K. Alison Clarke-Stewart (September 23, 1943 – February 23, 2014) was a developmental psychologist and expert on children’s social development. She is well known for her work on the effects of child care, on children’s development, and for her research on children’s suggestibility. In addition to her academic work, she served as an expert witness in child abuse cases in which there was the suspicion that child suggestibility may have formed the basis for the allegations of abuse. She co-authored several leading textbooks in the field.
K. Alison Clarke-Stewart was born and grew up in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. Her childhood years were spent in Summerland and Vancouver. Her father was a high school biology teacher and her mother a homemaker.
Clarke-Stewart received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Zoology in 1965 and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology in 1967 from the University of British Columbia. She moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology in 1972 from Yale University under the guidance of William Kessen. Her initial academic appointment as assistant professor was in the department of Education and Committee on Human Development, and the College at the University of Chicago in 1974. She was promoted to associate professor in 1980. In 1983, after spending a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, California, she moved to the University of California, Irvine, School of Social Ecology (Department of Psychology and Social Behavior) as Professor. She served as Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies (1984–1987) and as Associate Dean for Research (2000–2007). In 2007, she became Research Professor and Professor emerita at University of California, Irvine, where she remained until her death.
In the early 1970s she began her research on the effects of child care on children, well before it was a central area of inquiry . At the University of Chicago she initiated a longitudinal study of the joint effects of home environments and child care on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development which was reported in her 1994 volume, Children at home and in day care. From the outset, she argued that the negative effects of child care are overestimated and dependent on the quality of outside care. In 1990, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) established their Early Child Care Research Network and Professor Clarke-Stewart became a founding member and a principal investigator. The network consists of ten principal investigators, their co-investigators, and representatives from NICHD and the Data Coordinating and Analysis Center. This network has published over 70 papers, chapters, monographs and edited volumes based on this longitudinal study.
She has written and researched issues of father's rights and child custody, and the effects of divorce on young children. She has co-authored two major books on divorce. The first, Divorce Lessons (2005), is a volume aimed at parents and practitioners with a focus on advice to parents for dealing with the aftermath of divorce. The second, Divorce (2006), is a comprehensive review of the effects of divorce on children.
Eyewitness testimony in children
Clarke-Stewart's focus in this area concerns how suggestibility may influence children’s recall of prior events in cases of alleged abuse. In her work she found that children’s recall of a prior encounter with an adult could be distorted by suggestions offered by an interviewer. In related work, she has identified child characteristics such as verbal ability, self-control, and family relationships such as close ties between child and parent which protect children from suggestive questioning. Knowledge of jurors about the reliability of child witnesses is another aspect of this issue that she has explored.
Parenting and parent education
A major theme of her research has been the effects of variations in parent interaction patterns on children’s emotional, social and cognitive development both concurrently and longitudinally. She has studied the effects of both parents on children’s social and cognitive development. In addition to documenting the effects of parents on children, she has examined parental education and parental advice as vehicles for improving the quality of parenting, as well as historical shifts in child rearing ideas in the United States.
Awards and honors
- First Award, Creative Talents Program, American Institutes for Research, 1972.
- Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1982-83.
- Fellow, American Psychological Association, 1985.
- Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College, Oxford University, 1989.
- Fellow, American Psychological Society, 1994.
1. Parke, R. & Clarke-Stewart, A. (2010) Social Development(1st ed.). Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley
2. Clarke-Stewart, A. & Parke, R. (2014) Social Development (2nd ed.) Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley
3. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., Gruber, C. P., & Fitzgerald, L. M. (1994). Children at home and in day care. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.
4. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1977). Child care in the family: A review of research and some propositions for policy. New York: Academic Press.
5. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1982; 2nd edition 1993). Daycare. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. [Translated into Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese.]
6. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Allhusen, V. (2005). What we know about childcare. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
7. Fein, G. G., & Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1972). Day care in context. New York: Wiley.
8. Thompson, W. C., Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Lepore, S. J. (1997). What did the janitor do? Suggestive interviewing and the accuracy of children's accounts. Law and Human Behavior, 21, 405-426.
9. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Koch, J. (1983). Children: Development through adolescence. New York: Wiley. 10. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., Friedman, S., & Koch, J. (1985). Child development: A topical approach. New York: Wiley.
11. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Friedman, S. (1987). Child development: Infancy through adolescence. New York:: Wiley.
12. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., Perlmutter, M., & Friedman, S. (1988). Lifelong human development. New York: Wiley.
13. Bernstein, D. A., Clarke-Stewart, A., Roy, E. J., Srull, T. K., & Wickens, C. D. (1994, 1996, 1999). Psychology (3rd, 4th, 5th editions). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
14. Bernstein, D. A., Nash, P. W., Clarke-Stewart, A., & Roy, E. J., & Wickens, C. D. (1999, 2002). Essentials of psychology (1st, 2nd editions). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
15. Bernstein, D. A., Nash, P. W., Clarke-Stewart, A., Penner, L. A., & Roy, E. J. (2005). Essentials of psychology (3rd edition). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
16. Bernstein, D. A., Penner, L. A., Clarke-Stewart, A., & Roy, E. J. (2003, 2006, 2008). Psychology (6th, 7th, 8th editions). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
17. NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2005). Child care and child development: Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. New York: Guilford.
18. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Hayward, C. (1996). Advantages of father custody and contact for the psychological well-being of school-age children. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 17, 239-270.
19. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., Vandell, D. L., McCartney, K., Owen, M. T., & Booth, C. (2000). Effects of parental separation and divorce on very young children. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 304-326.
20. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Brentano, C. (2006). Divorce: Causes and consequences. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
21. Clarke-Stewart, K. A.,. & Brentano, C. (2005). Divorce lessons: Real-life stories and what you can learn from them. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.
22. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Bailey, B. L. (1989). Adjusting to divorce: Why do men have it easier? Journal of Divorce, 13, 75-94.
23. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., Malloy, L. C., & Allhusen, V. D. (2004). Verbal ability, self-control, and close relationships with parents protect children against misleading suggestions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 1037–1058.
24. Quas, J. A., Thompson, W. C., & Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (2005). Do jurors “know” what isn’t so about child witnesses? Law and Human Behavior, 29, 425-456.
25. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1973). Interactions between mothers and their young children: Characteristics and consequences. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 38 (6-7, Serial No. 153).
26. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., VanderStoep, L., & Killian, G. A. (1979). Analysis and replication of mother-child relations at two years of age. Child Development, 50, 777-793.
27. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., Umeh, B. J., Snow, M. E., & Pederson, J. A. (1980). Development and prediction of children's sociability from 1 to 2 ½ years of age. Developmental Psychology, 16, 290-302.
28. Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Hevey, C. M. (1981). Longitudinal relations in repeated observations of mother-child interaction from 1 to 2 ½ years. Developmental Psychology, 17, 127-145.
29. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1978). And daddy makes three: The father's impact on mother and young child. Child Development, 49, 466-478.
30. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1980). The father's contribution to children's cognitive and social development in early childhood. In F. A. Pedersen (Ed.), The father-infant relationship: Observational studies in the family setting (pp. 111–146). New York: Praeger Special Studies.
31. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1978). Popular primers for parents. American Psychologist, 33, 359-369.
32. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1981). Parent education in the 1970s. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 3, 47-48.
33. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1992). Developmental psychology in the real world: A paradigm of parent education. Early Development and Parenting, 1, 5-14.
34. Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (1998). Historical shifts and underlying themes in ideas about rearing young children in the United States: Where have we been? Where are we going? Early Development & Parenting, 7, 101-117