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
Departments and Programs
In the Media
The Lasting Trauma of Being Torn Away From Your Parents at the Border
Debra Zeifman, Professor of Psychological Science, was quoted in a Broadly story about the trauma suffered by children who are taken away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Smaller schools may be one key to reducing violence
An Albuquerque Journal story examined a study co-authored by Abigail Baird ’91, Professor of Psychological Science; Emma Roellke ’16; and Debra Zeifman, Professor of Psychological Science, about the link between school shootings and large schools.
Gregory J. Collins: No 'safety in numbers' in larger schools
A paper published in the Social Science Journal, co-authored by Abigail Baird ’91, Professor of Psychological Science; Emma Roellke ’16; and Debra Zeifman, Professor of Psychological Science, about the link between school shootings and large schools, was mentioned in a Morning Call story.