Pamela Watkins Garner

Pamela Watkins Garner

Pamela Watkins Garner


Social and emotional development of young children

Pamela W. Garner is Professor of Childhood Studies in the School of Integrative Studies and Human Development and Family Science at George Mason University. She conducts research on the social and emotional development of children from minoritized groups and studies the contributions of parents and teachers to young children’s social emotional learning. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Human Development from Texas A&M University. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Garner is a past Associate Editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly and has been involved as PI or Co-I on a number of funded projects investigating studies of emotional competence across childhood. 

Selected Publications

Davis, S. N., Jones, R. M., Mahatmya, D., & Garner, P. W. (2020). Encouraging or obstructing? assessing factors that impact faculty engagement in undergraduate research mentoring. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 5, p. 114). Frontiers.

Hagan, C.A., Halberstadt, A.G., Cooke, A.N., & Garner, P.W. (2020). Teachers’ beliefs about children’s anger and their skill in recognizing children’s anger. Frontiers: Emotion Science. Online.

Halberstadt, A. G., Cooke, A. N., Garner, P. W., Hughes, S.A., Oertwig, D., & Neupert, S.D.(2020). Racialized emotion recognition accuracy and anger bias of children’s faces. Emotion.

Garner, P.W., & Toney, T. (2020). Financial strain, maternal attributions, emotionknowledge and children’s behavioral readiness for school. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 67.

Davis, S., Jones, R. Mahatmya, D., & Garner, P.W. (in press). The role of perceived supportand local culture in undergraduate research mentoring by underrepresented minority faculty members: Findings from a multi-institutional research collaboration. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning.

Garner, P.W., Dunsmore, J.C., & Bassett, H.H. (2020). Direct and indirect pathways to early school adjustment: Roles of young children’s mental representations and pee victimization. Early Child Research Quarterly, 51, 100-109.

Garner, P.W., & Parker, T., & Prigmore, S. (2019). Caregivers’ emotional competence and behavioral responsiveness as correlates of early childcare workers’ relationships with children in their care. Infant Mental Health Journal, 40(4), 496-512.

Garner, P.W., & Gabitova, N. (forthcoming). Social emotional learning and STEM–related education and practice. In T. L. Spinrad & J. Liew (Eds.), Social and emotional learning section (D. Fisher (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Education (Online). Taylor & Francis: New York.

Garner, P.W., & McCarron, G. (in press). Developing leadership in early childhood education and care through the integration of theory, policy engagement, and advocacy.Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

Garner, P.W, & Bolt, E., & Roth, A. (2019). Emotion-focused curricula models and expressions of and talk about emotions between teachers and young children. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 33(2), 180-193.

Garner, P.W., & Waajid, B. (2019). Sociodemographic variations in the linkage between emotion regulation and peer victimization. Journal of School Violence, 18(1), 121-133.

Garner, P. M., Mahatmya, D., Jones, R. M., & Davis, S. N. (2018). Undergraduate research mentoring relationships: A mechanism for developing social capital for underrepresented students. In P. Miller, M. Vandermaas-Peeler, & J. Moore (Eds.), Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research (pp. 77–103). Washington, DC: Council on Undergraduate Research.

Morrison, J.A., Berner, N.J., Manske, J.M., Jones, R.M., Davis, S.N., Garner, P.W. (2018). Surveying faculty perspectives on undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity: a three-institution study. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, 2(1), 43-54.

Garner, P. W., Bender, S. L., & Fedor, M. (2018). Mindfulness‐based SEL programming to increase preservice teachers’ mindfulness and emotional competence. Psychology in the Schools, 55(4), 377-390.

Garner, P.W., & Parker, T. (2018). Young children’s picture-books as a forum for the socialization of emotion. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 16(3), 291-304.

Garner, P.W., Gabitova, N., Gupta, A., & Wood, T. (2018). Innovations in science education: Infusing social emotional principles into early STEM learning. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 13(4), 889-903.

Mahatmya, D., Morrison, J., Jones, R. Davis, S., Garner, P.W., et al., (2017). Pathways to undergraduate research experiences: A multi-institutional study. Innovative Higher Education, 42(5-6), 491-504.

Garner, P.W. (2017). The role of teachers’ social emotional competence in their beliefs about peer victimization. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 33(4), 288-308.

