Mary Hesburgh Flaherty and James F. Flaherty III Professor of Psychology
Dr. Braungart-Rieker is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on social and emotional development during infancy and early childhood. In particular, she is interested in the development of children's abilities to regulate and manage emotions. Using longitudinal designs, she examines the extent to which children's characteristics, parenting practices, the spousal relationship, and the fathers' role in the family relate to outcomes such as children's ability to manage distress, parent-child attachment security, and children's social competence.
In a second line of work, Dr. Braungart-Rieker focuses on the family processes that may relate to early onset childhood obesity. Her current project involves a low income sample of preschool aged children where she and her team are examining factors such as the barriers that prevent families from adopting a healthy lifestyle, family relationships, parenting, and children’s socio-emotional functioning. Her publications have appeared in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Family Psychology, Applied Developmental Psychology, Infancy, and other scholarly outlets. Dr. Braungart-Rieker regularly teaches courses in developmental psychology, infant and child development, socio-emotional development, and research methods. She is also the Director of the Center for Children & Families.
Notre Dame Trustee James F. Flaherty III (’79) and Mary Hesburgh Flaherty (’79), established this professorship to further the work of the Center for Children and Families.