Sarah L. Friedman

Research Professor, Psychology
Building GG
2125 G St NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Developmental psychology
Family context of child development
Childcare and children’s development
Longitudinal research about children’s development
Cognitive development of children
Social development of children

Dr. Friedman is a developmental psychologist with MA degree from Cornell University, Ph.D. from the George Washington University and post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Mental Health.  Her past scientific papers and edited books address a wide range of topics in the area of child development.  These include (a) the effects of preterm birth on cognitive, educational and social development of children; (b) the interface of brain, cognition and education; (c) the development of planning skills; (d) longitudinal follow-up research strategies; (e) environmental influences on psychological development; and (f) child care and children’s psychological and health development. More details are available in her curriculum vitae. From September of 2009 to the end of April of 2013 she was the Principal Investigator for the Legacy for Children Follow-up, a contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From April 2006 through June of 2008, she was the Director of the Appalachian Regional Educational Laboratory that is supported through a contract from the Institute of Education Sciences. In that role she oversaw the conduct of rigorous applied educational research, experimental evaluations of educational interventions and technical assistance to state and local education agencies in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. From 1989 through March 2006 Dr. Friedman served as the NICHD scientific manager and one of the architects and primary investigators of a multi-site, collaborative longitudinal research project on the development of social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and health development of children from birth through adolescence (The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development). A list of her 126 publications can be found at

Current Research

Dr. Friedman’s current research on distance communication between deployed parents and their military connected children and families is informed by two conferences she organized in 2011 and 2012 and by her extensive past research.  She is working primarily with Dr. Sigelman on publications based on a recent study they conducted. 


Ph.D. 1975, The George Washington University


Fellow – Association of Psychological Science (1991 to present)
Fellow - The American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology (1995 to present)
Fellow - American Psychological Association (1996)
Fellow-Division 1--Society for General Psychology (2003)
Fellow—Division 7—Developmental Psychology—of the American Psychological Association
Fellow- Division 33---Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities---of the American Psychological Association (2011-to present)
NIH Merit Award "for exceptional leadership in managing the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care" (1993)
NIH Merit Award “for your outstanding leadership in the development of the program of research being conducted in Phase II of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care” (1996)
Scientific Advisory Board, Military Child Education Coalition. (2010 to present)
American Psychological Association (APA) Division 7 (Developmental). Executive Committee (2016-2018)
American Psychological Association (APA) Member of Council (2016-2018)