Connie M. Tang


My research interests include young children’s cognitive development, children and the law, family income and its impact on parenting, social relationships and adolescent behavioral health, and emerging adulthood. Specifically, I am interested in how best to talk to young children during forensic interviews, how juvenile offenders are judged in adult courts, and how parental and peer relationships predict adolescent behavioral problems. Since young children’s vulnerability to interviewer suggestion can be partially explained by their tenuous ability to monitor the sources of their knowledge, I have also conducted research on children’s source monitoring. My first book project was Children and Crime, a 12-chapter book published in 2019. Using the central question of "Can being a victim cause a child to become a perpetrator?" as a linchpin, the book surveys topics related to the two ways children and crime intersect: Child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency. I am currently working as the lead editor in an undergraduate textbook project entitled Perspectives on Childhood: An Interdisciplinary Approach. The book will provide a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the field of childhood studies. In 12 chapters, the edited book will be written by a team of higher education teacher-scholars from diverse fields in the behavioral sciences, the health sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

At the present time, research assistants and I are in the middle of a project examining young children’s awareness of when they learned things and engaged in activities, which is linked to the more general topic of children’s developing time concept. The research method employed is secondary analyses of the CHIld Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES) database (now a part of TalkBank). CHILDES stores information on child language, and much of it has to do with conversations children participated in. This project is an extension of earlier experimental work to see if research findings are reflected in children’s naturalistic conversations with their parents. Our lab is currently coding data from three preschool-aged children using transcripts culled from CHILDES. Even though this is primarily basic research, the topic has applied value in understanding how young children learn and how young children’s reporting of when past events occurred could have relevance in the forensic setting.

Tang, C. M., McCullough, A., & Olunlade, R. (2023). Maternal, paternal, and peer relationships differentially predict adolescent behavioral problems. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 1-12. (pdf)

Tang, C. M., Colon, M., & Brilla, H. S. (2023). Homework Completion Program in Atlantic County, NJ: The first five years. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice, and Principles. (pdf)

Tang, C.M., Nunez, N. & Estrada-Reynolds, V. (2020). Intellectual disability affects case judgment differently depending on juvenile race. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 35, 228-239. (pdf)

Tang, C.M., Dickey, S. & Samuelsen, D. (2017). Young children's reports of when events occurred: Do event type and assessment method matter? Infant and Child Development, 26. (pdf)

Tang, C.M. & Sinanan, A.N. (2015). Change in parenting behaviors from infancy to early childhood: Does change in family income matter? Journal of Family Social Work, 18, 327-348. (pdf)

Tang, C.M. & Turner, K. (2013). Defendant age, pretrial bias, and crime severity influence the judgment of juvenile waiver cases. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 31, 5 - 25. (pdf)

I would like to work with as many as four students each semester as research assistants in my laboratory. Preferred qualifications include the completion of Experimental Psychology and Developmental Psychology, a minimum GPA of 3.2, and Psychology majors who are also pursuing a minor in Childhood Studies. Students who are able to stay in the laboratory for at least a year are also preferred.

Students will learn how to comprehend, summarize, and critique empirical research articles. They will acquire critical thinking skills that help with the generation of research hypotheses. Research assistants will learn to analyze data using both univariate and multivariate statistical methods on SPSS. They will learn to interpret SPSS output files, write up the findings, and publicly present research in its entirety.

Students should be able to work independently and in collaboration with others. They should plan on spending a few hours each week on the research project. They should also be available to attend lab meetings twice a month.

Interested students should email me ( a letter of interest, attaching a current transcript as well as an updated resume.

Once the four research assistants are found, I will not be able to accommodate more students until an opening becomes available. So apply early if you think that you are a good fit to my lab.