Garner, P. W., Parker, T., & Dortch, M. K. (2016). Concordance in peer victimization-related beliefs across parents and in-service and preservice early childhood teachers. Early Child Development and Care, 1-13.

Davis, S. N., Jones, R. M., Berner, N., Ditty, J., Garner, P. W., Johnson, A., ... & Morrison, J. (2016, July). Individual and institutional predictors of faculty mentoring undergraduate researchers: Findings from a multi-institutional research collaboration. Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference Proceedings (Vol. 8, p. 2).

Garner, P. W., Carter McLean, M., Waajid, B., & Pittman, E. R. (2015). Mentoring and professional development in rural head start classrooms. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23(4), 293-310.

Davis, S. N., Mahatmya, D., Garner, P. W., & Jones, R. M. (2015). Mentoring undergraduate scholars: A pathway to interdisciplinary research? Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23(5), 427-440.

Garner, P. W., & Parker, T. S. (2016). Service-learning linking family child care providers, community partners, and preservice professionals. Early Child Development and Care, 1-10.

Garner, P. W., & Mahatmya, D. (2015). Affective social competence and teacher–child relationship quality: Race/Ethnicity and family income level as moderators. Social Development, 24(3), 678-697.

Garner, P. W., Mahatmya, D., Brown, E. L., & Vesely, C. K. (2014). Promoting desirable outcomes among culturally and ethnically diverse children in social emotional learning programs: A multilevel heuristic model. Educational Psychology Review, 26, 165-189.

Garner, P.W., Mahatmya, D., Moses, L.K., & Bolt, E. (2014). Associations of preschool type and teacher-child relational quality with young children’s social and emotional competence. Early Education and Development, 25, 399-420.

Garner, P.W., Waajid, B., & Moses, L.K. (2013). Prospective teachers’ awareness and expression of emotions: Associations with proposed strategies for behavioral management in the classroom. Psychology in the Schools, 50(5), 471-488.

Waajid, B., Garner, P. W., & Owen, J. E. (2013). Infusing social emotional learning into the teacher education curriculum. International Journal of Emotional Education, 5(2), 31-48.

Expanded Publication List

Garner, P.W. & Waajid, B. (2012). Emotion knowledge and self-regulation as predictors of preschoolers’ cognitive ability, classroom behavior, and social competence: Direct, additive, and mediational associations. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30(4), 330-343.

Greene, K., & Garner, P.W. (2012). African American mothers’ disciplinary responses: Associations with background characteristics, maternal childrearing attitudes, and child manageability. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 33(4), 400-409.

Garner, P.W. (2012). Children’s emotional responsiveness and sociomoral understanding and associations with mothers’ and fathers’ socialization practices. Infant Mental Health Journal, 33(1), 95-106.

Garner, P.W., & Dunsmore, J. (2011). Temperament and maternal discourse about internal states as predictors of toddler empathy- and aggression-related behavior. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9(1), 81–99.

Garner, P.W., & Hinton, T.S. (2010). Emotional display rules and emotion self-regulation: Associations with bullying and victimization in community-based after school programs. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 20(6), 480-496.

Garner, P.W. (2010). Emotional competence and its influences on teaching and learning. Educational Psychology Review, 22(3), 297-321.

Gring-Pemble, L., & Garner, P.W. (2010). Writing Rock Stars: A case study on early childhood writing instruction standards. Community Literacy Journal, 5(1), 57-73.

Cunningham, J., Kliewer, W., & Garner, P.W. (2009). Emotion socialization, child emotion understanding and regulation, and adjustment in urban African American families: Differential associations across child gender. Development and Psychopathology, 21(1), 261-283.

Garner, P. W., Dunsmore, J.C. & Southam-Gerow, M. (2008). Mother-child conversations about emotions: Linkages to child aggression and prosocial behavior. Social Development, 17(2), 259-277.

Garner, P.W., & Waajid, B. (2008). The associations of emotion knowledge and teacher-child relationships to preschool children’s school-related developmental competence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29(2), 89-100.

Dunsmore, J.C., Noguchi, R.J.P., Garner, P.W., Casey, E.C., & Bhullar, N. (2008). Gender-specific linkages of affective social competence with peer relations in preschool children. Early Education and Development, 19(2), 211-237.

Garner, P.W. (2008). The challenge of teaching for diversity in the college classroom when the professor is the other. Teaching in Higher Education, 13, 117-120.

