I am a developmental psychologist who studies how children learn verbs between the ages of 2-5 years, both in the US and across cultures. With a team of dedicated undergraduates, we use behavioral enactment, video, and eye tracking procedures to test how children may use information they can discover by comparing multiple events to each other to learn new verbs.
I teach courses that explore various key questions in development, including: How does human thought begin in infancy, and how does it develop? How are children influenced by their parents, peers, and culture over development? and How do children learn language, and what does that tell us about human thought?
I live in New Braunfels with my husband, Danny, and my daughter, Emily. I am on the Board of Connections Individual and Family Services and am an active member of Christ Presbyterian Church.
Post-doctoral fellow, Emory University, 1998-2000
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
M.A., Developmental Psychology, minor in linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, 1994
B.A., Psychology, Baylor University, 1990
Howard, T. J.**, Porter, B. M.** & Childers, J. B. (in press). Can 2.5- to 5-year-olds ignore irrelevant events, or subevents, during verb learning? Journal of Cognition and Development. doi:10.1080/15248372.2019.1607861
Childers, J. B., Paik, J. H. & Flores, M. **, Lai, G. & Dolan, M.** (2016) Does variability across events affect verb learning in English, Mandarin and Korean? Cognitive Science, 1-23. doi:10.1111/cogs.12398.
Childers, J. B. & Parrish, R.**, Olson (Velasquez), C.**, Fung, G., Burch, C.** & McIntyre, K. (2016). Early Verb Learning: How do children learn how to compare events? Journal of Cognition and Development, 17(1), 41-66.
Childers, J. B., Hirshkowitz, A.** & Benavides, K.** (2014). Attention to Explicit and Implicit Contrast in Verb Learning. Journal of Cognition and Development, 15(2), 213-237.