Sydney Hans Office: Phone: Email
Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor Emerita

Sydney Hans is a Professor at the School of Social Service Administration. Her research seeks to understand how biological and social factors interact in contributing to risk and resilience in human development. She studies how experiences in early life, particularly the relationship between mother and infant, influence development at later ages. She has conducted studies focusing on the development of young children whose parents use illicit substances, suffer from major mental disorders, have experienced traumatic events, and/or live in conditions of extreme poverty. She is particularly interested in using research to develop interventions and public policy that will benefit infants, young children, and their families. She currently is engaged in implementing and evaluating intervention programs in which paraprofessional "doulas" provide childbirth education and support to adolescent mothers. Professor Hans' research has been supported by a variety of private foundations and public agencies, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. She is currently serving as an associate editor of Developmental Psychology and on the editorial board of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Professor Hans graduated with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University.

Contact Information

Doctoral courses

Development through the Life Course (SSA 50400)

Sample publications

Hans, S. L., & Thullen, M. J. (in press). The relational context of adolescent motherhood. In C. Zeanah (Ed.), Handbook of infant mental health, 3rd edition. New York: Guilford Press.

Sokolowski, M. S., Hans, S. L., Bernstein, V. J., & Cox, S. (2007). Mothers’ representations of their infants and parenting behavior: Associations with personal and social-contextual variables in a high-risk sample. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28, 344-365.

Hans, S. L. (2002). Studies of prenatal exposure to drugs: Focusing on parental care of children. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 24, 329-337.

Hans, S. L., Auerbach, J. G., Auerbach, A. G., & Marcus, J. (2005). Development from birth to adolescence of children at risk for schizophrenia. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 15, 384-394.

Hans, S. L. (2006). Mothering and depression. In S. E. Romans & M. V. Seeman (Eds.), Women’s mental health (pp. 311-320). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.