Socioemotional Development Lab

We are interested in how individual characteristics and contexts interact to influence both normative and atypical development. We work primarily in the areas of social and emotional development, exploring how constitutional characteristics, like temperament and self-regulation, in conjunction with specific environments, are predictive of developmental outcomes.

For example, how do behavior problems develop in children living in differing socioeconomic and cultural contexts? Recently we’ve been focused on at risk children, looking at how temperament (self-regulatory behavior), culture, and family relationships can be used to predict feelings of self-competence. We use data collected at local Head Start Centers and nursery schools as well a previously collected large longitudinal data sets.

Rose DiBiase

To learn more about Dr. Rose DiBiase and her work, please visit her faculty page. 

Current Graduate Students

Denise Kyte is a second-year doctoral student in Suffolk’s Clinical Psychology program, where she works with Dr. Rosemarie DiBiase. Denise is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, and completed the Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Suffolk prior to entering the PhD program. Denise’s research interests include environmental, cognitive, and temperamental predictors of child self-perception, along with attachment and emotion regulation within the context of trauma and re-victimization in adults. Denise’s clinical interests include the treatment of developmental and complex trauma, and she is currently completing a two-year practicum placement at the Trauma Center in Brookline.

Selected Research Publications and Presentations

Kyte, D. (2009). Risky recreation: Associations with parenting style and the use of safety equipment. Saarbrucken, DE: VDM Publishing.

Kyte, D., & DiBiase, R. (2017, March). Attachment, theory of mind, and temperament as predictors of maternal acceptance in preschoolers. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) Conference in Boston, MA.

Kyte, D., & DiBiase, R. (2017, October). Attachment, theory of mind, and temperament-derived reactivity as predictors of maternal and peer acceptance in preschoolers. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD) Conference in Providence, RI.

Wallace, J.R., & Kyte, D. (2012, April). Do parenting styles influence the relationship between risk perception and the use of safety equipment? Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) Conference in Reno, NV.


Alex Wheeler is a 4th doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Suffolk, where he works with Prof. Rosemarie DiBiase. Alex is a graduate of Swarthmore College, and his research interests lie in studying how children with different temperaments respond differently to features of their environments, including clinical interventions. Having completed clinical practicum placements at McLean Hospital and Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Alex is currently a graduate student clinician at the Center for Effective Child Therapy at Judge Baker Children's Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Selected Research Presentations

Wheeler, A. & DiBiase, R. (2017, October). Psychological pathways of differential susceptibility:Emotion regulation as a potential mechanism.Poster presented at the 10th Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Meeting, Providence, RI.

Wheeler, A., DiBiase, R., & Miller, P.M. (2017, March). Parent–child relationship quality moderates the relation between shyness and early internalizing problems. Poster presented at the 29th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA.

Wheeler, A., DiBiase, R., & Miller, P.M. (2015, October). Predicting early internalizing problems from shyness and controlling parenting: Evidence of temperament-environment interaction? Poster presented at the 9th Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Meeting, Austin, TX.

Wheeler, A., DiBiase, R., & Miller, P.M. (2015, March). Perceptions of preschoolers' competence and peer acceptance: Income and ethnicity matter.

 Paper presented at the 86th Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Current Research Projects

  • How the development of a theory of mind influences self development in preschoolers
  • Examining Differential Susceptibility to behavior problems, using socioemotional predictors like attachment, temperament, self-regulation, stress, peer relations and SES
  • Predicting behavior problems in children of differing economic and cultural backgrounds

Interested in Joining the Lab?

Graduate Students: Dr. DiBiase is currently not accepting any clinical doctoral students.

Undergraduate Students: any juniors and seniors who are interested in joining the lab and have taken Research Methods, Statistics, and Child Development, should email Past students have worked on poster presentations, presented at the meetings of Eastern Psychological Association & STEM reception, and assisted with doctoral student research.