Human Development and Family Studies


Esther M. Leerkes, Ph.D.

Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

School of Health and Human Sciences
165E Stone Building
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Fax: (336) 334-5076


My primary research focus centers around parent-child relations in infancy and early childhood. 
Within this area, I have pursued three primary themes:

1) identifying contextual, biological and psychological factors that contribute to sensitive maternal behavior, particularly in response to negative child emotions;

2) examining links between maternal sensitivity and subsequent child outcomes such as emotion regulation, attachment security, behavior problems, and adjustment to school;

3) examining the impact of parenting a child with unique temperamental characteristics on adult development, well-being, and relationships during the transition to parenthood. 

Current/Recent Projects

Courses I Teach

Selected Recent Publications

Current / Recent Graduate Students

To learn more about me, please visit my: Curriculum Vita (pdf) or send me an email.