Margaret Owen

Interim Dean of School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Professor and Program Head - Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Tags: Psychological Sciences

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Developmental Psychology
University of Michigan - 1981
M.A. - Human Development
University of Kansas - 1975
B.A. - Psychology
Oberlin College - 1974

Research Areas

Research Interests

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. 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.

In my current research we have recently begun a study of preschoolers' self regulation skills and racial/ethnic disparities in school readiness. We are recruiting 360 low income preschoolers and their families to study how they develop skills in self regulation and other social and cognitive abilities that predict their later success in school.

Publications

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

Appointments

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]
Program Head
The University of Texas at Dallas [1997–Present]
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School [1996–Present]
Associate Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [1995–2001]
Associate Director
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]
Research Psychologist
Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, Dallas, Texas [1984–1990]

Projects

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.

Additional Information

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
Profeesional Membership
  • 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
Honors and Awards
  • 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
    • Psychiatry
    • 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
    • Development

News Articles

Study: Parent-Child Interactions Contribute to Language Success
A new study co-authored by a UT Dallas professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciencesdetails 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.
NIH Grant to Fund Study of Preschoolers’ Behavior
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.
School Readiness Study Moves Forward with More Funding, Findings
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.

Funding

Project KIDS Outcome Evaluation
$20,000 - Early Childhood Intervention Program, Dallas Independent School District [1994–1996]
Chemical Dependency Intervention Project Outcome Evaluation
- exas Commission for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Evaluation of cross-agency education, training, and clinical supervision [1993–1994]
NICHD Study of Early Child Care: Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, Phase IV
$2,872,844 - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Cooperative Agreement, Grant No. U10-HD25443-0 1989-1994 NICHD Cooperative Agreement, Grant No. U10-HD27040-10 1995-1999 NICHD Cooperative Agreement, Grant No. U10-HD27040-11 2000-2004 No-co [1990–2007]
Evaluation of the Parents As Teachers Program of the Mental Health Association in Texas
$247,000 - The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health [1987–1991]
Infant-Mother Attachment in Twins: Characteristics and Relationships to Social Skills
$5,000 - The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health [1983–1984]