Vitae, Short Biography and Journal Publications

Melanie Killen, Ph.D.

Melanie Killen, Ph.D. (1985, Developmental Psychology, University of California, Berkeley) is Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, Professor of Psychology (Affiliate), and the Associate Director for the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture at the University of Maryland. She is the Director of the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Training Program in Social Development. She is an Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Kent, Canterbury, U.K., and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for the Study of Psychological Issues. She received a Cattell Sabbatical Award from the James McKeen Cattell Foundation at Duke University, and was a Visiting Faculty Fellow at Yale University.

Dr. Killen is author of “Children and Social Exclusion: Morality, Prejudice, and Group Identity” (2011) with Adam Rutland, and has co–edited 6 books, including “Social Development in Childhood through Adolescence: A Contemporary Reader” (2011) with Robert Coplan, Handbook on Moral Development (2006; 2014), with Judith Smetana, and Intergroup Attitudes and Relations in Childhood Through Adulthood (2008) with Sheri Levy. Dr. Killen is a founding member and former Chair of the Equity and Justice Committee of the Governing Council for the Society for Research in Child Development. She is currently a member of the College Board of Reviewers for the National Science Foundation's Developmental and Learning Sciences branch.  She was Associate Editor of Child Development (2007-2013) and served on the Society for Research in Child Development Governing Council.

Melanie Killen’s research interests are children’s and adolescents’ social and moral reasoning, social exclusion, intergroup relationships and attitudes, theory of group mind, prejudice in childhood, and how diversity in social experiences is related to reasoning about exclusion and intergroup bias. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NICHD/NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).






Children and Social Exclusion: Morality, Prejudice, and Group Identity (2011)




Recent Journal Articles

Killen, M., & Smetana, J.G. (2015). Origins and development of morality. In R.M. Lerner & M. E. Lamb (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science, Vol. 3, 7th edition (pp. 701-749). Editor-in-Chief, R. M. Lerner. NY: Wiley-Blackwell. [pdf]

Killen, M., Hitti, A., Cooley, C., & Elenbaas, L. (2015). Morality, development, and culture. In M. Gelfand, C.Y.Chiu, & Y.Y. Hong (Eds.), Advances in culture and psychology (pp. 161-220). New York: Oxford University Press. [pdf]

Hitti, A., & Killen, M. (2015). Expectations about ethnic peer group inclusivity: The role of shared interests, group norms, and stereotypes. Child Development. Doi: 10.1111/cdev.12393 [pdf]

Cooley, S., & Killen, M. (2015). Children’s evaluations of resource allocation in the context of group norms. Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1037/a0038796 [pdf]

Rutland, A., & Killen, M. (2015). A developmental science approach to reducing prejudice and social exclusion: Intergroup processes, social-cognitive development, and moral reasoning. Social Issues and Policy Review, 9, 121-154. [pdf]

Killen, M., & Malti, T. (2015). Moral judgments and emotions in contexts of peer exclusion and victimization. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 48, 249-276. 10.1016/bs.acdb.2014.11.007 [pdf]

Mulvey, K. L., & Killen, M. (2015). Challenging gender stereotypes: Resistance and exclusion. Child Development, 86, 681–694. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12317 [pdf]

Ruck, M., Park, H., Crystal, D., & Killen, M. (2014). Intergroup contact is related to evaluations of interracial peer exclusion in suburban and urban Africa American youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. DOI 10.1007/s10964-014-0227-3 [pdf]

Hitti, A., Mulvey, K.L., Rutland, A., Abrams, D., & Killen, M. (2014). When is it okay to exclude a member of the ingroup? Children's and adolescents' social reasoning. Social Development, 23, 451-469.[pdf]

Fu, G. Xiao, W.S., Killen, M. & Lee, K. (2014). Moral judgment and its relation to second-order theory of mind. Developmental Psychology, 50, 2085-2092. doi:10.1037/a0037077 [pdf]

Killen, M., Mulvey, K.L., Hitti, A. (2013). Social exclusion in childhood: A developmental intergroup perspective. Child Development, 84, 772-790.[pdf]

Killen, M., Rutland, A., Abrams, D., Mulvey. K.L., & Hitti, A. (2013). Development of intra- and intergroup judgments in the context of moral and social-conventional norms. Child Development, 84, 1063-1080. [pdf]

Richardson, C., Mulvey, K.L., & Killen, M. (2012). Extending social domain theory with a process-based account of moral judgments. Human Development, 55, 4 – 25. [pdf]

