Dr. Thomas Kindermann

I am a developmental psychologist who adheres to a lifespan perspective on human development. My main interests deal with questions about how people's social contexts can influence their developing competencies, motivation, and independence.

My own (and collaborative) research studies around this theme have been conducted in family homes, child care institutions, school settings (preschoolers, 4th, 6th, and 9th through 11th graders), nursing homes, and hospitals for the chronically ill. Key questions were about mothers' adjustments of their socializing interactions to their children's developmental levels, about peer group selection and socialization processes and their consequences for children's motivation in school, and about the extent to which everyday interaction patterns between residents and staff in institutions for the elderly play a role for residents' levels of dependency. Because of my strong interest in observational methodologies and social interaction research, most of the studies included observational, questionnaire, as well as interview methods.