Faculty Bio

Debra Zeifman

Professor of Psychology

Debra Zeifman received her B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. Upon completing her Ph.D.in the summer of 1996, she joined the faculty of Vassar College as Assistant Professor of Psychology. She teaches courses in Introductory Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods.

Ms. Zeifman's primary research explores the psychological dynamics, biological underpinnings, and evolutionary history of close relationships (or attachments). In particular, her work has focused on the relationships between infants and their caregivers. This has included studies of caregiver perception of infant crying and the effect of caregivers' response to crying on social and emotional development. Ms. Zeifman is also investigating parents' choices of substitute (non-parental) caregivers and the impact of early non-parental care on child development.