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Craig Hart

Zina Young Williams Card Professor; Director of BYU Faculty Center

2048 JFSB

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Craig H. Hart received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1987. He was formerly an Associate Professor in the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University. He served as Chair of Marriage, Family, and Human Development in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University from 1998 to 2004, as an associate dean in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences from 2006-2009, and as the Associate Academic Vice President for Faculty at BYU from 2009 to 2018. He has been serving as the Director of the BYU Faculty Center since August of 2018.

Dr. Hart has authored and co-authored numerous scientific papers on parenting/familial linkages with children’s social development and on developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education. His work has appeared in leading developmental science journals such as Child Development and Developmental Psychology, and in early childhood education research journals including Early Childhood Research Quarterly. His collaborative research program has most recently focused on cultural influences, with studies conducted in Australia, China, Italy, Japan, Russia and various parts of Asia and the United States. Research that he has been involved in has been cited over 15,000 times by national and international scholars in his field.

He has also published two edited books entitled Children on Playgrounds: Research Perspectives and Applications and Integrated Curriculum and Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Birth to Age Eight. He has served on several journal editorial boards, was associate editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly (1995-2006), and is co-editor of Wiley/Blackwell's Handbook of Childhood Social Development (now in its 3rd edition). Dr. Hart has served on the Bio-behavioral and Behavioral Sciences subcommittee, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


Dr. Hart's scholarship focuses on linkages among family processes, parenting practices, and children's social development in cultural context. His research also encompasses developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education.

Current Projects

The PACIFIC Project (Parents and Children in Families and in Cultures) is a multi-cultural study focusing on how family interactions and parenting behaviors affect preschool children’s social and emotional development in a number of Eastern cultures—China, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Turkey. The lead investigators, consisting of BYU faculty in the School of Family Life and collaborators in Asian cultures and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, are studying both universal (similar across cultures) and culturally indigenous (or culture-specific) patterns of parenting and family life in these cultures.

These cultures offer opportunities to gather data in countries with varying political structures and different religious cultural contexts (e.g., secular China; Japanese Buddhists; Muslim Malay majority, and Chinese Buddhist minority). The investigators are comparing families in these cultures with a sample of American families, particularly Asian-American immigrants residing in Maryland, in order to further contribute to our understanding of similarities and differences in Western and Eastern cultural child socialization practices.

The primary focus of the project revolves around observed parenting and family influences associated with preschool children’s development as these factors tend to have lasting influence across the lifespan. Parenting beliefs, practices, and marital factors, as well as the personality of children and parents, are being considered in the prediction of many positive and negative social behaviors and emotional adjustment. Types of aggression, shyness, and prosocial behavior in preschool children are particular behaviors of interest. Over 2,300 families (300 – 350 families in each cultural context) have been recruited for participation in this study.


Selected Publications (Many with Student Lead Authors)

Sun, Y., Cheah, C.S.L., Hart, C. H. (in press). Parent-child relationship buffers the impact of maternal psychological control on aggression in temperamentally surgent children. Social Development, 1-16

Zong, X., Cheah, S. L., Ren, H., & Hart, C. H. (in press). Longitudinal pathways linking racial discrimination and Chinese American mothers' parenting. Developmental Psychology

Ren, H., Hart, C. H., Cheah C. S. L., Porter, C. L., Nelson, D. A., Yavuz-Müren, M., Gao, W., Haron, F., Jiang, L., Kawashima, A., Shibazaki-Lau, A., Nakazawa, J., Nelson, L. J., Robinson, C. C., Selçuk, A. B., Evans-Stout, C., Tan, J.-P., Yang, C., Quek, A. -H., Zhou, N. (2023). Parenting measurement, normativeness, and associations with child outcomes: Comparing evidence from four non-western cultures. Developmental Science.

Jiang, L., Yuan, K., Hart, C. H., Liang, L, Yang, C., Wang, Z., & Bian, L. (2023). Longitudinal associations between emotion regulation strategies and subjective well-being in migrant and non-migrant adolescents in urban China. International Journal of Psychology, 58 (3), 187-195. 10.1002/ijop.12900

Xue, X., Cheah, C. S. L., & Hart, C. H. (2022). Risk and protective processes in the link between racial discrimination and Chinese American mothers’ psychologically controlling parenting. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Tobe, H., Soejima, T., Kita, S., Sato, I, Hart, C. H., & Emori, Y. (2022). How participating in a group-based anger management program changed Japanese mothers’ cognition, attitude, and behavior: A pre-post pilot study. Mental Health and Prevention, 25,1-8.

