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    Faculty Profile — Is this you? Login to edit.Last Modified Time: 01:01:43 PM Thu, 23 Sep 2010 
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Margaret T Owen
Professor and Program Head-Behavioral & Brain Sciences
Office MailstopGR 4.826, Room No.: GR 4.826 
Email Address    Primary Phone Number 972-883-6876    URL Owen Margaret's Webpage    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
 Ph.D.Developmental PsychologyUniversity of Michigan1981
 M.A.Human DevelopmentUniversity of Kansas1975
 B.A.PsychologyOberlin College1974
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Research Interests

My research focuses on children's environmental contexts particularly children's home experiences and child-care experiences and how they relate to the child's development. I study linkages both within and across environmental contexts. Within the family, I study relations among mother-child, father-child, and husband-wife relationships, and I examine how qualities of these relationships are associated with children's development. I have studied how a collaborating partnership between parent and child-care provider benefits parent-child and caregiver-child interactions and, in turn, relates to children's developing competence.

In my current research we have recently begun a study of preschoolers' self regulation skills and racial/ethnic disparities in school readiness. We are recruiting 360 low income preschoolers and their families to study how they develop skills in self regulation and other social and cognitive abilities that predict their later success in school.

Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
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  YearPublication  Type
Owen, M. T., Caughy, M.O., Hurst, J. M., Amos, M., Hasanizadeh, N., & Mata-Otero, A. (2013). Contributions of fathering and mothering to emerging self regulation in low-income ethnic minority preschoolers. Early Child Development and Car, 183, 464-482.
Klausli, J. F., & Owen, M. T. (2011). Exploring actor and partner effects in associations between marriage and parenting for mothers and fathers. Parenting: Science and Practice.
Else-Quest, N. M., Clark, R., & Owen, M. T. (2011). Stability in mother-child interactions from infancy through adolescence. Parenting: Science and Practice.
 McCartney, K., Burchinal, M., Clarke-Stewart, A., Owen, M.T., Bub, K., Belsky, J., and the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2010). Testing a series of causal propositions relating time spent in child care to children’s externalizing behavior.Developmental Psychology, 46, 1-17.  
Category: Child Development
Peer reviewed
 Klausli, J.F., & Owen, M.T. (2009). Maternal cohabitation and characteristics of the home environment across the child’s first two years. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 103-106  
Category: Developmental Psychology
Peer reviewed
Collapse Section Expand Section Presentations and Projects
  1  2 3 4 
Start DateEnd DatePresentation/Project
06/2005 06/2005 Child care quality: How and why it matters for children 's development.
Owen, M.T. (June, 2005). Keynote address presented at Plan-It Quality: Environments in Early Learning and Child Care, Linking Research, Policy and Practice, Conference sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Development and the Canadian Child Care Federation, Regina, Saskatchewan.
06/2004 06/2004 The effectiveness of relationship-centered child care for preschoolers in poverty.
Owen, M.T., Klausli, I.F., Mata-Otero, A.M., & Caughy, M. (2004, June). Poster presented at the Head Start 7th National Research Conference, Washington, D.C.
04/2005 04/2005 Couple relationship quality in the association between maritalstatus and child aajustment.
Klausli, J .F., & Owen, M.T. (April, 2005). Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.
04/2005 04/2005 arly child care and children's development in the primary grades: Follow-up results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care.
Vandell, D.L., Burchinal, M.R., Belsky, J., Owen, M.T., Friedman, S.L., Clarke-Stewart, A., McCartney, K., & Weinraub, M. (April, 2005). E Paper presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.
04/2005 04/2005 The dynamics of coparenting in family interactions.
Vaughn, A., Owen, M.T., & Barfoot, B. (April, 2005). Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2009-presentDirector, Center for Children and FamiliesBehavioral and Brain Development The University of Texas at Dallas
2001-PresentProfessor of PsychologyBehavioral and Brain Sciences The University of Texas at Dallas
1997-PresentProgram HeadHuman Development and Early Childhood Disorders The University of Texas at Dallas
1996-PresentClinical Associate ProfessorDepartment of Psychiatry University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
1995-2001Associate ProfessorSchool of Human Development The University of Texas at Dallas
1993-1995Associate Director  Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation
1992-1993Adjunct Professor of Psychology  Texas Christian University
1990-1992Director of Developmental Research  Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, Dallas, Texas
1986-1996Clinical Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Psychiatry University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
1984-1990Research Psychologist  Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, Dallas, Texas
1981-1985Adjunct Assistant/Associate Professor of Psychology  The University of Texas at Dallas
1979-1980Social Policy and Child Development InternMichigan Department of Social Services Day Care Services and Bureau for Management and Staff Development
2009-2011Self Regulation and Race/Ethnic Disparities in School ReadinessNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R01-HD058643-01A1, M.O. Caughy, PI$586,140Current
2008-2010Father Care: Levels, Sources, and ConsequencesNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R03-HD057351$150,000Previous
2002-2007Relationship-Centered Child Care and Children's Development Through the Transition to SchoolThe Child Care Group, Salesmanship Club$89,239Previous
1990-2007NICHD Study of Early Child Care: Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, Phase IVNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Cooperative Agreement, Grant No. U10-HD25443-0 1989-1994 NICHD Cooperative Agreement, Grant No. U10-HD27040-10 1995-1999 NICHD Cooperative Agreement, Grant No. U10-HD27040-11 2000-2004 No-co$2,872,844Previous
2005-2006Relationship-Centered Child Care and Development of Children in PovertyTimberlawn Foundation$37,165Previous
2003-2004Relationship-Centered Child Care and Development of Children in PovertyTimberlawn Foundation$29,980Previous
1994-1996Project KIDS Outcome EvaluationEarly Childhood Intervention Program, Dallas Independent School District$20,000Previous
1993-1994Chemical Dependency Intervention Project Outcome Evaluationexas Commission for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Evaluation of cross-agency education, training, and clinical supervision Previous
1987-1991Evaluation of the Parents As Teachers Program of the Mental Health Association in TexasThe Hogg Foundation for Mental Health$247,000Previous
1983-1984Infant-Mother Attachment in Twins: Characteristics and Relationships to Social SkillsThe Hogg Foundation for Mental Health$5,000Previous
1980-1981Interdependencies Between Infant-Mother and Infant-Father Attachment RelationshipsRackham Graduate School Dissertation Grant$1,900Previous
1978-1979Maternal Employment and Infant Social DevelopmentSpencer Foundation$55,000Previous
1978Maternal Employment and Infant Social DevelopmcntFord Foundation Research Grant from the Center for Continuing Education for Women University of Michigan Previous
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Center for Children and Families Hosting Research Fair
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UT Dallas’ Center for Children and Families will host a research fair Nov. 11 to showcase ongoing research projects and community participation opportunities.  The center was established two years ago to promote optimal child development. read more

