Church and Development Lab

Researchers have long highlighted the important role of home and school contexts in shaping children’s development. However, our research seeks to examine the influence of church—especially loving and caring relationships at church—above and beyond these contexts in shaping children’s development. We have explored how school-aged children experience social support at church, developed a measure to test that support, and are now using that measure in a variety of contexts in the US and abroad. Although we love the academic impact of this research, one of our primary goals is to be able to provide churches and pastors with empirically supported information on how to better love and care for the children in their ministries.