Pamela M. Cole

Pamela during ToastsDr. Cole studies emotional development in early childhood, focusing on how children learn to regulate their emotions, including the role of children’s language and attention skills and the contributions of parents as they interact with their children.  Her work continues to include conceptual work on the nature and measurement of self-regulation, particularly as a dynamic, unfolding process, and empirical work, particularly the development of young typically developing children and children who are at risk for emotional problems.  At present, she is leading five projects with her team of co-investigators and graduate students:  the Development of Toddlers (DOTS) study followed children from age 18 months to age 5 years, tracing changes in children’s anger and ability to regulate anger and examining the role of language in that process.  Another line of work examines parental emotions and the strategies parents use to cope with parenting challenges.  More recently, she has developed an interest the effects of parental anger on children’s neural processing and behavior.  She also is conducting pilot work to determine if we can distinguish irritability from normative anger in toddlerhood, and analyzing data from a large cross-cultural study of maternal conceptions of child competence and the role of emotion in those conceptions.  In addition, Dr. Cole leads the Pathways to Competence (P2C) research initiative and participates in the Families at Riskresearch initiative.  Her P2C group meets biweekly throughout the year to provide intellectual support to faculty members developing new projects and applying for external funding.  Read an interview with Dr. Cole.