Cathi Propper, Ph.D.

Director, Durham Child Health and Development Study
Center for Developmental Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Cathi Propper is the Director of the Durham Child Health and Development Study at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Duke University in May of 2006. Dr. Propper’s research examines the development of infant emotion regulation from a behavioral and physiological perspective with a specific focus on the influence of the parent-child relationship. Her interest in molecular genetics has led to studies of the interaction between specific candidate dopamine genes and early life experience over time as predictors of complex behavioral and socioemotional outcomes in childhood. To this end, she has studied the development of behavior problems, as well as infant vagal reactivity (a physiological index of emotion regulation), in young children as a function of child genotype and early maternal behavior. She is currently working on extending this line of research to explore processes of self-regulation in the classroom, including the development of attention and inhibitory control, as influenced by child characteristics and interactions with parents and teachers.