Seo, Y. J., Cheah, C. S. L., & Hart, C. H. (2021). Longitudinal relations among child temperament, parenting, and acculturation in predicting Korean American children’s externalizing problems. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority. Psychology.

Gao, D., Hart, C.H., Cheah, S.L., Balkaya, M., Vu, K.T., Liu, J. (in press). Chinese American children’s temperamental shyness and responses to peer victimization as moderated by praise. Journal of Family Psychology.

Yu, J., Cheah, C.S.L., Hart, C.H., & Yang, C. & Olsen, J. A (2019). Longitudinal effects of maternal love withdrawal and guilt induction on Chinese American preschoolers’ bullying aggressive behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 31(4), 1-9.

Fujiki, M., Brinton, B., Hart, C.H., Olsen, J.A. *Coombs, M. (2019). Using measurement invariance to study social withdrawal in children with developmental language disorders. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 50, 253-256.

Yu, J., Cheah, C.S.L., Hart, C.H., & Yang, C. (2018). Child inhibitory control and maternal acculturation moderate the effects of maternal parenting in Chinese American Children’s adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 54, 1111-1123.

Balkaya, M., Cheah, C.S.L., Yu, J., Hart, C.H., & Sun, S. (2018). Maternal encouragement of modest behavior, temperamental shyness, and anxious withdrawal linkages to Chinese American children's social adjustment: A moderated mediation analysis. Social Development, 27.

Seo, Y.J., Cheah, C.S.L., Özdemir, S.B., Hart, C.H., Leung, C.Y.Y., & Sun, S. (2018). The mediating role of Korean immigrant mothers’ psychological well-being in the associations between social support and authoritarian parenting style. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27, 979-989.

Seo, Y.J., Cheah, C.S.L., & Hart, C.H. (2017). Korean immigrant mothers’ praise and encouragement, acculturation, and their children’s socioemotional and behavioral difficulties. Parenting: Science and Practice, 17, 143-155.

Cheah, C.S.L., Yu, J., Hart, C. H., Özdemir, S. B., Sun S., Zhou, N., Sunohara, M., Olsen, J.A. (2016). Parenting hassles mediate predictors of Chinese and Korean immigrants’ psychologically controlling parenting. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 47, 13-22.

Nelson, D. A., Burner, K. C., Coyne, S. M., Hart, C. H., & Robinson, C. C. (2016). Correlates of sociometric status in Russian preschoolers: Aggression, victimization, and sociability. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 332-336.

Yu, J., Cheah, C. S. L., Hart, C. H., Sun, S., & Olsen, J. A. (2015). Confirming the multidimensionality of psychologically controlling practices among Chinese-American mothers: Love withdrawal, guilt induction, and shaming. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 39, 285-292.

Nelson, D.A., Coyne, S.M., Swanson, S. M., Hart, C.H., & Olsen, J.A. (2014). Parenting, relational aggression, and borderline personality features: Associations over time in a Russian longitudinal sample. Development and Psychopathology, 26, 773-787.

Leavitt, C.E., Nelson, D.A., Coyne, S.M., & Hart, C.H. (2013). Adolescent disclosure and concealment: Longitudinal and concurrent associations with aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 39, 335-345.

Nelson, D.A., Yang, C. Coyne, S. M., Olsen, J.A., & Hart, C.H. (2013). Parental psychological control dimensions: Connections with Russian preschoolers’ physical and relational aggression. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34, 1-8.

Miller, R.B., *Mason, T.M., Wang, D., Nelson, D.A., & Hart, C.H. (2013). Marital satisfaction and depressive symptoms in China. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 677-682.

Nelson, L. J., Hart, C.H., Yang, C., Wu, P., & Jin, S. (2012). An examination of the behavioral correlates of nonsocialplay among Chinese preschoolers. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 58, 77-109.

Nelson, D. A., Robinson, C. C., Hart, C.H., Albano, A. D., & Marshall, S. J. (2010). Peer interactions among Italian preschoolers: Peer-status linkages with physical and relational aggression and victimization. Social Development, 19, 698-720.

Nelson, L. J., Hart, C. H., Evans, C. A., Coplan, R. J., Roper, S. O., & Robinson, C. C. (2009). Behavioral and relational correlates of low self-perceived competence in young children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24, 350-361.

