Rebecca M Ryan


Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor


Department of Psychology
General profile



+1 202-687-2215


301-G White-Gravenor


Rebecca Ryan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University. She came to Georgetown after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies in Fall 2009. She earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University in 2006. Her research explores the implications of the rise in nonmarital childbirth for children’s well-being as well as the relationship between parenting and children’s development in at-risk contexts. Both strains of research explore two fundamental influences on child well-being: the quality of parent-child interactions and parents’ ability to invest time and money in children’s environments. Her recent work explores variation in parenting practices by socioeconomic status, and over time. She is the principal investigator on the Russell Sage Foundation funded grant, Inequality in Parental Investments by Biological Vulnerability: Implications for the Socioeconomic Gap in Children’s School Readiness. Her broad aim is to link developmental psychology to child and family policy in an effort to enrich both fields.


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  • Ph.D. (2006) Columbia University, Developmental Psychology
  • M.Ed. (1998) Harvard Graduate School of Education, Human Development and Psychology
  • A.B. (1994) Princeton University, U.S. History