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This book brings the research to life through stories. What prompted Virginia Apgar to develop what became the Apgar Test? Who knew that Eleanor Gibson's famous "visual cliff" experiment was inspired by her own toddler's experience at the Grand Canyon? These stories help students appreciate the relevance of theory, and help them internalize and learn the often research-intensive material.
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Charlotte J. Patterson is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where she teaches an introductory course in child development every year. She was born and attended school in California, receiving her B.A. at Pomona College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford University. Upon graduation from Stanford, Patterson moved East to accept a position at the University of Virginia, where she has been actively pursuing research and teaching in developmental psychology ever since.
Patterson has published widely in the areas of social and personal development among children and adolescents. She has conducted research on children’s self-control, on children’s communication skills, on child maltreatment, and on the family, peer and school contexts of child development. Recently, much of her research has focused on the role of sexual orientation in human development, especially on issues related to child development in lesbian- and gay-parented families. Reports of her research have appeared in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Family Psychology, and other well-known journals. Her 2004 article on adolescents with same-sex parents has been recognized by Child Development as one of its “Top 10 Downloads”; it was the journal’s 2nd most-frequently downloaded paper for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007.
In addition to her empirical research, Patterson has edited three books, and served on many editorial boards, including those of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Human Development, Journal of Marriage and the Family, and the Journal of Family Psychology. She spent three years as Associate Editor of the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, and has twice served as guest editor for special sections of Developmental Psychology. Active in professional matters, Patterson has served on numerous committees and task forces. For instance, she has been a member of grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and at the National Science Foundation (NSF), and she was a member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) task force on Cultural and Contextual Diversity.
Patterson has also been an innovative teacher. She was a University of Virginia Teaching + Technology Fellow, and was an early adopter of technological tools such as presentation software and digitized video clips in lectures for her child development course. When Patterson first made a collection of digitized classic and contemporary video clips available to students and instructors in her Multimedia Courseware for Child Development, it was considered so novel that it received notice in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Her contributions in teaching have been recognized by an award from the University of Virginia Faculty Senate Initiative on Excellent Teaching, and by repeated invitations to speak at the Developmental Science Teaching Institutes at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).
In recognition of her research, teaching and service, Patterson has been the recipient of numerous awards. She won the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from APA’s Division 44 (the Society for Psychological Study of Lesbian and Gay Issues), she was given an Outstanding Achievement Award from the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns, and she was awarded the Carolyn Attneave Diversity Award from APA’s Division 43 (Family Psychology) for contributions that advance the understanding and integration of diversity into family psychology. She has served as President of APA’s Division 44, and is a fellow of both APA (Divisions 7, 9, 43, and 44) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
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