Developmental Faculty

Core Faculty

Lisa J. Crockett


Professor Crockett's research interests focus on adolescent development. She conducts research in two primary areas: adolescent risk behavior, with an emphasis on sexuality, and ethnic differences in parenting and adolescent adjustment. In one study, Dr. Crockett followed a sample of rural adolescents from junior high into early adulthood. Using this data set she has examined predictors and consequences of early sexuality activity and heavy drinking among rural youth. More recent analyses focus on the transition to adulthood, including the implications of adolescents' family relationships, peer relationships and behavior for the quality of their romantic relationships in adulthood as well as the development of aspirations and expectations for the future. In a second study, she and Dr. Marcela Raffaelli have examined the childhood origins of adolescents' sexual risk-taking. In a third study, she has examined the relations between parenting practices and adolescent adjustment across different ethnic groups, using national survey data and qualitative data from focus group interviews with teenagers. A fourth project examines the relationships between temperament, internalizing, and externalizing problems from grades 3 to 10. A new project that focuses on the development and well-being of Latino adolescents is underway. Dr. Crockett served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence from 1999-2004 and currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Early Adolescence and Developmental Psychology.

Dennis L. Molfese

 (402) 472-7976

Dennis L. Molfese, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the use of brain recording techniques to study the emerging relationships between brain development, language and cognitive processes. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a Chancellor's Professor, Director of the Brain Imaging Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Director of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory there. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the scientific journal, Developmental Neuropsychology, and serves on the editorial boards for the Annals of Dyslexia, and for Eye and Brain. Dr. Molfese served as the Chair of a number of national panels in the U.S.A. on Learning Disabilities as well as on numerous NIH, NIMH and NSF grant review panels. He is co-director of one of 15 national laboratories in the U.S.A. that make up the National Institutes of Health Reading and Learning Disabilities Research Network. He is the recipient of a number of honors for outstanding research contributions from societies such as Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi and received the Kentucky Psychologist of the Year Award. A Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. His research has been continuously funded since 1975 through grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, The National Foundation/March of Dimes, the MacArthur Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, NATO, and NASA. Dr. Molfese has published some 150 books, journal articles, and book chapters on the relationship between developing brain functions, language and cognitive processes.

Anne Schutte

Dr. Schutte received her Ph. D. from the University of Iowa and joined the faculty in 2004. Her research interests are in the area of cognitive development, with a particular focus on the development of spatial cognition. Her primary research program centers on the development of spatial working memory in early childhood. Her research is based on a dynamic systems model of cognition, the Dynamic Field Theory, which is a computational model of spatial cognition that uses dynamic neural fields. She teaches courses in developmental psychology, cognitive development, child behavior and development, and dynamic systems theory.

Brian Wilcox    

 (402) 472-3479

Brian Wilcox, professor emeritus, joined the faculty in 1994 and served as the director of the University's Center on Children, Families and the Law, and chair of UNL's Family Research and Policy Initiative. He received his Ph.D. in community psychology from the University of Texas in 1979. Prior to coming to Nebraska, he taught at the University of Virginia, served as a legislative assistant to Senator Bill Bradley, and was director of public policy for the American Psychological Association. His teaching and research interests focus broadly on the linkages between child development and public policy, including adolescent sexual behavior, child welfare, child care, and children and the media.