 Additional Information
Honors and Awards
  • National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Program Fellowship, 1973
  • Sigma Xi, Oberlin College, 1974
  • NICHD Graduate Traineeship, University of Michigan, 1975-79
  • Pre-doctoral Fellow, Bush Program in Child Development and Social Policy, University of Michigan, 1979-80
  • Rackham Dissertation Fellowship, 1980
  • Senior Green Fellow, Green Center for Science and Public Policy, University of Texas at Dallas, 1996-97
  • Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, 2010-present

Profeesional Membership
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • American Psychological Association
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Society for Research in Human Deveopment
  • Intemational Society for the Study of Behavioural Development
  • Texas Association for Infant Mental Health

Honors and Awards
  • Editorial Board:
    • Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1998-2002
    • Child Development, 1993-96
  • Editorial Consultant:
    • Child Development, 1997-99
  • Ad-Hoc Reviewer:
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Child Development
    • Journal ofFamilv Psychology
    • Applied Developmental Science
    • Early Education and Development
    • Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
    • Journal ofFamily Issues
    • Psychiatry
    • Psychology of Women Quarterly
    • Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
    • Motivation and Emotion
    • Family Relations
    • Smith Richardson Foundation
    • HUD-l study section, National Institute of Child Health and Human
    • Development

Professional and Community Service
  • Infant Mental Health Endorsement project, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 2005-present.
  • Technical Committee, Bom Learning, United Way of Greater Dallas
  • Board of Trustees, Greenhill School, 1999-2006.
  • Consultant, First Impressions, a multi-year family infomiation campaign, KERA Public Television, 1999.
  • Board Member, Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, 1993-present.
  • Board Member, The Family Comiection, Dallas, TX, 1995-2001.
  • Research Consultant, Institute of Behavioral Research, Texas Christian University, Evaluation of Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Salvation Anny First Choice Program, 1996-97.
  • Planning Committee, Babies Can't Wait Conference, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health and Tarrant County Community College, April 1995.
  • Community Advisory Board, Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders Program, University of Texas at Dallas, 1994-95.
  • Co-Chair, Babies Can't Wait Project, A Joint Project of the Dallas County Child Protective Services and Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 1993.
  • Advocacy Committee, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 1992-96.
  • Program Co-Chair, Southwestem Society for Research in Human Development, 1994 meeting.
  • President, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 1991-92.
  • Local Arrangements Chair, Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development, 1990 meeting.
  • Executive Committee, Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development, 1988-92.
  • Executive Committee, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 1990-93.
  • Board Member, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 1988-93.

Personal Statement

My research focuses on children's development in the context of family relationships and the implications of maternal employment and early child care experiences for children's development and family relationships. In these interrelated pursuits her research has contributed to greater understanding of what constitute important interpersonal influences in children's lives, how family relations and child care experiences influence the young child's development, and how contexts of development are interrelated.

Some of my early work documents the influence of close, confiding marriages in the development of involved, sensitive mother-infant and father-infant interactions and, in turn, the development of secure infant-parent attachment relationships. It also addresses the detrimental effects of parents' marital conflict on children's attachments to their parents, particularly with respect to insecure/disorganized qualities in the infant-parent relationship.

I was a Co-Principal Investigator in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development 1990-2007, collaborating with investigators across the country in a prospective longitudinal study of the effects of early child care on over 1300 children and their families. The study followed the children from birth through age 15, guided by an ecological developmental framework that brings together information about the child care environment, the home and family, school experiences, peer experiences, and individual differences among children in understanding trajectories of children’s development across multiple domains. One of my contributions to the study was in designing the protocol for the longitudinal assessments of mother-child and father-child interactions and training and supervising the ratings of all of the study’s videotapes of parent-child interactions from 6 months through age 15 years.

Findings from the study have addressed (1) characteristics of child care for infants and toddlers across various types and forms of care; (2) associations found between the use of child care and demographic and attitudinal characteristics of families; and (3) associations between child-care experiences and children's relationships with their mothers, adaptive and maladaptive social behavior, cognitive and language development, peer relations, qualities of mother-child interaction, health, and school achievement from preschool through middle school. Effects of early child care have been documented through adolescence. In addition numerous reports of developmental processes in children have been published from the study. In current follow-up work, we are studying the teens’ romantic relationships and attachment styles in their senior year of high school.

In the Dallas Child Care Project, we studied developmental effects of relationship-focused child care for low-income ethnically diverse children in Dallas and variations in the quality of care provided by accredited centers serving low-income children in the Dallas area.

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