The Catholic University of America


Kathryn A. Degnan

Assistant Professor


lab: Positive Development Lab 

310 O'Boyle (202) 319-4621

My research interests are centered on identifying and defining early individual differences in emotion and behavior (i.e., temperament), with a particular focus on the transactional processes between individuals and the surrounding social context (e.g., parenting, peers) that contributes to risk and resilience throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Some of my recent work has examined patterns of temperamental reactivity, such as behavioral inhibition or exuberance, and the mitigating factors in relation to adaptive and maladaptive outcomes. Overall, I strive to use measures of child and environmental factors across multiple levels of analysis (i.e., biological, individual, and family), analyzed with longitudinal statistical analysis techniques, to answer these complex questions of adaptation across the lifespan.


Research Assistant Professor, University of Maryland (2008-2015)

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland (2006-2008)

Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of North Carolina Greensboro (2006)

B.S., cum laude, Psychology, Mary Washington College (2000)

Selected Publications
Degnan, K.A., Hane, A.A., Henderson, H.A., Walker, O.L., Ghera, M., & Fox, N.A. (2015). Emergent patterns of risk for psychopathology: The influence of infant temperament and maternal caregiving on trajectories of social reticence. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 1163-1178.
Almas, A.N., Degnan, K.A., Walker, O.L., Radulescu, A., Nelson, C.A., Zeanah, C.H., & Fox, N.A. (2015). The effects of early institutionalization and foster care intervention on children’s’ social behaviors at age 8. Social Development, 24, 225-239. PMCID: PMC4539259
Degnan, K.A., Almas, A.N., Henderson, H.A., Hane, A.A., Walker, O.L., & Fox, N.A. (2014). Longitudinal trajectories of social reticence with unfamiliar peers across early childhood. Developmental Psychology, 50, 2311-2323. PMCID: PMC4172493
Lahat, A., Degnan, K.A., White, L.K., McDermott, J.M., Henderson, H.A., Lejeuz, C.W., & Fox, N.A. (2012). Temperamental exuberance and executive function predict propensity for risk-taking in childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 847-856. PMCID: PMC4469334
Degnan, K.A., Hane, A.A., Henderson, H.A., Moas, O.L., Reeb-Sutherland, B.C., & Fox, N.A. (2011). Longitudinal stability of temperamental exuberance and social-emotional outcomes in early childhood. Developmental Psychology, 47, 765-780.PMCID: PMC3984462
Degnan, K.A., Almas, A.N., & Fox, N.A. (2010). Temperament and the environment in the etiology of anxiety. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 497-517. PMCID: PMC2884043
Psy 309: Adolescent Development
Psy 379: Lifespan Development
Psy 622: Cognitive Development
Psy 640: Human Development: Affective, Biological, Cognitive, & Social Domains
Psy 706: Statistical Methods II