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Cathi Propper

Cathi Propper

Cathi Propper

Faculty Fellow
Spangler, Room 032

Academic Affiliation 

Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience


Developmental Psychology,
Duke University

Area(s) of Work

Biographical Statement 

Cathi Propper, PhD, is a faculty fellow at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and associate professor in the School of Nursing at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Propper received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Duke University in 2006, and her research focuses on the development of infant and child self-regulation from a developmental science perspective. Her research investigates child behavioral, emotional, and cognitive outcomes as the result of associations across levels (behavioral, physiological, genetic, environmental) and over time, from the prenatal period to early childhood. She is the principal investigator of multiple NIH-funded grants investigating interactions between parenting behaviors, infant physiological function (heart rate variability, in particular), and other salient prenatal/postnatal experiences as predictors of infant sleep and subsequent social-emotional and cognitive development across the first year of life. In addition, her other NIH-funded projects aim to understand the way in which these processes unfold over early childhood and influence child behavior and learning in the preschool classroom. Her current study, the Brain and Early Experiences or BEE Study, examines associations between living in poverty and brain development in children through age 3, with a focus on the experiences (i.e., sleep, parent-child relationships, language exposure) that may improve trajectories of cognitive development and executive functioning.