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Margaret M. Swingler

Margaret M. Swingler

Margaret M. Swingler

Advanced Research Scientist


Experimental Psychology,
University of California at San Diego
North Carolina State University

Area(s) of Work

Biographical Statement 

Margaret Swingler, PhD, is a research scientist at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research examines the psychophysiological and neurodevelopmental underpinnings of early socio-emotional and cognitive development, with a specific focus on attention, executive function, and regulation. In her work, Swingler examines the role of the child's early environment on these processes, including important factors in the environment like the parent-child relationship, early caregiving experiences, and early life stress. In a second line of work, Swingler examines maternal factors that predict variation in caregiving behavior and abilities, and potential implications for child psychophysiological and neurodevelopmental functioning in development.

Swingler is the UNC PI of the FLP-ECHO project. The Family Life Project (FLP) began in 2003 and is a long-running longitudinal birth-cohort study of a sample of 1,292 children and primary caregivers followed from birth in six predominately low-income and rural counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. A specific focus of the FLP has been the prospective investigation of associations between early-life experience and neurodevelopment in a wide range of areas including self-regulation, child language development, school achievement, risk for psychopathology, and physical and mental health. In 2016 the FLP joined the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program to become the FLP-ECHO project. ECHO is a research program supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to enhance the health of children for generations to come. The goal of the ECHO Program is to understand the effects of a broad range of early environmental influences on child health and development. ECHO brings together participants from approximately 72 cohorts across the country to examine questions related to participants' health and everyday lives across time. For more information, please visit https://echochildren.org/.