Dr. Yvette R. Harris

Teaching Interests:

As a developmental psychologist I have varied interests in teaching courses that span human development at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Throughout my tenure at Miami, I have had the opportunity to teach developmental psychology, child, adolescence, adulthood, and aging, and offer courses on Children and Poverty, The effects of television viewing on young children’s social and cognitive development, Infancy, Theories of Development, Cognitive Development, and Cross Cultural Child Psychology.

Research Interests:

For  several years, my research has been grounded in the theoretical perspective of Vygotsky, and explored the environmental contributions to cognitive development by examining the strategies that mothers use as they engage their children in a learning activity, exploring how those strategies correlate with young children’s problem solving and cognitive competence, investigating how their strategies vary according to maternal beliefs, task, and task demands, and examining at what point in time do young children benefit from parental teaching/learning interactions.  The research has been supported by National Science Foundation, Miami University, the Murray Center and Proctor and Gamble.  Currently,  I have  a new line of research focusing on the challenges of family reunification as parents return from prison.

Professional Recognition:

  • Penny Lecture Series Award (1999)
  • Alumni Enrichment Award (1999)
  • Effective Educator Nominee (2004-2005)
  • Outstanding Professor Nominee (2006-2007)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2009)

Representative Publications:

Harris, Y. R., & Graham, J. A.  (2007)  The African-American Child: Development and Challenges.  New York: Springer Publications

Harris, Y.R., & Bergen, D. (2008). African-American Children and Families: A Guide for Educators and Service Providers. Association for Childhood Education International.

Harris, Y. R.  & Graham, J. A.  (2009). Developmental Science: An Introductory Textbook Dubuque Iowa: Kendall Hunt

Harris, Y.R., Graham, J.A., Oliver, Carpenter, G.J. (2010). Children of Incarcerated Parents:  Theoretical, Developmental and Clinical Implications.  New York: Springer Publications

Harris, Y. R. (2005) Cognitive Development across the Life Span. In N. Salkind (Ed).  The Encyclopedia for Human Development, vol 1, pp.275-280.