Lacey Hilliard, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychology

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  • PhD, The Pennsylvania State University
  • MA, The Pennsylvania State University
  • BA, The University of Texas at Austin
  • BS, The University of Texas at Austin

Employment History

Research Professor, The Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University

Research Interests

Applied developmental science, social group development, stereotyping and prejudice, educational media and technology

My research is focused on how children understand and navigate social issues, taking an applied developmental and social justice-centered approach. One aspect of this work involves the social, cognitive, and developmental processes related to social group membership (with a focus on gender) and intergroup attitudes. Current studies in this area include discovering how (or whether) adults address sexism and other cultural topics with children. In recent work, I have also created and evaluated educational media and technology-based interventions designed to help children and adolescents navigate social challenges and ethical dilemmas in schools. I use a variety of research methods, such as dyadic and group observations, longitudinal surveys, interviews, and focus groups, and work closely in collaboration with organizations, schools, families, and other community partners.

Selected Publications

Hilliard, L. J. & Liben, L. S. (2019). Addressing sexism with children: Young adults’ beliefs about bias socialization. Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13230.

Hilliard, L. J., Stacey, D. C., McClain, A., Batanova, M., & Lerner, R. M. (2017). Media and technology and the family: Exploring the “CASIE” Model of Media Use in Youth Development. In J. M. Holland, V. P. Jackson, J. R. Miller (Eds.), Human sciences kaleidoscope: Past, present & future.

Hilliard, L. J., Buckingham, M. H., Geldhof, G. J., Gansert, P., Stack, C., Gelgoot, E., Bers, M. U., & Lerner, R. M. (2016). Perspective-taking and decision-making in educational game play: A mixed-methods study. Applied Developmental Science, DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2016.1204918.

Hilliard, L. J., & Liben, L. S. (2014). Fairness in the face of gender stereotypes: Examining the nature and impact of mother-child conversations. In C. Wainryb & H. Reccia (Eds.) Talking about right and wrong: Parent-child conversations as contexts for moral development (pp. 168-192). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Hilliard, L. J., & Liben, L. S. (2010). Differing levels of gender salience in preschool classrooms: Effects on children’s gender attitudes and group bias. Child Development, 81, 1787-1798.


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Courses Taught

  • PSYCH 216 - Research Methods & Design
  • PSYCH 241 - Social Psychology
  • PSYCH 732 - Social Bases of Behavior & Experience