Martha Putallaz

Professor of Psychology and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy

Martha Putallaz' research focuses on the mutual influence of parents and peers on the development and evolution of children's social competency, social relationships, and psychopathology. Her research interests provide a natural bridge between clinical and developmental psychology, and she is actively involved in both graduate programs at Duke. A central focus of her research has involved understanding the lessons children learn within their family context about social behavior and social knowledge that then influence their adaptation to peers and their acceptance or rejection by peers. Most recently, she has been involved in a large scale, comprehensive study of the social experiences and causes specifically associated with peer rejection and aggression among middle childhood girls. This research involves an intensive, multiple-context examination of the unique social dynamics, behavior, and processes characteristic of the social relationships and interpersonal behaviors among girls.

Research Interests:

  • Peer Influence
  • Child Development


  • Ph.D. University of Illinois - 1981
  • PhD University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - 1982
  • AM University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - 1979
  • AB (Magna cum Laude) Smith College - 1976

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Putallaz, M., & Bierman, K.L. (Editors) (2004) Aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence among girls: A developmental perspective
  • Putallaz, M., Kupersmidt, J.B., Coie, J.D., McKnight, K., & Grimes, C.L. (2004) A behavioral analysis of girls' aggression and victimization
  • Grimes, C. L., Klein, T. P., & Putallaz, M. (2004) Parents' relationship history: Influences on children's social development
  • Putallaz, M; Baldwin, J; Selph, H (2005) The Duke University Talent Identification Program High Ability Studies, 16, 41-54, [doi], [abs]
  • Gazelle, H; Putallaz, M; Li, Y; Grimes, CL; Kupersmidt, JB; Coie, JD (2005) Anxious solitude across contexts: girls' interactions with familiar and unfamiliar peers. Child Development, 76, 227-246, [15693769], [doi], [abs]