About Us

Welcome to the Self-Regulation, Emotions, & Early Development (SEED) Laboratory!  We are a research laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst that studies how young children learn to understand and control their feelings.

Emotion regulation is an important skill that emerges and develops rapidly across the early childhood years, setting the stage for many important academic, social, and behavioral outcomes, yet we still know very little about how exactly emotion regulation works in young children.

We develop and use developmentally sensitive games that are exciting, fun, and teach children about their feelings.  We study how children’s brain activity, physiological responses, and behaviors all work together during different kinds of emotional challenges. We also seek to understand how children’s emotion regulation is shaped by their caregivers and environments, and are particularly interested in studying families from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. By studying the many different ways that young children learn to become aware of, express, and control their emotions, our laboratory hopes to contribute to a better understanding of healthy child development and how to better identify and treat children at risk for mood and behavior problems.

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Lab News

05/05/2022: Congratulations to our senior RA, Philip Dorfman, on successfully defending his senior thesis entitled, “Investigating self-narrations in young children as a psychopathy measure.” Awesome job, Phil!

04/29/2022: Congratulations to our undergraduate RA, Caitlyn Calicchia, on successfully defending her senior thesis “Gender Differences in Emotion Suppression, Galvanic Skin Response Activation, and Behavioral Difficulties in Preschool-Age Children.” We are proud of you, Caitlyn!

04/15/2022: Our Principal Investigator, Dr. Adam S. Grabell, and his collaborator Dr. Tauhidur Rahman have received UMass System’s Office of Technology Commercialization & Ventures (OTCV) Technology Development Research Grant!

04/02/2022: Congratulations to our undergraduate RA, Philip Dorfman, on winning the Psychology Major Outstanding Thesis Award!

03/01/2021: Congratulations to our graduate student, Katie Gonzalez, on receiving a Honorable Mention for the Ford Fellowship!

03/30/2021: Congratulations to our undergraduate RA, Sherley Mejia, on winning the William Lee Science Impact Program Fellowship!

07/15/2020: Congratulations to our alumni, Kate Schacterle, on receiving the RA Appreciation Award and the Academic Excellence Award! Great job Kate!

07/09/2020: Our very own first Lab Coordinator, Kari Thomsen, has moved on to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Memphis. Congratulations Kari!

08/28/2019: Dr. Adam Grabell and Dr. Kirby Deater-Deckard were awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study the development of self-regulation in young children! You can learn more here: https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-researchers-receive-national

06/18/2019: Our research assistant, Adrelys Mateo Santana, was awarded The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for studying abroad this upcoming fall. She will be studying in San Sebastian, Spain. We are so proud of her and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in Spain!

05/24/2019: Our lab coordinator, Kari Thomsen, presented SEED Lab findings at the annual Association for Psychological Science convention in Washington, D.C.!

03/20/2019: Congratulations to Dr. Adam Grabell on being named a 2019-2020 Class of Family Research Scholar by the Center for Research on Families! You can learn more here: https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/center-research-families-names-2019-20

02/13/2019: Dr. Adam Grabell and collaborator Dr. Jeremy Gummeson have been awarded a seed grant from the Institute of Applied Life Sciences’ (IALS) Center for Personalized Health Monitoring for their new project studying tantrums in young children! Learn more here: https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/grabell-gummeson-have-ials-grant-study

05/16/2018: Congratulations to our undergraduate RA Angela Mirisola on winning the William Lee Science Impact Program Fellowship!

12/08/2017: Congratulations to our undergraduate RA Brian Liddell on being awarded the Commonwealth Honors College’s Research Assistant Fellowship!