Prof to Direct Center for Children and Families

Nov. 10, 2009

Dr. Margaret T. Owen, professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, has been appointed director of the Center for Children and Families.

“I am very excited about this new opportunity and look forward to growing the center into one of national prominence,” said Owen. “Helping to enhance collaborative relationships among the faculty who study children and families, and to stimulate and support their outstanding research efforts will be a few of my priorities.”

The center promotes optimal development across the lifespan with research, practice and outreach programs organized around three initiatives: parenting healthy families, strengthening interpersonal relationships, and enhancing thinking and learning.

“I am very pleased that Margaret agreed to assume leadership for the center. She builds upon the excellent guidance provided by the founding interim director, Dr. Marion Underwood, and is the ideal person to develop the center for the next interval,” said Dr. Bert Moore, dean of the school. “Margaret’s record of scholarship and academic leadership combine with a keen sense of how research can powerfully impact community practice.”

“Margaret’s record of scholarship and academic leadership combine with a keen sense of how research can powerfully impact community practice.”

Dr. Bert Moore, dean

The center was launched in 2008 with a grant from the Meadows Foundation

As part of the center’s research efforts, a new research group, made up of center-affiliated faculty, is launching a study that seeks to discover innovative methods for diagnosing atypical development in very young children. The center purchased state-of-the-art, eye-tracking technology to help with this study.

The center will continue its outreach efforts with several programs, including the Infant Development Program. Dr. Emily Touchstone, clinical assistant professor, and clinicians at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders are providing low-cost, developmental assessments of infants and toddlers to help identify and prevent developmental disorders during the earliest stages of life.

Following the success of the center’s 2009 lecture series, the faculty will offer a second series in the spring. Parents and practitioners are encouraged to attend the four lectures focusing on “Growing Healthy Infants: Language and Learning.” The center will also host its first annual forum on January 14, 2010. The featured speaker will be Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, distinguished professor from Temple University.

For more information, visit the center’s Web site.

Owen received her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan. She has published in such professional journals as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Family Psychology and Early Childhood Research Quarterly.


Media Contacts:  Teala Miller, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
or Debra Brown, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, debra@utdallas.edu

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Margaret Owen

Dr. Margaret T. Owen hopes to increase collaboration among researchers.

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