Associate Professor and Bryan Close Professor
Oklahoma State University
Human Development and Family Science
Stillwater, OK 74078
Parent-child and peer relations in development of child social competence; Psychosocial contexts of child obesity
Rural school children; Pre-school and school-age children, their parents and siblings; Native-American school children
Amanda Harrist received her B.A. in Plan II/Liberal Arts Honors at the University of Texas in 1984. She completed her Ph.D. at University of Tennessee in 1991, working as a Research Associate for the Child Development Project at UT Knoxville and Vanderbilt University. She was on the faculty at UT Austin in the Department of Educational Psychology until joining the OSU faculty in 1998. Dr. Harrist’s research centers on an interest in the development of children’s social competence, specifically the early social antecedents of children’s competence and maladjustment exhibited in preschool and the early years of school, and the role social-cognition plays as a mediator. To this end, she have explored the relation of children’s behavior in the peer group to early family (e.g., marriage, parent-child, sibling) and non-family (e.g., social network) interactions, observed both naturalistically and in the laboratory. She also is interested in interventions for children at risk in early social settings, and has pursued this via several funded projects, most recently in the Families & Schools for Health (FiSH) Project, a longitudinal study of the family and rural school contexts of child obesity.