College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Pamela Watkins Garner

Pamela Watkins Garner

Pamela Watkins Garner


Social and emotional development of young children

Pamela Garner is Professor of Childhood Studies in the School of Integrative Studies at George Mason University. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Human Development from Texas A&M University. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Garner conducts research on the social and emotional development of low-income children and the contributions of parents and teachers to young children’s social emotional learning. Dr. Garner is a past Associate Editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly and has been involved as PI or Co-I on a number of funded projects investigating studies of emotional competence across childhood.

Selected Publications

Garner, P. W., Parker, T., & Dortch, M. K. (2016). Concordance in peer victimization-related beliefs across parents and in-service and preservice early childhood teachers. Early Child Development and Care, 1-13.

Davis, S. N., Mahatmya, D., Garner, P. W., & Jones, R. M. (2015). Mentoring Undergraduate Scholars: A Pathway to Interdisciplinary Research?.Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 1-14.

Garner, P. W., Carter McLean, M., Waajid, B., & Pittman, E. R. (2015). Mentoring and professional development in rural Head Start classrooms.Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 1-18.

Garner, P. W., & Mahatmya, D. (2015). Affective Social Competence and Teacher–child Relationship Quality: Race/Ethnicity and Family Income Level as Moderators. Social Development, 24(3), 678-697.

Garner, P. W., & Parker, T. S. (2015). Service-learning linking family child care providers, community partners, and preservice professionals. Early Child Development and Care, 1-10.

Garner, P.W., Mahatmya, D., Brown, E.L., Vesely, C. (2014). Promoting Desirable Outcomes Among Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Children in Social Emotional Learning Programs: a Multilevel Heuristic Model. Educational Psychology Review, 26, 165-189.

Garner, P.W., Mahatmya, D., Moses, L.K., & Bolt, E. (2014). Associations of preschool type and teacher-child relational quality with young children's social and emotional competence. Early Education and Development, 25, 399-420.

Waajid, B., Garner, P.W., & & Owen, J. (2013). Infusing social emotional learning into the teacher education curriculum. International Journal of Emotional Education, 5, 31-48.

Garner, P.W., Moses, L.K., & Waajid, B. (2013). Prospective teachers' awareness and expression of emotions: Associations with proposed strategies for behavioral management in the classroom. Psychology in the Schools, 50, 471-488.


Expanded Publication List

Garner, P.W. (2012). Children's emotional responsiveness and sociomoral understanding and associations with mothers' and fathers' socialization practices. Infant Mental Health Journal, 33, 95-106.

Garner, P.W. & Waajid, B. (2012). Emotion knowledge and self-regulation as predictors of preschoolers' cognitive ability, classroom behavior, and social competence: Direct, additive, and mediational associations. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30(4), 330-343.

Greene, K., & Garner, P.W. (2012). African American mothers' disciplinary responses: Associations with background characteristics, maternal childrearing attitudes, and child manageability. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 33, 400-409.

Garner, P.W., & Dunsmore, J. (2011). Temperament and maternal discourse about internal states as predictors of toddler empathy- and aggression-related behavior. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9(1), 81-99.

Garner, P.W., & Hinton, T.S. (2010). Emotional display rules and emotion self-regulation: Associations with bullying and victimization in community-based after school programs. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 20, 480-496.

Garner, P.W. (2010). Emotional competence and its influences on teaching and learning. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 297-321.

Cunningham, J., Kliewer, W., & Garner, P.W. (2009). Emotion socialization, child emotion understanding and regulation, and adjustment in urban African American families: Differential associations across child gender. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 261-283.

Garner, P. W., Dunsmore, J.C. & Southam-Gerrow, M. (2008). Mother-child conversations about emotions: Linkages to child aggression and prosocial behavior. Social Development, 17, 259-277.

Garner, P.W. & Waajid, B. (2008). The associations of emotion knowledge and teacher-child relationships to preschool children's school-related developmental competence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 89-100.

Dunsmore, J.C., Noguchi, R.J.P., Garner, P.W., Casey, E.C., & Bhullar, N. (2008). Gender-specific linkages of affective social competence with peer relations in preschool children. Early Education and Development, 19, 211-237.

Garner, P.W., & Lemerise, E. (2007). The roles of behavioral adjustment and conceptions of peers and emotions in preschool children's peer victimization. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 57-71.

Raver, C.C., Garner, P.W., & Smith-Donald, R. (2007). The roles of emotion knowledge and emotion regulation for children's academic readiness: Are the links causal? In R. Pianta & K. Snow (Eds.), School readiness and the transition to kindergarten (pp. 121-147). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Garner, P.W. (2006). Prediction of prosocial and emotional competence from maternal behavior in African American preschoolers. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12, 179-198.

Grants and Fellowships

The Color of Emotion: Teachers' Racialized Interpretations of Children's Emotions and Student Outcomes, W.T. Grant Foundation, Co-Principal Investigator.

Emotional Competence: Associations with Parenting, Social Behavior and Indicators of School Readiness, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, Principal Investigator

Early Childhood Teachers as Socializers of Young Children's Emotional Competence, Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, Consultant

Courses Taught

INTS 316: Introduction to Childhood Studies
INTS 312: Images and Experiences of Childhood
INTS 321: Parent-Child Relations
INTS 317: Issues in Family Relations


Ph.D. Educational Psychology, Texas A & M University
Postdoctoral Fellowship Developmental Psychology, University of Houston
M.A. School Psychology, University of Houston
B.S.W. University of Tennessee

Recent Presentations

Garner, P.W., Brown, E., Mahatmya, D., & Vesely, C. (April, 2015). Family and School Influences on Low-Income Children's Behavioral and Academic Competencies in the Elementary School Years. Paper presented at the 2015 Biennial Meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development

Brown, E.L., Vesely, C.K., Visiconti, K.J., Mahatmya, D., Garner, P.W., Mehta, S., &Kearney, K. (2015, April). Early Childhood Educators Emotional Acting and Knowledge of Display Rules and their Impact on Interactions with Young Children. Poster presented at the 2015 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.