Current Research and Future Directions in Moral Development

  • Half-Day Pre-Conference
  • 1:00 - 5:30 PM
  • $35.00

This half-day pre-conference will highlight two growing areas of research in the field of moral development: 1) relations to civic and community engagement and 2) prosocial behavior interventions. Individuals’ civic and community engagement benefit both individuals and society, and thus, necessitates further attention to understand this concept in our field. Additionally, given that prosocial behaviors are one of the most desirable behaviors in our society, intervention programs that are designed to promote prosocial behaviors are increasingly becoming popular and require scholarly attention. We look forward to hearing from two wonderful keynote speakers during the event, Dr. Daniel Hart from Rutgers University and Dr. Rachel Baumsteiger from Cal Poly Ponoma. Plenty of time will also be reserved for breakout discussions and networking time.


Dr. Sarah Pierotti
Assistant Professor in HDFS
Pennsylvania State University-DuBois





Dr. Zehra Gülseven
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Virginia Tech University





Dr. Sahitya Maiya
Assistant Professor in HDFS
University of New Hampshire





Dr. Joy Roos, MSW
Postdoctoral Fellow in Educational, School & Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri




Keynote speakers:

Dr. Daniel Hart, Rutgers University

Daniel Hart is a University Professor at Rutgers University. His research focuses on adolescent development in context. One facet of this work examines the development of civic life, including political knowledge, volunteering, social trust, voting, and activism. In a series of papers and the book Renewing Democracy in Young America Hart and his colleagues have explored the effects of neighborhood, social class, and historical time on the developmental trajectories of the components of civic life. 
Hart has just finished a project in which he and his colleagues provided the technical and professional assistance for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Next Generation of Community Leaders initiative, which funded youth-led community development projects in communities throughout New Jersey. With collaborators from Camden and Baltimore, he has begun a new project to test the potential of youth-led teams to reduce neighborhood public health threats. 


Dr. Rachel Baumsteiger, Cal Poly Ponoma 

Rachel Baumsteiger, PhD, is an assistant professor at Cal Poly Pomona and the director of the Prosociality and Well-being Lab. Dr. Baumsteiger was trained in positive developmental psychology at Claremont Graduate University, during which time she worked in the Adolescent Moral Development Lab and wrote a dissertation describing an intervention designed to promote prosocial habits among adolescents and young adults. After graduating, Dr. Baumsteiger worked as a postdoctoral associate and then associate research scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence where she contributed to projects aimed at improving social and emotional learning among adolescents and cultivating positive school climates at the middle and high school levels. Her current research focuses on promoting prosocial development, especially among adolescents. She has published articles in journals such as the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, the Journal of Character Education, and the Journal of Positive Psychology, and her work on prosocial interventions has been featured on websites such as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s “Character and Context Blog” and the Greater Good Science Center’s “Greater Good in Education.”