I hold an M.S. and Ph.D. in Child Development from Auburn
served as an Assistant Professor for 8 years at Michigan
State University. I have taught
preschool classrooms at the Auburn University Child Study Center, served as program
supervisor of the MSU Child Development Laboratories, and
participated in several research projects.
Courses I teach
ECHD 243 – Child
Development and Observation I
EDUC 410 - Strategies for Early Learners
My primary research
interest is young children's social development, particularly
aspects of how young children think about and understand their
interactions with peers, how parent-child interaction fosters young
children's social cognition, and how contextual factors, such as
early care experiences, influence children's social development. As
a graduate student, I served as research coordinator of a NICHD
funded longitudinal study of children’s
adjustment. Based on data from this project, I have co-authored articles and presentations
that focused on concurrent and subsequent correlates of children's
out-of-home care experiences, and on continuity in children's care
experiences from early childhood through adolescence. My
dissertation, completed as a portion of an NIMH funded project
investigating mechanisms that mediate links between the quality of
parent-child interaction and children’s'
peer-based behavior, focused on moderators and mediators of links
between children’s social cognition and
their social behavior. I have built upon this foundation through
studies that have examined models of young children's social
cognition. One primary finding, replicated in three data sets, is
that young children's regulation moderates associations between
hostile attributions and aggressive behavior. Another important
finding suggests that associations between young
children's cognitive representations of self and peers and withdrawn
peer behavior is mediated by strategy response generation.
Another line of research suggests that mother-child interaction -
specifically, maternal emotion framing - is linked with children's
withdrawn behavior, and this association is mediated by children's
cognitive representations of self and peers. I also have served as a
PI for the Michigan Child Care Research Partnership, conducting
studies of infant care in low income families and in Migrant farm
working families, and of informal care of preschoolers in low-income
2009 NAEYC National Conference presentation "Establishing Positive Verbal Environments"
Meece, D., (2008, April). One state, two state, red state, blue state: Education funding accounts for outcome differences. Presented to the biennial meeting of the Conference on Human Development, Indianapolis.
Meece, D., Mize, J., Bates, J. E., Dodge, K. E., & Pettit, G. S. (2007, March). Temperament moderates association between young children’s hostile attributions and aggression I: Results from two data sets. Presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Child Development, Boston.
Meece, D. & Luster, T. (2007, March). Temperament moderates association between young children’s hostile attributions and aggression II: Results from NICHD SECC Data. Presented as part of the symposium “Profiles and understandings of risks and competencies among vulnerable children and families” (H. Brophy-Herb, Chair) at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston.