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Perry, Nicole

Nicole B. Perry

Assistant Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

Dr. Perry is accepting new Ph.D. students. Application deadline is December 1st for the Human Development and Family Sciences Ph.D. program.

Office Location
SEA 2.458

Education and Training: 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies with doctoral minor in Education Research Methodology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

M.S., Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

B.S., Psychology with minor in Family and Human Development, Arizona State University

Diversity Statement: 

As a developmental scientist, I am deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and equality. This commitment is evident in my teaching, advising, and research. As a community, I believe it is imperative that we work toward equity and eliminating structural injustice in and out of the classroom. It is my goal to create a learning environment in which a broad range of ideas and perspectives are represented and respected, as well as to foster an academic climate in which students feel valued and are comfortable bringing their authentic selves. I make explicit efforts in my courses to bring intersectional discussions to the forefront through group work and interpersonal dialogue; I believe these discussions are necessary in order to achieve a cultural, intellectual, and social environment that is inclusive for all people. I value the importance of inclusive language in the classroom and I highlight how structural injustice affects developmental trajectories across multiple domains of development.

My program of research highlights that development does not occur in the same way across individuals and contexts. Therefore, I consider important contextual factors such as race, class, and gender, when attempting to understand variation in developmental mechanisms underlying differential pathways toward adjustment. In addition to making every effort to recruit and utilize diverse samples, a subset of my work has addressed questions of process within and across diverse groups of individuals. For example, although expressive encouragement of children’s negative emotions has most commonly been linked with adaptive outcomes in predominately white samples, results from a study conducted with colleagues revealed that, within Black families, expressive encouragement of negative emotion is negatively associated with children’s competence and may not be as supportive for Black children as previous studies using white samples have suggested. I have also found gender differences in the association between parental emotion socialization practices in childhood and adult anger expression. These findings highlight the need to consider developmental constructs from a culturally-specific and gender-specific lens.

Finally, as an individual, I push myself to address biases and challenge unfair policies and practices because I believe that addressing equity and inclusion is a continuous process that requires a deliberate effort.



Research Interests: 

Dr. Perry focuses on the development of self-regulatory processes, particularly the regulation of emotion, during infancy and early childhood. Her work is grounded in a developmental science perspective which emphasizes the interconnected structure of developmental domains, the longitudinal nature of development, and the social environment as a critical developmental context. She uses biopsychosocial models to investigate how development across levels of functioning (i.e., biological, behavioral, environmental) build upon and integrate with one another to contribute to the early emergence of children’s emotional and behavioral regulation. In addition, she explores the specific developmental pathways though which the early ability to regulate emotion and behavior serve as mechanisms to support subsequent adaptive social functioning and mental health. Finally, Dr. Perry's work aims to better understand how early caregiver relationships shape, and are shaped by, young children’s neurobiology, stress reactivity, social skills, and regulatory capabilities. Her research program addresses questions of developmental process and uses a multi-method design by including multiple psychophysiological assessments (i.e., autonomic, hormonal, and neural), child observation, and both child-reported and parent-reported measures. 


Perry, N.B., & Dollar, J.M. (in press). Measurement of Behavioral Emotion Regulation Strategies in Early Childhood: The Early Emotion Regulation Behavior Questionnaire (EERBQ). Children.

Perry, N.B., Depasquale C., Donzella, B., & Gunnar, M. (in press). Cortisol Reactivity and Socially Anxious Behavior across Adolescence in Previously Institutionalized Youth. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.

Whedon, M., Perry, N. B., Curtis, E., & Bell, M. A. (2021). Private speech and the development of self-regulation: The importance of temperamental anger. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 56, 213-224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.03.013

Perry, N.B., Johnson, A. E., Hostinar, C.E., & Gunnar, M. (2021). Parental Emotional Support and Social Buffering in Previously-Institutionalized and Typically Developing Children and Adolescents. Developmental Psychobiology, 63, 1167-1176. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.22067

So, M., Perry, N., Langfield, A. & Barnes, A. (2020). Racial differences in adolescent sleep duration and mental health: The moderating role of parent-child connectedness. The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2, 89-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.11.179

Whedon, M., Perry, N. B., & Bell, M. A. (2020). Relations between frontal EEG maturation and inhibitory control in preschool in the prediction of children’s early academic skills. Brain and Cognition, 146, 274-286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2020.105636

