Kenneth H. Rubin (B.A., McGill, 1968; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State, 1971), is Professor Emeritus, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland – College Park. In 1995, upon arrival at the University of Maryland, he founded, and served as Director of the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture. Previously, he was a Professor of the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, and has held visiting appointments at Stanford University, University of Washington, University of Melbourne (Australia), and the Max-Planck-Institut fur Psychologische Forschung (Munich). His research interests include the study of child and adolescent social development, especially peer and parent-child relationships; social and emotional adjustment and maladjustment in childhood and adolescence; the origins and developmental course of social competence, social withdrawal, and aggression; and “all of the above” from a cross-cultural perspective. Many of his over 350 peer-reviewed publications have been co-authored by colleagues on five continents. Among his recent books are the Handbook of Peer Interactions, Relationships, and Groups (with Bill Bukowski and Brett Laursen, 2018); the Handbook of Child and Adolescent Aggression (with Tina Malti, 2018)The Development of Shyness and Social Withdrawal (with Rob Coplan, 2010)Social Anxiety in Childhood: Bridging Developmental and Clinical Perspectives (with Heidi Gazelle, 2010); and Socioemotional Development in Cultural Context (with Xinyin Chen, 2011). His book, The Friendship Factor (2002) received the National Parenting Publications Gold Award.
Rubin was the President of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (1998-2002), an elected member of the Society for Research in Child Development Governing Council (2009-2015), and an elected member of the APA Division 7 Executive Board (1987-1990). He has served as Associate Editor of Child Development (1981-1984; 1998-2001) and as a review panelist for NIH (USA) and SSHRCC (Canada). He is a Fellow of the American and Canadian Psychological Associations, the Association of Psychological Science, and the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development. Among his honors are the American Psychological Association (Developmental Division 7) Award for Distinguished Contributions to Developmental Psychology, 2024the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development Lifetime Achievement Award (2020); the Society for Research in Child Development Distinguished Contributions to Understanding International, Cultural, and Contextual Diversity in Child Development Award (2015); the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Research and Theory in Behavioral Development (2008); the Developmental Psychology Mentor Award of the American Psychological Association (2010); and the Pickering Award for Outstanding Contribution to Developmental Psychology in Canada (2014). In 1987, Rubin was awarded the Killam Research Fellowship by the Canada Council; this is one of Canada’s most distinguished research awards given annually to approximately 5-to-7 scholars in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering. He was the first Developmental Scientist to receive the Killam Fellowship. At the University of Maryland, Rubin has received the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award, (2006) and the Exceptional Scholarship Award, (College of Education, 2013). In 2015, he was named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by the University of Maryland.
CV: CV 6 2023.docx286.92 KB


  • PhD
    Pennsylvania State University, 1971

The Laboratory for the Study of Child and Family Relationships (LSCFR) is located within the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland – College Park. The LSCFR was established in 1995 by Dr. Kenneth H. Rubin.  The primary goal of the LSCFR is to advance our understanding of child and adolescent social and emotional development.

We are particularly interested in vulnerability and resilience among children at-risk for maladaptive psychosocial outcomes. Our current projects include basic research on:

  • The development of adaptive (social competence; civic engagement) and maladaptive (social withdrawal; aggression) social behaviors and peer relationships (friendship; peer acceptance and rejection; bullying and victimization; early romantic relationships) in childhood and adolescence.
  • The determinants and stability of parent-child relationships, parenting behaviors and beliefs about normal and abnormal/dysfunctional development.
  • Predicting the development of adaptive and dysfunctional child and adolescent outcomes from the constellation of biological factors (e.g., temperament), context (e.g., culture), parenting and parent-child relationships, and peer relationships. Positive outcomes include social and emotional competence. Negative outcomes include social anxiety, depression, loneliness, rejection sensitivity, and negative self-esteem.
  • Cultural influences on parenting, parent-child relationships and children’s social and emotional development.
  • The effects of traumatic brain injury on children’s social, social-cognitive, and emotional lives at home and school.

Our current projects also involve applied research on:

  • The effects of intervention experiences for socially anxious and withdrawn young children.

The research of the LSCFR has, at its core, the notion that “normal” and “abnormal” social behaviors and relationships are best understood within their given cultural contexts.  Consequently, much of the work of the LSCFR is conducted not only in North America, but also in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America

Research Methods
Psychophysiology (EEG, ECG, GSR)
Observational Methods; Interventions; Peer Nominations and Ratings of Child/Adolescent Behavior
Research Interests
Fear and Anxiety
Temperament and Personality; Individual Differences
Social Cognition
Social Development
Emotional Development
Family Relationships
Peer Relationships; Traumatic Brain Injury
Kenneth H Rubin
0101 Benjamin Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
krubin [at]