Nelson, L. J., Hart, C. H., & Evans, C. A. (2008). Solitary-functional play and Solitary-pretend play: Another look at the construct of solitary – active behavior using playground observations. Social Development, 17, 812-831.

Hart, C. H. (2007). Why are parents important? Linking parenting to childhood social skills in Australia, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. In A.S. Loveless & T. B. Holman (Eds.), The Family in the third millenium (Vol. 1, pp. 227-247), London: Praeger.

Nelson, D. A., Hart, C. H., Yang, C., Olsen, J. A. & Jin, S. (2006). Aversive parenting in China: Associations with child physical and relational aggression. Child Development, 77, 554-572.

Nelson, L. J., Hart, C. H., Wu, B., & Olsen, S. F. (2006). Relations between Chinese mothers’ parenting practices and social withdrawal in early childhood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30, 261-271

Porter, C. L., Hart, C. H., Yang, C., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, S. F., Zeng, Q, Olsen, J. A., & Jin, S. (2005). A comparative study of child temperament and parenting in Beijing, China and the Western United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 541-551.

Hart, C. H., Newell, L. D., Olsen, S. F. (2003). Parenting skills and social/communicative competence in childhood. In J. O. Greene & B. R. Burleson (Eds.), Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skill (pp. 753-797). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Russell, A., Hart, C. H., Robinson, C. C., & Olsen, S. F. (2003). Children's sociable and aggressive behavior with peers: A comparison of the U.S and Australia, and contributions of temperament and parenting styles. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 74-86.

Wu, P., Robinson, C., Yang, C., Hart, C., Olsen, S. & Porter (2002). Similarities and differences in mothers' parenting of preschoolers in China and the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 481

Hart, C. H., Nelson, D. A., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, S. F., McNeilly-Choque, M. K., & McKee, T. R. (2000). Russian parenting styles and family processes: Linkages with subtypes of victimization and aggression. In K. A. Kerns, J. M. Contreras, & A.M. Neal-Barnett (Eds.), Family and Peers: Linking Two Social Worlds. Westport: Praeger.

Hart, C. H., Yang, C., Nelson, L. J., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, J. A., Nelson, D. A., Porter, C. L., Jin, S., & Olsen, S. F., & Wu, P. (2000). Peer acceptance in early childhood and subtypes of socially withdrawn behavior in China, Russia, and the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24, 73.

Hart, C. H., Nelson, D., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, S. F., & McNeilly-Choque, M. K., (1998). Overt and relational aggression in Russian nursery-school-age children: Parenting style and marital linkages. Developmental Psychology 34 (4), 687-697.

Hart, C. H., Yang, C., Nelson, D., Jin, S., Bazarskaya, N., & Nelson, L. (1998). Peer contact patterns, parenting practices, and preschoolers' social competence in China, Russia, and the United States. In P. Slee and K. Rigby (Eds.), Peer Relations Amongst Children: Current Issues and Future Directions. London: Routledge Ltd.

Hart, C. H., Burts, D. C., Durland, M. A., Charlesworth, R. DeWolf, M., & Fleege, P. O. (1998). Stress behaviors and activity type participation of preschoolers in more and less developmentally appropriate classrooms; SES and gender differences. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 12 (2), 176-196.

Hart, C. H., Olsen, S. F., Robinson, C. C, & Mandleco, B. L. (1997). The development of social and communicative competence in childhood: Review and a model of personal, familial, and extrafamilial processes. Communication Yearbook, 20, 304-373.

Charlesworth, R., Hart, C. H., Burts, D. C., Thomasson, R. H., Mosley, J., & Fleege, P. O. (1993). Measuring the developmental appropriateness of kindergarten teachers' beliefs and practices. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 8, 255-276.

Ladd, G. W., & Hart, C. H. (1992). Creating informal play opportunities: Are parents' and preschoolers' initiations related to children's peer competence? Developmental Psychology, 28, 1179-1187.

Hart, C. H., DeWolf, M., Wozniak, P., & Burts, D. C. (1992). Maternal and paternal disciplinary styles: Relations with preschoolers' playground behavioral orientations and peer status. Child Development, 63, 879-892.

Hart, C. H., Ladd, G. W., & Burleson, B. R. (1990). Children's expectations of the outcomes of social strategies: Relations with sociometric status and maternal disciplinary styles. Child Development, 61, 127