Garner, P.W., & Lemerise, E. (2007). The roles of behavioral adjustment and conceptions of peers and emotions in preschool children’s peer victimization. Development and Psychopathology, 19(1), 57-71.

Raver, C.C., Garner, P.W., & Smith-Donald, R. (2007). The roles of emotion regulation and emotion knowledge for children’s academic readiness: Are the links causal? In R. Pianta & K. Snow (Eds.), School readiness and the transition to kindergarten (pp. 121-147). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Garner, P.W. (2006). Prediction of prosocial and emotional competence from maternal behavior in African American preschoolers. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12, 179-198.

Garner, P.W., Curenton, S., & Taylor, K.W. (2005). Predictors of mental state understanding in preschoolers of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29(4), 271-281.

Garner, P.W. (2003). Child and family correlates of toddlers’ emotional and behavioral responses to a mishap. Infant Mental Health Journal, 24(6), 580-596.

Garner, P.W., & Estep, K. (2001). Emotional competence, emotion socialization, and young children's peer-related social competence. Early Education and Development, 12, 29-48.

Garner, P.W., & Estep, K. (2001). Empathy and Emotional Expressivity. In J. Worrell (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Gender (pp. 391-402). New York: Academic Press.

Garner, P.W., & Spears, F. M. (2000). Emotion regulation in low-income preschoolers. Social Development, 9(2), 246-264.

Garner, P.W. (1999). Continuity in emotion knowledge from preschool to middle childhood and relations to emotion socialization. Motivation and Emotion, 23(4), 247-266.

Jones, D.C., & Garner, P.W. (1998). Socialization of emotion and children's emotional competence: Variations are the theme. Psychological Inquiry, 9(4), 297-299.

Garner, P.W., Robertson, S., Smith G. (1997). Preschool children's emotional expressions with peers: The roles of gender and emotion socialization. Sex Roles, 36(11-12), 675-691.

Garner, P.W., Jones, D.C., Gaddy, G., & Rennie, K.M. (1997). Low-income mothers' conversations about emotions and their children's emotional competence. Social Development, 6, 37-52.

Garner, P.W. (1996). Does hearing a lecture on attachment affect students’ attitudes about “spoiling” infants? College Student Journal, 30, 168-172.

Garner, P.W. (1996). The relations of emotional role-taking, affective/moral attributions, and emotional display rule knowledge to low-income school-age children's social competence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 17(1), 19-36.

Garner, P.W., & Power, T.G. (1996). Preschoolers' emotional control in the disappointment paradigm and its relation to temperament, emotional knowledge, and family expressiveness. Child Development, 67(4), 1406-1419.

Garner, P.W., Rennie, K.M., & Miner, J.L. (1996). Sharing attention to toys: Adolescent mother-toddler versus adult mother-toddler dyads. Infant and Child Development, 5(2), 101-110.

Landry, S.H., Garner, P.W., Swank, P.R., & Baldwin, C.D. (1996). Effects of maternal scaffolding during joint toy play with preterm and full-term infants. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 42(2), 177-199.

Garner, P.W. (1995). Toddlers' emotion regulation behaviors: The roles of social context and family expressiveness. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 156(4), 417-430.

Garner, P.W., Jones, D.C., & Palmer, D.J. (1994). Social cognitive correlates of preschool children's sibling caregiving behavior. Developmental Psychology,30(6), 905-911.

Garner, P.W., Jones, D.C., & Miner, J. (1994). Social competence among low-income preschoolers: The roles of emotion socialization practices and social cognitive knowledge. Child Development, 65(2), 622-637.

Landry, S.H., Garner, P.W., Pirie, D., & Swank, P. (1994). The role of social context and mothers' requesting strategies in understanding Down’s syndrome children's social responsiveness. Developmental Psychology, 30(2), 293-302.

Garner, P.W., & Landry, S.H. (1994). Effects of maternal attention-directing strategies on preterm infants' affective expressions during joint toy play. Infant Behavior and Development, 17(1), 15-22.

Landry, S.H., Robinson, S.S., Copeland, D., & Garner, P.W. (1993). Goal-directed behavior and perception of self-competence in children with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 18(3), 389-396.

Landry, S.H., Garner, P.W., Denson, S., Swank, P.R., & Baldwin, C.B. (1993). Low birth weight infants' exploratory play behavior at 12 and 24 months: Effects of intraventricular hemorrhage and mother's attention-directing behaviors. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 14, 237-249.

