Connie M. Tang


My research interests include young children’s cognitive development, children and the law, family income and its impact on parenting and child behaviors, and emerging adulthood. Specifically, I am interested in how best to talk to young children during forensic interviews, and how juvenile offenders are judged in adult courts. Since young children’s vulnerability to interviewer suggestion can be partially explained by their tenuous ability to monitor the sources of their knowledge, I have also conducted research on children’s source monitoring. My latest completed project was “Children and Crime,” a 12-chapter book published in 2018. Using the central question of "Can being a victim cause a child to become a perpetrator?" as a linchpin, the book surveys topics related to the two ways children and crime intersect: Child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency.

 In the past few months, my collaborators and I are revising two manuscripts: One was a mock juror study about the effects of juvenile race and intellectual disability on the judgment of a case involving recanted confession; the other was about the various factors (i.e., financial independence, employment characteristics, and socioeconomic status) that influenced perceptions of adult status attainment among college students.

 At the present time, I am starting a new line of research on resiliency in maltreated children. The research method employed is secondary analyses of the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). LONGSCAN is a consortium of research studies initiated in 1991 with grants from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect to a coordinating center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and five data collection sites. It follows over 1300 children and their families until the children themselves become young adults. The dataset that I have obtained was released in 2015, which includes information on the children from the beginning of the studies until the children turned 18. The study data are collected from multiple sources which enable researchers to examine findings across a variety of ethnic, social and economic subgroups. Overall, LONGSCAN is a treasure trove of information for researchers to study the cause, consequence, and intervention for the problem of child maltreatment. Research on resiliency will help to build effective intervention programs.

Tang, C. M., McCullough, A., & Olunlade, R. (2022). Maternal, paternal, and peer relationships differentially predict adolescent behavioral problems. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 1-12. (pdf)

Tang, C. M., Colon, M., & Brilla, H. S. (2022). Homework Completion Program in Atlantic County, NJ: The first five years. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice, and Principles. (pdf)

Tang, C.M., Nunez, N. & Estrada-Reynolds, V. (2020). Intellectual disability affects case judgment differently depending on juvenile race. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 35, 228-239. (pdf)

Tang, C.M., Dickey, S. & Samuelsen, D. (2017). Young children's reports of when events occurred: Do event type and assessment method matter? Infant and Child Development, 26. (pdf)

Tang, C.M. & Sinanan, A.N. (2015). Change in parenting behaviors from infancy to early childhood: Does change in family income matter? Journal of Family Social Work, 18, 327-348. (pdf)

Tang, C.M. & Turner, K. (2013). Defendant age, pretrial bias, and crime severity influence the judgment of juvenile waiver cases. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 31, 5 - 25. (pdf)

I would like to work with as many as four students each semester as research assistants in my laboratory. Preferred qualifications include the completion of Experimental Psychology and Developmental Psychology, a minimum GPA of 3.2, and Psychology majors who are also pursuing a minor in Childhood Studies. Students who are able to stay in the laboratory for at least a year are also preferred.

Students will learn how to comprehend, summarize, and critique empirical research articles. They will acquire critical thinking skills that help with the generation of research hypotheses. Research assistants will learn to analyze data using both univariate and multivariate statistical methods on SPSS. They will learn to interpret SPSS output files, write up the findings, and publicly present research in its entirety.

Students should be able to work independently and in collaboration with others. They should plan on spending a few hours each week on the research project. They should also be available to attend lab meetings twice a month.

Interested students should email me ( a letter of interest, attaching a current transcript as well as an updated resume.

Once the four research assistants are found, I will not be able to accommodate more students until an opening becomes available. So apply early if you think that you are a good fit to my lab.