Professor Guides Child Psychology Journal

Jeffrey J. Lockman, professor and director of graduate studies in the Tulane psychology department, has taken the helm as editor of the prestigious academic journal Child Development.

Jeffrey J. Lockman conducts a study of motor skill development with 17-month-old Rhiannon Leed and Jackie Leed, her mother and a psychology graduate student. (Photo by Mark Hogan)

The flagship publication for the Society for Research in Child Development, the journal publishes articles, reviews and essays covering different topics in the field of child development.

Lockman's invitation to editorship came as an unexpected honor.

“I remember when I was in graduate school one of my professors was the editor of Child Development, and I always looked up to that,” says Lockman. “To be in this position still seems a little unreal to me. At times I still feel like that graduate student.”

Under a six-year tenure, Lockman will steer the review and approval of articles in the field of child psychology and related disciplines that are submitted to the bi-monthly journal. Lockman works with associate editors around the world to ensure the quality and reputation of Child Development, he says.

With invited guest editors, Lockman is planning to generate special sections of research and theory that will appear in Child Development focusing on the emerging areas of developmental science. Upcoming topics include the impact from disasters like Hurricane Katrina on child development and the basic brain development in children to gain knowledge of social understanding.

“We are trying to capture the best and brightest work in developmental science,” says Lockman. “We are very interested in trying to increase the international representation in the journal and more diversity in terms of methods and populations that have been studied.”

Lockman's affiliation with Child Development stems back to the 1990s when he was an associate editor. He was nominated for the editorship by a search committee of the Society for Research in Child Development after writing a mission statement for the journal.

After Lockman was named editor, he nominated Michael Cunningham as an associate editor. Cunningham is associate chair of the Tulane psychology department.

“The association of Tulane and the journal adds to the visibility of the Tulane psychology department,” says Lockman. “It really says something about our quality.”

Lockman's research expertise includes development of perceptual and motor abilities in children. He currently is the principal investigator for a research grant from the National Institutes of Health on this topic.