Perry, N.B., Depasquale C., Donzella, B., & Gunnar, M. (2020) Associations between Stress Reactivity and Behavior Problems for Post-institutionalized Youth across Puberty.
Special issue titled “The Developmental Psychobiology of Stress.” Development and Psychopathology, 35, 1854-1863. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579420001297

Dollar, J. M.,Calkins, S. D., Berry, N.T., Perry, N. B., Keane, S. P., Shanahan, L., & Wideman, L. (2020). Developmental patterns of respiratory sinus arrhythmia from toddlerhood to adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 56, 783-794. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000894

Barnes, A., Perry, N., Kroupina, M., & Augustyn, M. (2020). Toddler sleep challenges: All in a day’s work. Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, 40, 762-764. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000747.

Perry, N.B., Dollar, J.M., Calkins, S.D., Keane, S.P., & Shanahan, L. (2020). Childhood emotion socialization and Adolescent adjustment: Indirect effects through emotion regulation. Developmental Psychology, Special Issue: Parental Socialization of Emotion and Self-Regulation: Understanding Processes and Application, 56(3), 554-552.

Johnson, A. E., Perry, N.B., Hostinar, C.E., & Gunnar, M.R. (2019). Cognitive-Affective Strategies and Cortisol Stress Reactivity in Children and Adolescents: Normative Development and Effects of Early Life Stress. Developmental Psychobiology, 61(7), 999-1013. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21849

 Perry, N. B., Depasquale C., Fisher, P., & Gunnar, M.R. (2019). Comparison of institutionally-reared and maltreated children on socioemotional and biological functioning. Child Maltreatment, 24(3), 235-243. doi: https://doi-org.ezp1.lib.umn.edu/10.1177%2F1077559518823074

Perry, N. B., Parenteau, A. M., Donzella, B., C., Desjardins, & Gunnar, M.R. (2019). Emotion regulation and cortisol reactivity during a social evaluative stressor: A study of post-institutionalized youth. Developmental Psychobiology, 61(4), 557-572. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21828

Blair, B. L., & Perry, N. B. (2019) Parental sensitivity and friendship development: The mediating role of cooperation. Social Development, 28(1), 106-119. https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12332

Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., Dollar, J. M., Keane, S. P., & Shanahan, L. (2019). Self-regulation as a predictor of patterns of change in externalizing behaviors from infancy to adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 30(2), 497-510. doi:10.1017/S0954579417000992

Whedon, M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2018). Cardiac vagal regulation in infancy predicts executive function and social competence in preschool: Indirect effects through language. Developmental Psychobiology, 60(5), 595–607. https://doi-org.libproxy.uncg.edu/10.1002/dev.21636

Dollar, J. M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S., & Shanahan, L. (2018). Temperamental anger and the development of social skills: Implications for academic competence during preadolescence. Early Education and Development, 29(5), 747-761doi: 10.1080/10409289.2017.1409606

Perry, N. B., Dollar, J. M., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2018). Developmental cascade and transactional associations among biological and behavioral indicators of temperament and maternal behavior. Child Development, 89(5), 1735–1751. https://doi-org.libproxy.uncg.edu/10.1111/cdev.12842

20. Perry, N. B., Dollar, J. M., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S. P., & Shanahan, L. (2018). Childhood self-regulation as a mechanism through which early overcontrolling parenting is associated with adjustment in preadolescence. Developmental Psychology 54(8), 1542-1554. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000536. *Featured on the American Psychological Association’s Article Spotlight program. Picked up by the popular press including USA Today, CBS news, CBC news and BBC. 

