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Jessica A. Stern, PhD

Psychologist, Educator, Researcher

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Welcome! So glad you're here.

Dr. Jessica Stern (she/her) is a developmental psychologist at the University of Virginia, where she conducts research and teach courses on parenting, social relationships, neuroscience, and child social-emotional development. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Maryland, with a focus on attachment. Empathy and equity are the values that drive this work. 


In a time of multiple intersecting crises — including the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate change — we need sound psychological science to support our social relationships and mental health, and to inform the future of education and policymaking. Please reach out if you are interested in working together to meet these challenges.

**On the job market Fall 2022-23**



In 2022, my colleagues and I edited a special issue of the journal, Attachment & Human Development: "Attachment perspectives on race, prejudice, and antiracism."


Our work has been featured on podcasts, parenting blogs, and international news outlets like CNN. We believe in the value of high-quality science communication about child development.


When it comes to teens' development, diversity is the rule. In our recent paper, we found that relationship styles predict depression differently depending on teens' racial identity and experiences of racism in their neighborhood.


The science of human relationships shouldn't just be for academics — it should be accessible to parents, teachers, and the public. That's why we created a blog for Psychology Today, with >70k readers.

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children"

-Nelson Mandela