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Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., Connecticut College;
M.Ed., Harvard University;
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Scholarly Interests

Child and family policy and programs; Early childhood interventions and education; Adolescent transitions and development; Neighborhoods, communities and poverty; Growing up female; Design implementation and analyses of large, national, long-term follow-up studies of children, youth, and families (current studies include: Fragile Families, Child Well-Being Study, Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, Early Head Start). 

Selected Publications

Dr. Brooks-Gunn is the author of four books and 12 edited volumes.

    Brooks-Gunn, J., & Matthews, W. (1979). He and she: How children develop their sex-role identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Lewis, M. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1979). Social cognition and the acquisition of self. New York: Plenum.

    Furstenberg, F. F., Jr., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Morgan, S. P. (1987). Adolescent mothers in later life. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Brooks-Gunn, J., Fuligni, A. S., & Berlin, L. J. (2003). Early child development in the 21st Century: Profiles of current research initiatives. New York: Teachers College Press.



     Brooks-Gunn, J., & Petersen, A. C. (Eds.). (1983). Girls at puberty: Biological and psychosocial perspectives. New York: Plenum.

    Baruch, G. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1984). Women in midlife. New York: Plenum.

    Brooks-Gunn, J., Petersen, A. C., & Eichorn, D. (Eds.). (1985). Time of maturation and psychosocial functioning in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Volume 14, Issues 3 & 4.

    Lerner, R. M., Petersen, A. C., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1991). The encyclopedia of adolescence. New York: Garland.

    Brooks-Gunn, J., & Petersen, A. C. (Eds.). (1991). The emergence of depression and depressive symptoms during adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Volume 20, Issues 1 & 2.

    Chase-Lansdale, P. L., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1995). Escape from poverty: What makes a difference for children? New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Petersen, A. C. (Eds.). (1996). Transitions through adolescence: Interpersonal domains and context. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Brooks-Gunn, J., Duncan, G. J., & Aber, J. L. (Eds.). (1997). Neighborhood Poverty: Context and consequences for children (Volume 1). Policy implications in studying neighborhoods (Volume 2). New York: Russell Sage.

    Duncan, G. J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York: Russell Sage.

    Cox, M., & Brooks-Gunn J. (Eds.). (1999). Conflict and cohesion in families: Causes and consequences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Britto, P. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (2001). The role of family literacy environments in promoting young children’s emerging literacy skills. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, Volume 2001, Issue 92.

    Garfinkel, I., McLanahan, S., Tienda, M., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2001). Fragile families and welfare reform. Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 23, Issues 4 & 5.

    Linver, M. R., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Cabrera, N. (2004). Home observation for measurement of the environment inventory (HOME): Six longitudinal data sets. Parenting: Science and Practice, Volume 4, Issues 2 & 3.

    Rouse, C. E., Brooks-Gunn, J., & McLanahan, S. (Eds.). (2005). School Readiness: Closing racial and ethnic gaps. The Future of Children, Volume 15, Issue 1.

    Cabrera, N., Linver, M., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (2007). New directions in young children’s socio-emotional measures. Infant and Mental Health Journal, Volume 28, Issue 6.

    Brooks-Gunn, J., & Donahue, E. (Eds.). (2008). Children and electronic media. The Future of Children, Volume 18, Issue 1.

honors and awards

personal news

An article published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (vol. 110, no. 34) showed that mothers with the DRD2 Taq1A genotype were more likely to parent harshly in response to declines in the economy. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn co-authored the paper with colleagues from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study.

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn co-authored the Feb. 2013 issue of Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development dedicated to an evaluation of the Early Head Start program. This was a randomized trial that followed families at 17 sites across the country for the first 10 years of children’s lives.  This volume describes program impacts through child age 5.

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and co-authors found that Head Start attendance was associated with greater cognitive ability and social competence, and fewer attention problems, in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. The article appears in the January 2011 issue of Developmental Psychology.

TC Today Features NCCF Co-Director Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, "The Eclectic Developmentalist"

Through a wide range of studies, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn has led the way in showing how environments influence the well-being of young people. Click here to read the article.

TC News (A major new study co-authored by Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, TC’s Virginia & Leonard Marx Professor of Child and Parent Development Education, offers some reassuring news for new moms who quickly return to work. Released by the Society for Research and Child Development, the study – which overturns previous findings -- has made news in publications across the country. For more information:

Today Show Features Brooks-Gunn Research on Toddlers Sleeping with Parents

The Today Show aired a story about recent research by NCCF and colleagues at SUNY Stony Brook that suggests it is safe for young children to sleep in a bed with their parents. The segment is available on the Today Show's Website: Video Segment (July 27, 2011).

For more news, visit the National Center for Children and Families website.

HUDK 5121: Personality development and socialization in childhood

Prerequisite: HUDK 4022 or equivalent. Contemporary theory and research on childrens adaptation to developmental tasks of childhood. Comparison of typical and atypical pathways in social-personality development. Analysis of the logic and method of empirical studies of development.