Perry, N. B., Leerkes, E. M., Dunbar A. S., & Cavanaugh, A. M. (2017). Gender and ethnic differences in young adults’ emotional reactions to parental punitive and minimizing emotion socialization practices. Emerging Adulthood5(2), 83-92. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2167696816653856

Blair, B. L., Rose, M. J., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S. P., O’Brien, M., Shanahan, L. (2016). The indirect effects of emotion regulation on peer acceptance and rejection: The roles of positive and negative social behaviors. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 62(4), 415-439. doi:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/portal/utils/pageresolver.fcgi?recordid=5f397247b424bd079a2701dc

Swingler, M. M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2017). Maternal behavior predicts infant neurophysiological and behavioral attention processes in the first year. Developmental Psychology, 53(1), 13-27. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000187

Whedon, M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2016). Changes in frontal EEG coherence across infancy predict cognitive abilities at age 3: The mediating role of attentional control. Developmental Psychology, 52(9), 1341-1352. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000149

Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2016). Indirect effects of maternal sensitivity on infant emotion regulation behaviors: The role of vagal withdrawal. Infancy, 21(2), 128-153. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/infa.12101 *Received the Early Career Award from the International Congress of Infant Studies

Perry, N. B., Swingler, M. M., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2016). Neurophysiological correlates of attention behavior in early infancy: Implications for emotion regulation during early childhood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142245-261. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2015.08.007

Nelson, J. A., Perry, N. B., O’Brien, M., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S. P., & Shanahan, L. (2016). Mothers’ and fathers’ reports of their supportive responses to their children’s negative emotions over time. Parenting: Science and Practice, 16(1), 56-62. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2016.1116895

Blair, B. L., Perry, N. B., O’Brien, M., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S. P., & Shanahan, L. (2015). Identifying developmental cascades among differentiated dimensions of social competence and emotion regulation. Developmental Psychology, 51(8), 1062-1073. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039472

Perry, N. B., Cavanaugh, A. M., Dunbar, A. S., & Leerkes, E. M. (2015). Maternal punitive reactions to children's negative emotions and young adult trait anger: Effect of gender and emotional closeness. Marriage & Family Review51(3), 229-245. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01494929.2015.1031421

Swingler, M. M., Perry, N. B., & Calkins, S. D. (2015). Neural plasticity and the development of attention: Intrinsic and extrinsic influences. Development and Psychopathology27(2), 443-457. doi:10.1017/S0954579415000085

Nelson, J. A., & Perry, N. B. (2015). Emotional reactivity, self-control and children's hostile attributions over middle childhood. Cognition and Emotion29(4), 592-603. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2014.924906

Swingler, M. M., Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2014). Maternal sensitivity and infant response to frustration: The moderating role of EEG asymmetry. Infant Behavior & Development, 37(4), 523-535. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2014.06.010

Dunbar, A. S., Perry, N. B., Cavanaugh, A. M., & Leerkes, E. M. (2015). African American parents’ racial and emotion socialization profiles and young adults’ emotional adaptation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21(3), 409-419. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037546

Perry, N. B., Mackler, J. S., Calkins, S. D., & Keane, S. P. (2014). A transactional analysis of the relation between maternal sensitivity and child vagal regulation. Developmental Psychology, 50(3), 784-793. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033819  *Featured on the American Psychological Association’s Article Spotlight program

Perry, N. B., Nelson, J. A., Calkins, S. D., Leerkes, E. M., O'Brien, M., & Marcovitch, S. (2014). Early physiological regulation predicts the trajectory of externalizing behaviors across the preschool period. Developmental Psychobiology56(7), 1482-1491. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21228

4. Blair, B. L., Perry, N. B., O’Brien, M., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S. P., & Shanahan, L. (2014). The indirect effects of maternal emotion socialization on friendship quality in middle childhood. Developmental Psychology, 50(2), 566-576. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033532

Perry, N. B., Nelson, J. A., Swingler, M. M., Leerkes, E. M., Calkins, S. D., Marcovitch, S., & O'Brien, M. (2013). The relation between maternal emotional support and child physiological regulation across the preschool years. Developmental Psychobiology, 55(4), 382-394. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21042

Nelson, J. A., Leerkes, E. M., Perry, N. B., O'Brien, M., Calkins, S. D., & Marcovitch, S. (2013). European‐American and African‐American mothers' emotion socialization practices relate differently to their children's academic and social‐emotional competence. Social Development, 22(3), 485-498. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2012.00673.x

Perry, N. B., Calkins, S. D., Nelson, J. A., Leerkes, E. M., & Marcovitch, S. (2012). Mothers' responses to children's negative emotions and child emotion regulation: The moderating role of vagal suppression. Developmental Psychobiology, 54(5), 503-513. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.20608

International Congress of Infant Studies Early Career Award  (2017-2018)