Park, Y., Lee-Kim, J., Killen, M., Park, K.J., & Kim, J. (2012). Korean children’s evaluations of parental restrictions regarding gender-stereotypic peer activities. Social Development, 21, 577-591. [pdf]

Malti, T., Killen, M., & Gasser, L. (2012). Social reasoning and emotion attributions about peer exclusion in Switzerland. Child Development, 83, 697-711. [pdf]

Killen, M., Mulvey, K. L., Richardson, C. B., Jampol, N., & Woodward, A. (2011). The “accidental transgressor”: Morally–relevant theory of mind.  Cognition, 119, 197–215. [pdf]

Sinno, S., & Killen, M. (2011). Social reasoning about second–shift parenting. British Journal of
Developmental Psychology, 29, 313–329. [pdf]

Killen, M., Kelly, M. Richardson, C., & Jampol, N. (2010). Attributions of intentions and fairness judgments regarding interracial peer encounters. Developmental Psychology, 46, 1206–1213. [pdf]

Nipedal, C., Nesdale, D., & Killen, M. (2010). Social group norms, school norms, and aggressive
intentions. Aggressive Behavior, 36, 195–204. [pdf]

Rutland, A., Killen, M., & Abrams, D. (2010). A new social–cognitive developmental perspective on prejudice: The interplay between morality and group identity. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5, 280–291. [pdf]

Park, Y. & Killen, M. (2010). When is peer rejection justifiable?: Children's understanding across two cultures. Cognitive Development, 25, 290-301. [pdf]

Mulvey, K. L., Hitti, A., & Killen, M. (2010). The development of stereotyping and exclusion. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1, 597-606. [pdf]

Killen, M., & Smetana, J. G. (2010). Future directions: Social development in the context of social justice. Social Development, 19, 642-657. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2009.00548. [pdf]

McGlothlin, H., & Killen, M. (2010). How social experience is related to children's intergroup attitudes. European Journal of Social Psychology: Special Issue: Children's Intergroup Attitudes (Guest editors: J. Degner & Y. Dunham), 40, 625-634. [pdf]

Killen, M., Kelly, M., Richardson, C., Crystal, D., & Ruck, M. (2010). European-American children's and adolescents' evaluations of interracial exclusion. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13, 283-300.[pdf]

Brenick, A., Killen, M., Lee-Kim, J., Fox, N., Leavitt, L., Raviv, A., Masalha, S., Murra, F., & Smadi, Y. (2010). Social understanding in Young Israeli-Jewish, Israeli-Palestinian, Palestinian, and Jordanian children: Moral judgments and stereotypes. Early Education and Development. 21, 886-911. [pdf]

Schuette, C., & Killen, M. (2009). Children's evaluations of gender stereotypic household chores. Early Education and Development, 20, 693-712. [pdf]

Henning, A., Brenick, A., Killen, M., O'Connor, A., & Collins, M. J. (2009). Adolescents' perceptions of gender stereotypes in video games. Children, Youth, and Environments (Special Issue on Children in Technological Environments, Eds., N. Freier & P. Kahn), 19, 170-196. [pdf]

Edmonds, C., & Killen, M. (2009). Do adolescents' perceptions of parental racial attitudes relate to their intergroup contact and cross-race relationships? Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 12, 5-21. [pdf]

Sinno, S., & Killen, M. (2009). Moms at work and dads at home: Children's evaluations of parental roles. Applied Developmental Science, 13, 16-29. [pdf]

Ardila-Rey, A., Killen, M., & Brenick, A. (2009). Displaced and non-displaced Colombian children's reasoning about moral transgressions, retaliation, and reconciliation. Social Development, 18, 181-209. [pdf]

Smetana, J.G., & Killen, M. (2008). Moral cognition, emotions, and neuroscience: An integrative developmental view. European Journal of Developmental Science (Special Issue on Moral Emotions and Moral Cognitions, Eds, T. Malti & M. Keller), 2, 324-339. [pdf]

Killen, M., & Smetana, J. G. (2008). Moral judgment and moral neuroscience: Intersections, definitions, and issues. Child Development Perspectives, 2, 1-6. [pdf]

Crystal, D., Killen, M., & Ruck, M. (2008). It's who you know that counts: Intergroup contact and judgments about race-based exclusion. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26, 51-70. [pdf]

Killen, M. (2007). Children's social and moral reasoning about exclusion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 32-36. [pdf]




Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology |Phone: 301.405.3176 | contact
University of Maryland, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, 3304 Benjamin Building
3942 Campus Drive, College Park, MD, 20742-1131, USA