentation/workshop on Transitions in Adolescence sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership in Cambridge Maryland.

Patterson, Meredith (2010, March). Aging and Cognitive Function. Presentation given to the Wicomico County Commission on Aging.       

Patterson, Meredith (2010, January). Intergeneration Connection. Presentation given to the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center, Salisbury, MD.

Garmon, L.C. (2009). How do children develop a sense of right and wrong. Presentation given to the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center, Salisbury, MD.

Garmon, L.C. (2009, August & September). Writing successful grants: Basic concepts/applying what you know. Presentation/workshop for Writing for Grant Readers, Worcester County Health Department, Snow Hill, MD.

Losonczy-Marshall, M.E. (2009, April). Children's Aggression. Presentation given to the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center, Salisbury, MD.                                                

Losonczy-Marshall, M.E. (2008, April). What happened to my child? Presentation given to community members at Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Salisbury, MD.

Losonczy-Marshall, M.E. (2007, April). What happened to my child? Presentation given to community members at Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Salisbury, MD.

Losonczy-Marshall, M.E. (2006, October). Pathways to Juvenile Delinquency. Presentation to the Institute for Retired Persons at Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD.

Garmon, L.C. (2006, April). How do children develop a sense of right and wrong? Presentation given to the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center, Salisbury, MD.

Losonczy-Marshall, M.E. (2006, February). The development of play. Presentation given to the Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD.
 

Current Research Projects

Dr. Patterson, in collaboration with colleagues in the Perdue School of Business, has been working on a research project entitled “Older Workers’ Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motives as Perceived by Their Superiors and Themselves” which investigates aging stereotypes in the workplace and perceptions of older workers’ performance-related motives and traits. More than 3,500 surveys were sent to employees of local businesses, both in the public and private sectors.  Results from this study are currently being analyzed and written.

 

Completed Research Projects

Dr. Garmon, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of North Texas and Saint Joseph College in Connecticut, reecently completed a research study examiing the potential influence of emerging adults' repersentation of attachment to romantic partners on 1) their likelihood of exposing themsleves to books or films related to the Twilight Saga, and 2) their perception of the moral complexity of the characters portrayed in the saga. The findings of this project have implications for both moral development theory in general and the Uses and Gratification approach to media psychology in particular. As predicted, the majority of emerging adults had been exposed to some media form of the Twilight Saga, but the level of exposure was significantly higher for those female college students who also exhibited higher levels of insecure attachment to romantic partners, specifically those expressing higher representations of anxiety towards relationships. Although no general trends emerged predicting differences in the perception of moral complexity in characters, the human female character in the saga, Bella, was consistently rated as expressing less desirable moral attributes than did either of the male characters (a vampire and a werewolf). The results of this project have been presented at reserach conferences and currently is under review for publication. 

Dr. Losonczy-Marshall has completed data collection on a longitudinal research project looking at emotional expression and temperament in children from ages one to three years. Results of the study reveal stability in emotional expression from years one to three, and stability in the following five dimensions of temperament: activity, approach, adaptability, intensity and mood.

Dr. Garmon, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of North Texas, recently published an article Media’s Moral Messages: Assessing Moral Content in Media (2011). This study extends the examination of moral content in the media by exploring moral messages in television programming and viewer characteristics predictive of the ability to perceive such messages. Generalisability analyses confirmed the reliability of the Media’s Moral Messages (MMM) rating form for analysing programme content and the existence of 10 moral themes prevalent in television media. Standard regression analyses yielded evidence indicating viewers’ moral expertise, as measured by the Defining Issues Test (DIT), familiarity with the programme and level of education predicted their ability to perceive moral messages in a television drama popular in the USA at the time of data collection. Identification of patterns in moral content represented in television programming, as well as knowledge of how viewer characteristics relate to their ability to perceive such content, can provide parents and educators with a means for better comprehending messages regarding human interaction to which they or their children are exposed.