HUDK 5324: Research work practicum

Students learn research skills by participating actively in an ongoing faculty research project.

HUDK 6036: Child & Family Policy I

Prerequisites: Any two of the following: HUDF 4000; HUDF 4024; HUDK 4021; HUDK 4022; C&T 4113; C&T 5113. Provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on child and family policy. Also provides a foundation of knowledge concerning the role of child and family perspectives in informing policy.

HUDK 6037: Child and Family Policy II

Prerequisites: Any two of the following: HUDF 4000; HUDF 4024; HUDK 4021; HUDK 4022; C&T 4113; C&T 5113. Provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on child and family policy. Also provides a foundation of knowledge concerning the role of child and family perspectives in informing policy.

HUDK 6520: Seminar in social and emotional development through childhood and adolescence

Permission required. How people become socialized and how psychology deals with the process in terms of developmental concepts.

Documents & Papers

Curriculum Vitae, Spring 2013

Download: Curriculum Vitae [Word]

Selected Publications, Spring 2013

Download: Selected Publications [Word]

Centers and Projects

National Center for Children and Families

The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) advances the policy, education, and development of children and their families.  Housed at Teachers College, Columbia University, NCCF challenges the status quo that perpetuates inequalities among children and families.  The center's work is built on a commitment to eliminate educational, economic, and employment disparities through the production and application of the highest quality scholarship to the most intransigent social problems. NCCF informs and shapes child and family policy through cutting-edge research and analyses; the systematic training of future leaders, scholars, and policy scientists; and the distribution of relevant research to the media, policy makers, and practitioners on the front lines. 

NCCF is co-directed by Teachers College professors Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education and Sharon Lynn Kagan, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy.

for more information, please visit:

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn appeared in the following articles:

2013 Year in Review: Research (1/13/2014)

When the Going Gets Tough, Mom May, Too (8/7/2013)

It's Circle Time for Pre-K (6/26/2013)

Gifts Totaling $725,000 from the Rauch Foundation Aim to Attract Talented Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows to TC (6/19/2013)

2011 Year in Review (4/13/2012)

Celebrating Psychology (12/16/2011)

The Eclectic Developmentalist (12/16/2011)

Today Show Features Brooks-Gunn Research on Toddlers Sleeping with Parents (7/27/2011)

Summer Letter from Susan Fuhrman (7/26/2011)

Post-Partum Depression: It Could Be Genetic (7/6/2011)

Study Suggests a Genetic Predisposition to Post-Partum Depression (6/20/2011)

TC Short Takes (6/1/2011)

A Letter from the President (5/11/2011)

Brooks-Gunn, Ginsburg Elected To National Academy of Education (5/11/2011)

Research highlights (5/11/2011)

When Less is More (3/22/2011)

Employee News (2/11/2011)

Quantifying the Impact of Affordable Housing (2/7/2011)

Staffing News (12/17/2010)

2010-11: The Year of Research at TC (11/17/2010)

The State of the College: It's the Year of Research at TC (10/26/2010)

Susan Fuhrman Fall 2010 Letter (10/7/2010)

Good News for New Moms Who Work (9/1/2010)

Some Good News for Moms Who Work (8/3/2010)

Faculty Named AERA Fellows (5/19/2010)

Points of Contact (5/19/2010)

TC at AERA (5/10/2010)

AERA 2010 (4/1/2010)

Funding Social Programs That Work (4/1/2010)

Research Highlights (4/1/2010)

Shaping Education for Young and Old (4/1/2010)

Seven TC Faculty Members Are Named AERA Fellows (3/8/2010)

Narrowing the Achievement Gap? (11/24/2009)

TC Campus News (11/24/2009)

President Fuhrman Outlines the State of the College (11/6/2009)

Can After-School Programs Help Level the Playing Field for Disadvantaged Youth? (10/26/2009 6:41:00 PM)

TC's Brooks-Gunn Elected to Institute of Medicine (10/13/2009)

New Report: Can After-School Programs Help Level the Playing Field for Disadvantaged Youth? (10/8/2009 12:08:00 PM)

Brooks-Gunn Honored by Northwestern University (7/1/2009)

Could Disorder at Home Impede Your Child's Reading Development? (2/24/2009)

An Orderly Home Affects Early Literacy Skills, Study Says (2/23/2009)

Thinking Big About How to Close the Gap (11/25/2008)

Thinking Big About How to Close the Gap (11/25/2008 3:49:00 PM)

Symposium Asks: Can School Equity Be Created Without First Overcoming the Effects of Poverty? (10/14/2008)

Obama and McCain Education Advisors will Debate at TC (10/10/2008)

What Works in Schools (9/23/2008)

Limiting, And Watching, What Children Watch (9/17/2008)

Research Highlights (5/21/2008)

