Vallotton, Claire D. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor552 W. Circle Drive, 2G Human Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
Ph.D., Human Development, University of California, Davis; B.A., Psychology, Simpson College.
Dr. Vallotton earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Simpson College, and a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of California, Davis, mentored by Larry Harper, Linda Acredolo, and Kathy Conger. Following a year as a Faculty Fellow at UC Davis, she won a research training grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with mentors Kurt Fischer and Catherine Ayoub. The title of her NICHD-funded study was ‘Symbol and Social Skills in Typical and At-Risk Children.’
Dr. Vallotton has been the recipient of the UC Davis Professors for the Future Fellowship and Graduate Honors Program, University of California Dissertation Year Fellowship, University of California Faculty Fellowship, the Ruth L. Kirschstein Clinical Research Service Award, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Fellowship, the New Investigator Award from the World Association of Infant Mental Health, the MSUE Summer Fellowship to develop a parenting education project in collaboration with MSU Extension Educators, and the 2010 Award of Distinction for Young Alumni from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
Vallotton’s general research interests are integrated within the study of early development and integration of cognitive-linguistic and social skills within the context of caregiver-child relationships and family risks. She has specific expertise in infants’ use of symbolic gestures – also known as infant signs – and uses infant signing as a method to gain insight into infants’ social and cognitive worlds and the nature of the preverbal mind, and the effects of early symbol skills on later development. She also examines the effects of children’s characteristics and development on their adult caregivers. Dr. Vallotton has an active interest in translational research to improve the quality of training for the early child care and education workforce and providing parents with effective tools support their children's development of social-emotional and communication skills.
You can learn more about Claire Vallotton’s research by visiting her research page: Click here.
Dr. Vallotton teaches courses related to her interests in early child development and research methodology. She teaches undergraduate courses on Infant Development and Program Planning, and Assessment of Young Children. Her graduate courses include early Social-Emotional Development, Infant Development, and Quantitative Observational Methods of Developmental Research.
In addition to participation in a number of professional societies – such as the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), and the International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS), Dr. Vallotton is actively involved in several more focused collaborative research and education initiatives on campus, nationally, and internationally. She is a Principal Investigator of the MSU Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC), a faculty member in the Human Development Initiative in the MSU College of Social Science, a faculty member for the Interdepartmental Graduate Certificate in Infancy and Early Childhood (IGCEIC), and is partnering with MSU Extension to develop a translational research project called Parenting the Preverbal Child. She is also a member of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Study Consortium, and the founder of the International Infant Sign Researchers (IISR) group
Areas of Interest
- Infant sign/symbolic gestures
- Infant mental health
- Parent-child interaction and communication
- Child effects on adult-child relationships
- Early development of symbolic and social skills
- Quantitative observational methods of research