Human Development and Psychology faculty and students study individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds as they learn and develop. This includes children, adolescents, and adults with diverse socioeconomic status, linguistic, racial, ethnic, immigrant backgrounds, and disability groups. We are committed to understanding individual differences and bettering the lives of children, adolescents and their families from under-served and under-resourced communities, and those who are under-represented in the scientific literature.*


Topical Areas of Study Include:

  • Interactions between risk and resilience across development
  • Concerns with life circumstances (e.g., experiencing poverty or immigration) and personal characteristics (e.g., acquiring of new languages or disability) that make individuals or groups vulnerable to variations in achievement, social, and emotional outcomes
  • Relationships between single and multiple risk factors
  • Processes that mediate the presence of a risk factor and later outcomes
  • Developmental trajectories of children and adolescents
  • Identifying protective factors that may alter or alleviate the impact of high risk
  • Specific disabilities such as autism, mental health disorders, intellectual disabilities, and language disabilities:
    • seeking to identify the nature of developmental differences
    • studying novel intervention approaches to promote development, inclusion, and acceptance in schools and society
  • School-based research relevant to children and adolescents’ academic, social and motivational development
  • Developing more effective learning strategies for diverse learners.
  • Examining structural (e.g., racial and ethnic diversity; socioeconomic composition of the school; dual language immersion programs) features that affect educational progress and attainment.
  • Studying process (e.g., peer relations, instructional approaches, parental involvement in schools) features that affect educational progress and attainment.


The Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS) at UCLA, in which the HDP Program resides, offers a climate that values and supports the integration of theory, research, and application. Faculty colleagues and graduate students of GSE&IS serve as important resources and links to the local community. GSE&IS includes a laboratory elementary school, located on the UCLA campus, a community K-12 school, established in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and is linked to infant and preschool programs and clinical services on and off campus.

*Note: Ours is not a school psychology, counseling psychology, or clinical psychology program.