James A. Graham, PhD

Title: Professor
Specialization: Developmental Psychology
Department: Psychology
Phone: (609) 771-2638
Office: 122 Social Sciences Building
10 B & C Social Sciences Building 

Fall 2017
Office Hours: Tues: 01:00 - 02:00 PM; 03:30 - 04:00 PM | Fri: 12:30 - 02:00 PM 

Research Interests

My research program focuses on the social-cognitive aspects of peer relationships among school children (K - 5) from both molar (peer groups) and molecular (dyads) perspectives. The overarching theme of my work is to foster prosocial behavior and thinking among children (especially from underserved populations). I have published articles on the roles of race and gender in children’s friendships, children’s evaluations of social situations, children’s relationship to media, and program evaluation.
  • Empathy and prosocial behavior in peer relationships and friendships
  • Social development in understudied populations
  • Community-based research partnerships and program evaluation


Undergraduate Courses
  • Core:  Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology
  • Foundation:  Development across the Lifespan
  • Specialized:  An Analysis of Ethnic and Racial Diversity among US Children; Children and the Media; Children's Peer Relationships and Friendships; Children’s Social and Personality Development; Minority Child Development
  • Senior Experience:  Cross-cultural Child Development
  • Research and Experiential Learning Courses (ELOPsy):  Collaborative Research Lab in Children’s Social Development; Individual Study; Internship; Senior Honors Thesis
Graduate Courses
  • Advanced Child Growth and Development; Graduate Independent Study; Introduction to Research and Data-based Decision Making; Professional Advocacy and Leadership Internship

Representative Publications


Harris, Y.R., & Graham, J.A. (In press - Spring 2018). Developmental science: An introductory text (2E). Dubuque, IA. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Harris, Y.R., & Graham, J.A. (2014). The African American child: Development and challenges (2E). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, ISBN13: 9780826110190.

Harris, Y.R., Graham, J.A., & Oliver Carpenter, G.J. (2010). Children of incarcerated parents: Theoretical, developmental, and clinical issues. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, ISBN13: 9780826105134.

Harris, Y.R., & Graham, J.A. (2009). Developmental science: An introductory text. Dubuque, IA. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, ISBN13: 9780757565519.

Harris, Y.R., & Graham, J.A. (2007). The African American child: Development and challenges. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, ISBN10: 0826127568, ISBN13: 9780826127563.

Selected Journal Articles, Chapters, and Reviews
  • Chiu, I., & Graham, J.A. (2017). The effect of a peer-based personal stories intervention on the focus of anxiety and social distance towards people with mental illness. Journal of College Student Development, 58(1), 101-107. doi:10.1353/csd.2017.0006
  • Kanthan, S., Graham, J.A., and Azarchi, L. (2016). Media Detectives: Bridging the Relationship among Empathy, Laugh Tracks, and Gender in Childhood. Journal of Media Literacy Education. Available at
  • Dell'Armo, K., & Graham, J.A. (2016). Kidsbridge Differing Abilities Room: The effectiveness of an intervention on attitudes towards different disability types. TCNJ Journal of Student Scholarship, 18. Available at
  • Scott, K.E., & Graham, J.A. (2015). Service-learning: Implications for empathy and community engagement in elementary school childrenJournal of Experiential Education, 38(4), 354 – 372. doi: 10.1177/1053825915592889
  • Graham, J.A., & Harris, Y.R. (2013). Children of color and parental incarceration: Implications for research, theory, and practice. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 41, 66-81. doi: 10.1002/j.2161-1912.2013.00028.x 
  • Graham, J.A. (2013). From abandonment to the zygote. [Review of the book APA dictionary of lifespan developmental psychology, by G. R. VandenBos (Ed.)] PsycCRITIQUES, 58(48). doi: 10.1037/a0035094
  • Graham, J.A. (2012). African American children: Context, interdisciplinarity, and intervention. [Review of the book African American Children and Mental Health: Volumes 1 and 2, by N. E. Hill, T. L. Mann, & H. E. Fitzgerald (Eds.)].  PsycCRITIQUES, 57(18).  doi: 10.1037/a0027842
  • Graham, J.A., Harris, Y.R., & Oliver Carpenter, G.J. (2010). The changing landscape of the American prison population: Implications for children of incarcerated parents. In Y.R. Harris, J.A. Graham, & G.J. Oliver Carpenter (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents: Theoretical, developmental and clinical issues (pp. 3–19). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Oliver Carpenter, G.J., Graham, J.A., & Harris, Y.R. (2010). Research and intervention: Issues for moving forward. In Y.R. Harris, J.A. Graham, & G.J. Oliver Carpenter (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents: Theoretical, developmental and clinical issues (pp. 277–286). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Harris, Y.R., Harris, V., Graham, J.A., & Oliver Carpenter, G.J. (2010). The challenge of family reunification. In Y.R. Harris, J.A. Graham, & G.J. Oliver Carpenter (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents: Theoretical, developmental and clinical issues (pp. 255–275). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Sarafino, E.P., & Graham, J.A. (2006). Development and psychometric evaluation of an instrument to assess reinforcer preferences: The Preferred Item and Experiences Questionnaire (PIEQ). Behavior Modification, 30, 835-847.
  • Bledsoe, K.L., & Graham, J.A. (2005). The use of multiple evaluation approaches in program evaluation. American Journal of Evaluation, 26, 302-319.
  • Cox, M., Garrett, E., & Graham, J.A. (2004). Death in Disney films: Implications for children's understanding of death. Omega - Journal of Death and Dying, 50, 257-280.
  • Graham, J.A., & Sell, M. A. (2001). Episodes of pragmatic behaviors in parent-child interactions. Psychological Reports, 89, 513-519.
  • Ray, G., Graham, J.A., & Cohen, R. (2001). The importance of relationship information for children's evaluations of peers and social situations. Advances in Psychology Research, Vol. V. (pp. 209-230). Nova Science Publishers.
  • Graham, J.A., Cohen, R, Zbikowski, S. M., & Secrist. M.E. (1998). A longitudinal investigation of race and sex as factors in children's friendship choices. Child Study Journal, 28, 245-266.
  • Graham, J.A., & Cohen, R. (1997). Race and sex as factors in children's sociometric ratings and friendship choices. Social Development, 6, 355-372.

Professional Links