Martha Ann Bell

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University Distinguished Professor
College of Science Faculty Fellow
Faculty, Department of Psychology
Faculty, Developmental Science Graduate Program
Director, The CAP Lab

***Dr. Bell will not be recruiting a new graduate student for Fall 2025.
Office Hours
Summer 2024 - please email for an appointment
Office Address
333 Williams Hall
Office Phone
Curriculum Vitae
Short Bio
since 2021 --- University Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech
since 2019 --- College of Science Faculty Fellow, Virginia Tech
since 2010 --- Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech
2001-2010 --- Associate Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech
1996-2001 --- Assistant Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech
1993-1996 --- Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of South Carolina
1992-1993 --- Research Associate, Child Development Lab, University of Maryland

Developmental changes in brain-behavior relations during infancy and early childhood; developmental cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychophysiology (executive function, emotion regulation, EEG, ECG); individual differences in development; integration of cognition and emotion in early development.

Recent Courses Taught
  • PSYC 6944 - Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 5544 - Cognitive Development
  • PSYC 4034- Special Topics in Dev Psyc ("Child Cognitive and Social-Emotional Development")
Select Publications
  • Bell, M.A. (Ed.), (2024). Child development at the intersection of emotion and cognition (2nd ed). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  • 2024
  • Bruce, M., Ermanni, B., & Bell, M.A. (2024). Vocabulary size predicts behavioral problems in emotionally reactive children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 67, 265-273.
  • Hong, Y., Bell, M.A., & Deater-Deckard, K. (2024_early online). Mother-child similarity during observed interactions: Links with mother and child effortful control. Family Relations.
  • Hong, Y., Bertrand, C.M., Deater-Deckard, K., Smith, C.L., & Bell, M.A. (2024). The role of mother’s and child’s self-regulation on bidirectional links between harsh parenting and child externalizing problems. Developmental Psychology. 60(3), 441–455.
  • Phillips., J.J., Roche, M.J., & Bell, M.A. (2024). The utility of the Level of Personality Functioning Scale in maternal samples: A brief report. Journal of Personality Assessment, 106(3), 328-336.
  • Putnam, S. P., Selec, E., French, B., Gartstein, M.A., Lira Luttges, B. & 489 members of the Global Temperament Project. (2024). The Global Temperament Project: Parent-Reported temperament in infants, toddlers and children from 59 nations. Developmental Psychology, 60(5), 916-941.
  • Zerrouk, M., & Bell, M.A. (2024). Examining conduct problems in a community sample during middle childhood: The role of frontal EEG asymmetry, temperament, and working memory. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 22, 1119-1133.
  • Zerrouk, M., Ravigopal, T., & Bell, M.A. (2024). Assessing anxiety problems in a community sample during toddlerhood: The impact of child temperament and maternal intrusiveness. Infant Behavior and Development, 70, 101932.
  • Zhu, D., Terry, J.B., Talley, K.E., Bell, M.A., & Dunsmore, J.D. (2024). Etch the emotional life: Mother-child emotion socialization from age 3 to 6 years. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 33(5), 1571-1589.

  • 2023
  • Bertrand, C., Bell, M.A., & Deater-Deckard, K. (2023). Maternal executive function, authoritarian attitudes, and hostile attribution bias as interacting predictors of harsh parenting. Journal of Family Psychology, 37(3), 388–397.
  • Bruce, M., Ermanni, B., & Bell, M.A. (2023). The longitudinal contributions of child language, negative emotionality, and maternal positive affect on toddler executive functioning development. Infant Behavior and Development, 72, e101847
  • Bruce, M., Savla, J., & Bell, M.A. (2023). From terrible twos to sassy sixes: The development of vocabulary and executive functioning across early childhood. Developmental Science, 26, e13396.
  • Christensen, J.D., Bell, M.A., & Deater-Deckard, K.D. (2023). Maternal age differences in cognitive regulation: Examination of associations and interactions between RSA and EEG frontoparietal alpha power coherence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17, 1188820.
  • Hassan, R., Smith, C.L., Schmidt, L.A., Brook, C.A., & Bell, M.A. (2023). Developmental patterns of children’s shyness: Relations with physiological, emotional, and regulatory responses to being treated unfairly. Child Development, 94, 1745-1761.
  • Liu, R., & Bell, M.A. (2023). Fearful temperament in middle childhood predicts adolescent attention bias and anxiety symptoms: The moderating role of frontal EEG asymmetry. Development and Psychopathology, 35, 1335-1345.
  • Meza-Cervera, T., Kim-Spoon, J., & Bell, M.A. (2023). Adolescent depressive symptoms: The role of late childhood frontal EEG asymmetry, executive function, and adolescent cognitive reappraisal. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 51, 193-207.
  • Phillips, J.J., Bruce, M., & Bell, M.A. (2023). Setting the stage: Biopsychosocial predictors of early childhood externalizing behaviors. Developmental Psychobiology,65, e22391.
  • Wolfe, C.D., & Bell, M.A. (2023). The interplay between cognition and emotion during infancy and toddlerhood: Special issue editorial. Infant Behavior and Development, e101845.
  • 1992 --- PhD, Human Development, University of Maryland
  • 1983 --- MS, Child and Family Studies, University of Tennessee
  • 1978 --- BS, Home Economics, Carson-Newman College