Dr. Garmon, in collaboration with a undergraduate students at Salisbury University, recently completed a research study examining the potential relationship between representations of real-life attachment relationships and the type of televised relationships viewed. Previous research in adolescent media research typically examines the behaviors of media characters and adolescent, rather than psychological variables such as attachment. Online questionnaires (N = 278) assessed representations of attachment and overall exposure to televised interactions for mothers, fathers, peers, and romantic partners. Analyses suggest that viewing preferences are positively related to an individual’s relationship with their mothers, peers, and/or romantic partners, but not with their fathers. The findings of this project have implications for both attachment theory in general and parasocial attachment research in media psychology in particular. The results of this project were presented at research conferences and currently being prepared for publication.

Dr. Garmon, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of North Texas and the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota recently completed a research study examining possible predictors of an emerging adult’s ability to perceive the moral qualities of a television show about college students. Findings of this study suggest that while individuals perceive & understand programs in different ways, they also appear to organize morally-related content by characters, rather than storylines. Factors identified as explaining a portion of the differences in moral quality ratings include region of the country, gender, religiosity,  moral self-concept,  previous experience with show, and short-term memory abilities. The results of this project were presented at a research conference during 2009.

Losonczy-Marshall, M.E. (2007). Stability and continuity in normal emotional development between infancy and early childhood: Longitudinal research. In a longitudinal study, twenty subjects were introduced to twelve stimuli as infants (seven to thirteen months old) and twelve similar stimuli when they were preschoolers in early childhood (three through five years old). Video recordings were made of their emotional expressions and analyzed according to Parameters of Emotional Expression (PEEX) measuring latency, intensity, and duration of emotional expression. Overall latency measures suggest moderate levels of stability but no continuity. Overall duration measures suggest a lack of both stability and continuity. More research is needed to understand these varied results. Interestingly, intensity measures, while lacking stability, appear to be modulating between infancy and early childhood. Those with higher levels of intensity are moving toward lower levels of intensity and vice versa. These results are consistent with Thomas and Chess’ "Goodness of Fit" model. Establishing normative data is useful in not only defining normal development but also in understanding deviations from normal development. The results of this study were presented at the Oxford Round Table Discussion on Psychology of the Child, Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford, Oxford England.

Dr. Jason McCartney completed a research project on preschoolers delay of gratification. This study examined children’s ability to inhibit behavior or delay gratification across three classic delay of gratification tasks.  Participants were 48 preschool children 25-30 months of age (28 males, 20 females).  Parents completed a demographic questionnaire and the Language Development Survey (LDS).  The children and their parents were videotaped during all three tasks, sometimes separated by brief periods of "free play" (e.g., time coloring pictures, playing with a puzzle). There were no significant differences between boys and girls across the three tasks. However, delay times did correlate with children’s age, fathers’ ages and the preschoolers’ productive vocabulary as reported by parents using the Language Development Survey (LDS). It is important to note that the generalizability of these findings may be limited due to the selective nature of the sample (predominantly two-parent & middle to upper SES families).

Dr. Jason McCartney completed a research project on early language development. This study examined differences in preschoolers’ productive vocabulary as reported by parents using the Language Development Survey (LDS). Participants were 58 toddlers 25-30 months of age.  The study consisted of a convenience sample of children who had been participants in a delay of gratification study.  For the LDS, the total number of words checked off plus additional words written in were summed to yield the total vocabulary score.  Mean length of phases were calculated from the phrases/sentences listed on each form by the parent. Six of the children in this study had a second language spoken in their homes (Spanish, German, Cantonese, Japanese, and Persian). The study found a significant differences between boys and girls related to language ability.  It is important to note that the generalizability of these findings may be limited due to the selective nature of the sample (predominantly two-parent & middle to upper SES families).

 

Grant Proposals

Dr. Patterson served as co-investigator on a $400,000 National Institute on Aging R-01 grant proposal entitled “Chiropractic Management of Chronic Back Pain and Cognitive Performance in Older Adults”.  The Primary Investigator was the Wellness Director of MAC, Inc. (Maintaining Active Citizens), Leigh Ann Eagle. 

WebLinks

Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center: http://lowershoreccrc.org/

MAC Inc. (serving older adults in the lower shore):  http://macinc.org/

Institute for Retired Persons at Salisbury University: http://www.salisbury.edu/irp/

Life Long Learning: http://www.salisbury.edu/lifelonglearning/

Coastal Hospice: http:///coastalhospice.org/

Dove Point (serving developmentally disabled): http://dovepointe.com/