President's Letter: Practice, Theory and Breadth of Focus (4/1/2008)

Team Pre-K (3/31/2008)

TC at AERA, 2008 (3/25/2008)

The Designer Baby ... Genetic Breakthrough? (2/13/2008)

Getting Ready for Pre-K and Later Life (12/12/2007)

Tutors for Toddlers (11/21/2007)

Getting Better All the Time (10/18/2007)

Teachers College Research at AERA (3/25/2007)

Learning What We Know About Equity (2/26/2007)

The Campaign Launches Major Equity Research Initiative (1/26/2007 4:46:00 PM)

New-Age Playgrounds Rule, as Long as the Kids Are in Charge (1/11/2007)

What It Takes to Make a Student (11/26/2006)

Build It and They Will Come (9/20/2006)

Early Care and Education (6/27/2006)

Teachers College Hosts Strategic Conference on Early Care and Education (6/13/2006)

Early Intervention Benefits Heavier Low Birth-Weight Babies Longer (6/1/2006)

Generating New Worlds (4/13/2006)

Early Education Program Provides Long-Term Benefits for Low Birth Weight Infants (3/7/2006)

Study: Mom's Work Affects Kids' Development (1/23/2006)

Family Meals Yield Benefits (1/20/2006)

A Researcher, Too, Finds Safe Haven (11/10/2005 3:04:45 PM)

Teaching the Possible (11/9/2005 2:19:00 PM)

Pre-K and Early Head Start Programs Enhance Children's Development (11/4/2005)

3 New Studies Assess Affects of Child Care (11/1/2005)

A Conversation With Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (7/6/2005)

Needy Pass on Public Assistance (7/6/2005)

Babies Bring Benefits (6/13/2005)

Adding Muscle to the Mission: TC's New Office of Policy and Research (5/27/2005)

Investing Up Front: Preschool Matters (4/12/2005)

Everywhere and Nowhere (2/23/2005)

A Mother's Work is Not Quite Done (2/14/2005)

Housing Experiment for Poor Found to Lack School Payoff: Achievement Unaffected by Anti-poverty Program (2/2/2005)

Kagan Sidebar (1/13/2005)

People in the News (9/14/2004 4:13:20 PM)

2003 at Teachers College (8/31/2004)

Commanding an Audience (6/1/2004)

Gifts & Bequests (6/1/2004)

Sharon Lynn Kagan and Donald Martin Named Associate Deans (4/30/2004)

TC Professor Win One of Social Work's Highest Scholarly Honors (12/18/2003)

Families Leaving NYC Public Housing Less Stressed (10/31/2003)

Engaging in Research: An Award-Winning Faculty (8/1/2003)

Tips for Helping Girls (7/7/2003)

In Brief (6/1/2003)

New Study Shows How Preschoolers' Thinking and Behavior Influenced by Family Income (11/21/2002)

Brooks-Gunn Honored with 2002 McKeen Cattell Fellow Award (11/1/2002)

In Brief (11/1/2002)

Jonathan Kozol Presents Marx Lecture (11/1/2002)

What Happens During the School Day? New Study Illustrates Racial and Economic Inequality in American Schools (10/1/2002)

Working to Make Equity in Education a Reality (10/1/2002)

Study Finds Inequity in School Days (9/11/2002)

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn: Early Head Start Children Outpace Peers (9/1/2002)

Continuing to Repair the World (8/28/2002)

What Happens During the School Day?:Time Diaries from a National Sample of Elementary School Teachers (8/16/2002)

Study Links Working Mothers to Slower Learning (7/18/2002)

What Happened to Adolescence? (2/1/2002)

In Brief (1/1/2002)

Marian Wright Edelman Delivers Annual Marx Lecture (1/1/2002)

Faculty Briefs (7:2) (10/1/2001)

Developmental Psych Gets Raves (6/1/2001)

TC Graduates Celebrate at Master's and Doctoral Convocation Ceremonies (6/1/2001)

'As Ye Sweep, So Shall Ye Reap' (3/15/2001)

Clean Rooms Make a Difference in the Lives of Workers (3/15/2001)

Graduate Research Fellow Wins Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship (3/1/2001)

Best Recipe for Successful Adolescent Development (1/26/2001)

Bill Cosby Enchants, Entertains and Educates Teachers College Crowd (9/30/2000)

Donna Shalala Presents the Fifth Annual Marx Lecture (6/1/2000)

Phyllis Gyamfi: Committed to Welfare Reform (5/1/2000)

Teachers College: A Leader in Educating Leaders (1/1/2000)

Survey Findings on Child Development (3/10/1999)

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn: Education and the Black-White Test Score Gap (2/4/1999)

Deans Office Seeking Applicants for Doctoral Apprenticeships (1/22/1998)

Carol Gilligan Presents the Virginia and Leonard Marx Lecture (12/16/1997)

Upending the Bell Curve (1/1/1996)

After (and Before) the Bell (1/1/1900)