Garner, P.W., & Landry, S.H. (1992). Preterm infants' affective responses in independent versus toy-centered play with their mothers. Infant Mental Health Journal, 13(3), 219-230.

Goetz, E.T., Sadoski, M., Olivarez, A., Calero-Breckheimer, A., & Garner, P.W., & Fatemi, Z. (1992). The structure of readers' affect reports: A latent partition analysis. Reading Research Quarterly, 27,361-372.

Landry, S., Swank, P., Denson, S., Garner, P., & Pirie, D. (1991). Differential learning responses associated with neonatal risk. Pediatric Research, 29, 258.

Garner, P.W., Landry, S.H., & Richardson, M.A. (1991). The development of joint attention skills in very low birth weight infants across the first 2 years of life. Infant Behavior and Development, 14(4), 489-495.

Palmer, D.J., Garner, P.W., Lifschitz, M.H., Wilson, G.S., & Williamson, W.D. (1990). An exploratory study of the structure and validity of pediatric examination of educational readiness (PEER) factors. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 11(6), 317-321.


Grants and Fellowships

The Color of Emotion: Teachers' Racialized Interpretations of Children's Emotions and Student Outcomes, W.T. Grant Foundation, Co-Principal Investigator.

Emotional Competence: Associations with Parenting, Social Behavior and Indicators of School Readiness, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, Principal Investigator

Early Childhood Teachers as Socializers of Young Children's Emotional Competence, Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, Consultant

Courses Taught

INTS 316: Introduction to Childhood Studies
INTS 312: Images and Experiences of Childhood
INTS 321: Parent-Child Relations
INTS 317: Issues in Family Relations


Ph.D. Educational Psychology, Texas A & M University
Postdoctoral Fellowship Developmental Psychology, University of Houston
M.A. School Psychology, University of Houston
B.S.W. University of Tennessee

Recent Presentations

Mahatmya, D., Garner, P.W., Jones, R., & Davis, S. (April, 2017). Faculty-student undergraduate research mentoring relationships: Social capital for students of color? Paper presented at the American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

Toney, T. &  Parker, T., & Garner, P.W. (April, 2017). Concordance in peer victimization-related beliefs across parents and in-service and preservice early childhood teachers. Poster Presented at the Harvard Engaged Scholarship & Social Justice Undergraduate Research Conference. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Davis, Shannon N., Jones, R., Garner, P. W., & Mahatmya, D. (April, 2017). Creating a supportive  context for underrepresented minority faculty members to mentor undergraduate researchers: Findings from a multi-institutional research collaboration. Paper presented at the Women & Gender Studies 4th Annual Conference, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

Mahatmya, D., Garner, P.W., Davis, S., & Jones, R. (April, 2017) Faculty-student undergraduate research mentoring relationships: Social capital for students of color?  Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

Garner, P.W., & Waajid, B. (April, 2017). Gender and SES variations in the linkage between emotion regulation and peer victimization. Poster Presented at the Biennial Meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX. 

Garner, P.W., Waajid, B., & Parker, T. (2016, July). School readiness: Links with neighborhood disadvantage, parental involvement, and teacher-child relational quality. Paper presented at the Head Start National Research Conference, Washington, DC.

Mahatmya, D., Jones, R., Garner, P.W., Davis, S., Berner, N., Manske, J., Johnson, A., & Morrison, J. (2016). (June, 2016). Pathways to and through undergraduate research: A multi-institutional assessment. Paper presented at the Council on Undergraduate Research Conference. Tampa, FL.

Mahatmya, D., Jones, R., Garner, P.W., Davis, S., Berner, N., Manske, J., Johnson, A., & Morrison, J. (June 2016). Exploring faculty perspectives on undergraduate research:  A multi-institutional assessment. Paper presented at the Council on Undergraduate Research Conference. Tampa, FL.

Garner, P.W., Brown, E., Mahatmya, D., & Vesely, C. (April, 2015). Family and School Influences on Low-Income Children's Behavioral and Academic Competencies in the Elementary School Years. Paper presented at the 2015 Biennial Meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development

Brown, E.L., Vesely, C.K., Visiconti, K.J., Mahatmya, D., Garner, P.W., Mehta, S., &Kearney, K. (2015, April). Early Childhood Educators Emotional Acting and Knowledge of Display Rules and their Impact on Interactions with Young Children. Poster presented at the 2015 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.