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Susan Perez

Susan Perez

Faculty Bio


Phone: (904) 620-1612
Office: Building 51, Room 3443

Research Interests

My research focuses on the whole child and examines sociocultural Influences (e.g., parent-child interaction, family, culture) on cognitive development, child characteristics (e.g., emotional development, temperament) that contribute to children’s opportunities to develop cognitive skills in social context, and how these processes relate to critical developmental outcomes such as successful school transitions and academic performance.


Areas of Expertise 

Developmental Psychology with Emphases in:

Cognitive Development:
- Planning
- Decision-Making
- Executive Function
- Social and Cultural Influences

Emotional Development
- Emotional Self-Regulation
- Temperament

Short Biography

I have been at the University of North Florida in the Department of Psychology since 2004. I received my Doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside with a focus in Developmental Psychology. As a developmental psychologist, my research focuses on cognitive development with an emphasis on understanding the whole child. I am interested in children’s opportunities to develop complex cognitive skills, like planning and decision making, while they interact with their parents or others who are more skilled than themselves. I am also interested in how other aspects of their development, like temperament and the development of emotional self-regulation skills, contribute to these learning opportunities. And, I examine how these processes are linked to other critical developmental outcomes such as successful school transitions and academic performance.

I enjoy teaching and have taught several classes including Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Foundations of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Advanced Child Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, and Cognitive Development in Social and Cultural Context. I also enjoy working with students in research and involve them in every aspect of my work.


"Ph.D., Psychology (Area: Developmental), University of California, Riverside, June, 2004
Dissertation: Relations Among Child Emotionality, Mother-Child Planning, and Children’s Academic Adjustment and Achievement in the First Grade

M.A., Psychology (Area: Developmental), University of California, Riverside, December, 2001
Thesis: The Role of Child Emotional Intensity and Emotion Regulation Skills in Mother-Child Planning

M.S., Clinical Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, June, 1997
Thesis: Encoding Gender Related Information in the Release from Proactive Inhibition Task

B.A., Psychology, Pitzer College, May, 1994
Senior Honor’s Thesis: Stereotype Prevalence Among College Students: Differential Perception of Latinos

Minors: Social Psychology & Quantitative Methods"

Selected Publications

Schönning, A., & Perez, S. M. (2020). Engaging upper elementary students in activities aimed to increase inclusion in STEM. Industry, Engineering, and Management Systems Conference Proceedings."

Gauvain, M., Perez, S. M., & Reisz, Z. (2018). Stability and change in mother–child planning over middle childhood. Developmental Psychology, 54(3), 571-585. doi:10.1037/dev0000456

Gauvain, M. & Perez, S. M. (2014). Cognitive development in cultural contexts. In L. Liben & U. Müller (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science, Vol 2, Cognitive processes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Perez, S. M., & Gauvain, M. (2010). Emotional contributions to the development of executive functions in the family context. In B. W. Sokol, U. Müller, J. I. M. Carpendale, A. R. Young, & G. Iarocci (Eds.), Self and social regulation: Social interaction and the development of social understanding and executive functions. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.