Ph.D. - Developmental Psychology
University of Michigan - 1981
M.A. - Human Development
University of Kansas - 1975
B.A. - Psychology
Oberlin College - 1974
Research Interests and Current Studies
My research focuses on children's environmental contexts particularly children's home experiences and child-care experiences and how they relate to the child's development. I study linkages both within and across environmental contexts. Within the family, I study relations among mother-child, father-child, and husband-wife relationships, and I examine how qualities of these relationships are associated with children's development. For example, I have studied how a collaborating partnership between parent and child-care provider benefits parent-child and caregiver-child interactions and, in turn, relates to children's developing competence. The data sets from this study are in the public domain and are used widely in secondary analyses that examine effects of children’s child care, school, and family experiences on developmental trajectories of behavior, achievement, health and well-being from infancy through adolescence. The participants in this study, recruited at birth in 1991, continue to be followed in adulthood.
My current focus of research, funded by NIH-NICHD, stems from the Dallas Preschool Readiness Project, now renamed the Dallas Project on Educational Pathways. The sample of 400 African American and Hispanic children from low-income households has been followed from toddlerhood through 7th grade, addressing the development of children’s self-regulation abilities, school readiness and achievement in the context of parent-child relationships, school, culture and family experiences.
In addition, we are beginning new studies of influences on children's development, recruiting families from those who have participated or are participating in the Center for Children and Families' community-based outreach programs. These children are primarily Hispanic, Spanish-speaking, and from low-income households in the Dallas area. We are in need of research assistants in this area of our work. (https://ccf.utdallas.edu)
Owen, M. T., Caughy, M.O., Hurst, J. M., Amos, M., Hasanizadeh, N., & Mata-Otero, A. (2013). Contributions of fathering and mothering to emerging self regulation in low-income ethnic minority preschoolers. Early Child Development and Car, 183, 464-482. 2013 - Publication
Else-Quest, N. M., Clark, R., & Owen, M. T. (2011). Stability in mother-child interactions from infancy through adolescence. Parenting: Science and Practice. 2011 - Publication
Klausli, J. F., & Owen, M. T. (2011). Exploring actor and partner effects in associations between marriage and parenting for mothers and fathers. Parenting: Science and Practice. 2011 - Publication
McCartney, K., Burchinal, M., Clarke-Stewart, A., Owen, M.T., Bub, K., Belsky, J., and the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2010). Testing a series of causal propositions relating time spent in child care to children’s externalizing behavior.Developmental Psychology, 46, 1-17. 2010 - Publication
Klausli, J.F., & Owen, M.T. (2009). Maternal cohabitation and characteristics of the home environment across the child’s first two years. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 103-106. 2009 - Publication
Owen, M.T., Klausli, J .K., Mata-Otero, A., & Caughy, M. (i2008). Relationship-focused childcare practices: Quality of care and child outcomes for children in poverty. Early Education and Development, 19, 302-329. 2008 - Publication
Belsky, J., Vandell, D.L., Burchinal, M., Clarke-Stewart, K.A., McCartney, K., Owen, M.T., and The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2007). Are there long-term effects of early child care? Child Development, 78, 681-701. 2007 - Publication
Campbell, S., Spieker, S., Burchinal, M., Poe, M., and NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2006). Trajectories of aggression from toddlerhood to age 9 predict academic and social functioning through age 12. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 791-800. 2006 - Publication
NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2006). The relations of classroom contexts in the early elementary years to children's classroom and social behavior. In A.C. Huston and M.N. Ripke (Eds.), Developmental contexts in middle childhood: Bridges to adolescence and adulthood (pp. 217-236). New York: Cambridge University Press. 2006 - Publication
NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2006). Infant-mother attachment: Risk and protection in relation to changing maternal caregiving quality. Developmental Psychology, 42, 38-58. 2006 - Publication
Director, Center for Children and Families
The University of Texas at Dallas [2009–Present]
Professor of Psychology
The University of Texas at Dallas [2001–Present]
The University of Texas at Dallas [1997–Present]
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School [1996–Present]
The University of Texas at Dallas [1995–2001]
Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation [1993–1995]
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
Texas Christian University [1992–1993]
Director of Developmental Research
Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, Dallas, Texas [1990–1992]
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School [1986–1996]
Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, Dallas, Texas [1984–1990]
Early child care and mother-child interaction: From 36 months through the transition to first grade.
