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Debra M. Zeifman Professor of Psychological Science

Debra Zeifman received her BA in Human Development and Family Studies and her MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. Upon completing her PhDin the summer of 1996, she joined the faculty of Vassar College as Assistant Professor of Psychology. She teaches courses in Introductory Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods.

Ms. Zeifman’s primary research explores the psychological dynamics, biological underpinnings, and evolutionary history of close relationships (or attachments). In particular, her work has focused on the relationships between infants and their caregivers. This has included studies of caregiver perception of infant crying and the effect of caregivers’ response to crying on social and emotional development. Ms. Zeifman is also investigating parents’ choices of substitute (non-parental) caregivers and the impact of early non-parental care on child development.

  • BS, MA, PhD, Cornell University
  • At Vassar since 1996


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