Brett Laursen

Lab Website
  • Professor
  • Department of Psychology
  • 954-236-1121
  • Davie - ES, 270



  • Ph.D. (Child Psychology) 1989

University of Minnesota

  • M.A. (Child Psychology) 1987

University of Minnesota

  • B.A. (Psychology) 1984

Nebraska Wesleyan University 

  • Honorary Ph.D., 2008

Örebro University, Swede


Research Interests

Professor Laursen is currently involved in several longitudinal projects, which focus, in one way or another, on the transmission of influence. 

  • The first project is an interdisciplinary look at the social networks of young children, pairing real time observations of preschool classroom behavior with peer nomination data to specify the longitudinal processes whereby social groups become larger and more influential with development. This project is being conducted in collaboration with a team from the University of Miami, led by Professor Daniel Messinger. 
  • The second project concerns math achievement in a group of Latino students as they transition from grade school into middle school, to identify how transactions between parents and adolescents shape the child’s math interest and abilities. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jill Denner of ETR Associates.
  • A third project involves a large group of elementary and middle school children from a school district whose population is representative of students in the state of Florida. Over the course of a semester, students identify changes in friends and changes in behaviors in school, to better understand who is friends with whom and how influence is apportioned within the relationship.
  • A fourth project involves peer relations and academic achievement across the transition into primary school in a large community sample of Finnish children, under the direction of Professor Jari-Erik Nurmi.
  • A fifth project involves data from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study, a longitudinal investigation of monozygotic and dizygotic twins who have been followed from birth to secondary school. Professors Frank Vitaro and Mara Brendgen direct this collaboration.
  • Finally, ongoing studies at various locations examine developmental differences in event frequency measurement, the adjustment correlates of different measurement strategies, and the degree to which different measures yield different estimates of influence.

Read more about Professor Laursen’s research here:



Recent Publications

Scholarly Acitivites