2004–2004 Owen, M.T. (2004, April). Paper presented at the biennial meetings of the Conference on Human Development, Washington, D.C.
The dynamics of coparenting in family interactions.
2005–2005 Vaughn, A., Owen, M.T., & Barfoot, B. (April, 2005). Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.
Changes in cognitive and social development for children in poverty associated with relationship focused child care experience.
2006–2006 Owen, M.T., Klausli, J.F., & Mata-Otero, A. (2006, March). Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Human Development, Ft. Worth, TX.
Couple relationship quality in the association between maritalstatus and child aajustment.
2005–2005 Klausli, J .F., & Owen, M.T. (April, 2005). Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.
Similarities and differences in mothers ' and fathers ' parenting qualities in early and middle childhood.
2007–2007 Milling, L., Little, l.E., & Owen, M.T. (2007, March). Poster to be presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston.
Honors and Awards
- National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Program Fellowship, 1973
- Sigma Xi, Oberlin College, 1974
- NICHD Graduate Traineeship, University of Michigan, 1975-79
- Pre-doctoral Fellow, Bush Program in Child Development and Social Policy, University of Michigan, 1979-80
- Rackham Dissertation Fellowship, 1980
- Senior Green Fellow, Green Center for Science and Public Policy, University of Texas at Dallas, 1996-97
- Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, 2010-present
- Society for Research in Child Development
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Psychological Science
- Society for Research in Human Deveopment
- Intemational Society for the Study of Behavioural Development
- Texas Association for Infant Mental Health
- Editorial Board:
- Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1998-2002
- Child Development, 1993-96
- Editorial Consultant:
- Child Development, 1997-99
- Ad-Hoc Reviewer:
- Developmental Psychology
- Child Development
- Journal ofFamilv Psychology
- Applied Developmental Science
- Early Education and Development
- Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
- Journal ofFamily Issues
- Psychology of Women Quarterly
- Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
- Motivation and Emotion
- Family Relations
- Smith Richardson Foundation
- HUD-l study section, National Institute of Child Health and Human
A new study co-authored by a UT Dallas professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
details that the quality of interactions between young children and their parents is just as important — if not more important — as the quantity of words children experience in determining later language ability.Dr. Margaret Tresch Owen
, Robinson Family Professor and director of the Center for Children and Families
, said previous studies have found that the small number of words heard by children in some homes — particularly in those of low-income families — has been strongly linked with poor language skills. This has become known as the “30 million word gap,” representing the differences found in both the number of words heard and vocabulary differences between children from low- and high-income families.
Dr. Margaret T. Owen, professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
and director of the Center for Children and Families
, has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study preschoolers living in Dallas.
Owen, along with research colleague Dr. Margaret O. Caughy of the University of Texas School of Public Health
, received a $1.2 million, two-year grant from the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
. Owen and Caughy will study self-regulation and race/ethnic disparities in school readiness among the preschoolers.
The research team will visit the preschoolers in their homes to assess their abilities to regulate and control their impulses and behavior from ages 2½ to 4 years, a period of time in which they are rapidly acquiring these skills and abilities.
A project conducted by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas has entered its third round of funding in determining how various factors combine to influence the development of school readiness and success of urban minorities.
The Dallas Project on Education Pathways
(DPReP), which began as the Dallas Preschool Readiness Project in 2009, is one of the nation’s first and longest longitudinal studies of childhood self-regulation development and its implications among African-American and Hispanic children.
Self Regulation and Race/Ethnic Disparities in School Readiness
$586,140 - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R01-HD058643-01A1, M.O. Caughy, PI [2009–2011]
Father Care: Levels, Sources, and Consequences
$150,000 - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R03-HD057351 [2008–2010]
Relationship-Centered Child Care and Development of Children in Poverty
$37,165 - Timberlawn Foundation [2005–2006]
Relationship-Centered Child Care and Development of Children in Poverty
$29,980 - Timberlawn Foundation [2003–2004]
Relationship-Centered Child Care and Children's Development Through the Transition to School
$89,239 - The Child Care Group, Salesmanship Club [2002–2007]