Population, Neurodevelopment and Genetics program

Pamela Davis-Kean

Pamela Davis-KeanResearch Professor

Email Dr. Davis-Kean


Download CV (PDF)

3314 ISR
426 Thompson St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104



Dr. Davis-Kean is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan where her research focuses on the various pathways that the socio-economic status (SES) of parents relates to the cognitive/achievement outcomes of their children. Her primary focus is on parental educational attainment and how it can influence the development of the home environment throughout childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood. Davis-Kean is also a Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research where she is the Founding Director of the Population, Neurodevelopment, and Genetics (PNG) program. This collaboration examines the complex transactions of brain, biology, and behavior as children and families develop across time. She is interested in how both the micro (brain and biology) and macro (family and socioeconomic conditions) aspects of development relate to cognitive changes in children across the lifespan.


  • Koepp AE, Watts TW, Gershoff ET,… Davis-Kean PE, et al. Attention and behavior problems in childhood predict adult financial status, health, and criminal activity: a conceptual replication and extension of Moffitt et al. (2011) using cohorts from the United States and the United Kingdom. Dev Psychol. 2023;59(8):1389-1406. doi:10.1037/dev0001533
  • Ahmed SF, Chaku N, Waters NE, Ellis A, Davis-Kean PE. Developmental cascades and educational attainment. Adv Child Dev Behav. 2023;64:289-326. doi:10.1016/bs.acdb.2022.10.006
  • Ahmed SF, Ellis A, Ward KP, Chaku N, Davis-Kean PE. Working memory development from early childhood to adolescence using two nationally representative samples. Dev Psychol. 2022;58(10):1962-1973. doi:10.1037/dev0001396
  • Dearing E, Casey B, Davis-Kean PE, et al. Socioeconomic variations in the frequency of parent number talk: a meta-analysis. Educ Sci (Basel). 2022;12(5):312. doi:10.3390/educsci12050312
  • Davis-Kean PE, Domina T, Kuhfeld M, Ellis A, Gershoff ET. It matters how you start: early numeracy mastery predicts high school math course-taking and college attendance. Infant Child Dev. 2022;31(2):e2281. doi:10.1002/icd.2281
  • Hornburg CB, Borriello GA, Kung M,…Davis-Kean PE, et al. Next directions in measurement of the home mathematics environment: an international and interdisciplinary perspective. J Numer Cogn. 2021;7(2):195-220. doi:10.5964/jnc.6143
  • Davis-Kean PE, Tighe LA, Waters NE. The role of parent educational attainment in parenting and children’s development. Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2021;30(2):186-192. doi:10.1177/0963721421993116
  • Shavlik M, Davis-Kean PE, Schwab JF, Booth AE. Early word-learning skills: a missing link in understanding the vocabulary gap? Dev Sci. 2021;24(2):e13034. doi:10.1111/desc.13034
  • Waters NE, Ahmed SF, Tang S, Morrison FJ, Davis-Kean PE. Pathways from socioeconomic status to early academic achievement: the role of specific executive functions. Early Child Res Q. 2021;54:321-331. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.09.008
  • Davis-Kean PE, Ellis A. An overview of issues in infant and developmental research for the creation of robust and replicable science. Infant Behav Dev. 2019;57:101339. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101339