Department of Psychology
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Elizabeth Shulman
Assistant Professor, Ph.D. (University of California, Irvine)

Office: MC B313
Phone: (905)688-5550 ext. 4084


- adolescent development
- psychosocial maturation
- reward sensitivity
- juvenile justice

I am a developmental psychologist who specializes in the study of adolescence.  My work examines psychosocial development during the transition from childhood to adulthood and how it relates to decision-making, risk-taking, and crime.  My research is guided by a model of adolescent development that integrates multiple levels of analysis, from biology to culture.  Consequently, my scholarship intersects with other areas of study, including cognitive neuroscience, psychopathology, and judgment and decision-making.  I am also interested in the practical implications of discoveries related to adolescents’ capacities and limitations with respect to legal and social policy.  In my work, I use statistical approaches, such as multilevel and latent growth curve modeling, that permit nuanced analysis of longitudinal data.

Three main questions motivate my research and scholarship:

1) How do normative developmental processes in adolescence and early adulthood contribute to the rise and fall of risky behavior across these periods?

2) To what extent is adolescent development universal, and to what extent is it a product of culture?

3) How should the science of adolescence inform social and legal policy?


Shulman, E. P., Harden, K. P., Chein, J. & Steinberg, L. (in press). Sex differences in the developmental trajectories of impulse control and sensation-seeking from early adolescence to early adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. doi: 10.1007/s10964-014-0116-9

Shulman, E. P., & Cauffman, E. (2014). Deciding in the dark: Age differences in intuitive risk judgment. Developmental Psychology, 50, 167–177. doi: 10.1037/a0032778

Bechtold, J., Cavanagh, C., Shulman, E. P., & Cauffman, E. (in press). Does Mother know best? Adolescent and mother report of impulsivity and subsequent delinquency. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-0080-9

Malloy, L. C., Shulman, E. P., Cauffman, E. (2014). Interrogations, confessions, and guilty pleas among serious adolescent offenders, Law and Human Behavior, 38, 181–193. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000065

Shulman, E. P., Steinberg, L., & Piquero, A. R. (2013). The age-crime curve in adolescence and early adulthood is not due to age differences in economic status. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(6), 848-860. doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-9950-4

Shulman, E. P., & Cauffman, E. (2013). Reward-biased risk appraisal and its relation to juvenile vs. adult crime. Law and Human Behavior, 37, 412–423. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000033

Shulman, E. P., Cauffman, E., Fagan, J., & Piquero, A. (2011). Moral disengagement among serious juvenile offenders: A longitudinal study of the relations between moral cognition and offending. Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0025404

Shulman, E. P., & Cauffman, E. (2011). Coping while incarcerated: A study of male juvenile offenders. Journal of Research on Adolescence. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2011.00740.x

Cauffman, E., Shulman, E. P., Steinberg, L., Claus, E., Banich, M. T., Graham, S., & Woolard, J. (2010). Age differences in affective decision making as indexed by performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. Developmental Psychology, 46, 193-207. doi: 10.1037/a0016128



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