Elena Grigorenko is named the Beede Associate Professor

Elena L. Grigorenko, newly appointed as the inaugural Emily Fraser Beede Associate Professor for Developmental Disabilities, focuses her work on understanding how both genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to developmental and learning disabilities in children.

Elena Grigorenko

She is especially interested in how children with special needs, such as those infected with intestinal parasites or diagnosed with autism, succeed by capitalizing on their strengths. Her work in this area has contributed to greater understanding of the flexibility and malleability of human development, and the way children grow and mature. Utilizing diverse methodologies — ranging from molecular genetics to cultural studies to family and educational intervention designs — Grigorenko has conducted research on international adoptees who were brought to the United States early in life; the rates of learning disabilities in harsh developmental environments with high rates of illness, intoxication, and poverty; and the interactions between genetic and environmental factors for conduct problems. She is particularly interested in studying the risk factors for language and reading disabilities, autism, and criminal behaviors in pre-adolescent children. Grigorenko has worked with children and their families in Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

The author, co-author or editor of more than 300 articles, book chapters and books, Grigorenko has received awards for her work by five different divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA). Her other honors include the Gardner Lindzey Dissertation Award in General Psychology, the Sigmund Koch Early Career Award in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, the Berlyne Early Career Award for Creative Achievement in Psychology of the Arts, the Boyd McCandless Early Career Award in Developmental Psychology, and the Richard E. Snow Early Career Award in Educational Psychology. In 2004, she won the APA Distinguished Award for an Early Career Contribution to Developmental Psychology. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, USAID, Cure Autism Now, and the Foundation for Child Development, among other federal and private organizations.

Grigorenko earned her first Ph.D. from Moscow State University and a second doctorate from Yale in 1996. She began her Yale career as a research scientist and served as deputy director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise 2001-2006. She joined the faculty in 2002 with affiliations in the Department of Psychology, the Child Study Center, and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. Since 2008, she has served as director of the Yale Academic Skills Clinic. She is also an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and in the psychology department at Moscow State University in Russia.

The Emily Fraser Beede Associate Professor supports a professorship in developmental disabilities.

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