Welcome to the Institute for Developmental
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. 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)
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
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.
(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,
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,
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
Completed Research Projects
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
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.
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.
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
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
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).
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).
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.
Lower Shore Child Care Resource Center:
MAC Inc. (serving older adults in the
Institute for Retired Persons at Salisbury
Life Long Learning:
Dove Point (serving developmentally