University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Ann Mastergeorge, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Early Childhood Extension Specialist
Family Studies and Human Development
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-6933

My research areas of expertise and interest in young children stem from my days as a Master’s student at the University of Washington where I worked with very young children and their families –both typically developing as well as those with disabilities and atypical development.  This area was expanded when I became a  doctoral student at UCLA and worked on a longitudinal research project that focused on following  families who had young children with ambiguous diagnoses of developmental delay.  During that  time, I spent three years traveling to families’ homes observing their everyday activities such as playtime, dinner, bedtime routines, and other family routines and learning opportunities.  Spending time with families in the context of  their homes, and hearing their stories about the ways in which their beliefs about development were  constructed and altered based on their child’s developmental abilities, provided the groundwork for my interests in parent-mediated interventions.  In addition, observing and studying parent-child  interactions for both typical and atypically developing children (including developmental delay, autism, and fragile X syndrome) provided a context to understand the developmental trajectories necessary in prevention, early intervention, and understanding contexts that mitigate at-risk  development.

Areas of expertise: 
  •     Typical and atypical development in early childhood
  •      Parent-child interaction in early childhood
  •       Parent-mediated interventions
  •      Prevention, early intervention and at-risk population
  •      Joint attention and early language development
  •      Early indicators and early intervention in autism

Research Focus: 

My research focuses on the following specific areas in both typical and atypical development of  young children:  (1) typical development in social attention and joint attention; (2) prevention and  early intervention for young children with autism (including early indicators of autism and autism  risk); (3) parent-mediated interventions and parent-child interaction; and (4) understanding ‘at-risk’  development and resilience indicators and mediators of development. In addition, many of my  research projects focus on partnering in communities, with Family Resource Centers (and First Things  First funded programs), and collaborations across disciplines to examine both biological and  behavioral underpinnings of developmental trajectories.

See the following article from UA News featured on October 5, 2011 regarding an early intervention program and links to the Early Developmental Studies Laboratory:





Current Projects: 
  •  Principal Investigator, NIDA/USDA-CSREES Award Number 2010-41520-20704. Children, Youth and Families at Risk:  Strengthening Families Program.
  •  Co-Principal Investigator.  Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
  •  Co-Principal Investigator.  First Things First Arizona Early Childhood Health and Development Regional    Needs and Assets Reporting.
  •  Co-Investigator.  NIH R01 MH089626-1. Interdisciplinary Investigation of Biological Signatures of Autism Subtypes.
  •  Co-Investigator.  NIH/NICHD R01 HD054764-01A2.  Social-Affective Bases of Word Learning in Fragile X Syndrome and Autism
  • Co-Investigator. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (H 35G 070004).  National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Select Publications: 

 Mundy, P., Mastergeorge, A. & McIntyre, Nancy. The Effects of Autism on Social Learning and Social Attention, To appear in P.Mundy & A. Mastergeorge (Eds). Autism for Educators (in press, 2011)

Mundy, P. & Mastergeorge, A. (Eds). Autism for Educators: Volume 1(in press, 2011)

Mastergeorge, A. & Abbeduto, L. Language Disorders and Neurodevelopmental Implications. To appear in APPI Clinical Manual of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (in press, 2011).

Vallotton, C., Harewood, T., Ayoub, C, Mastergeorge, A.M., Brophy-Herb, H. (in press, 2011) Buffering boys and boosting girls:  The protective and promotive effects of Early Head Start for children’s language skills in the context of parenting stress.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Kurth, J. & Mastergeorge, A. (in press, 2011).  Impact of  Setting and Instructional Context for Adolescents with Autism. Journal of Special Education.

Ayoub, C., Vallotton, C. & Mastergeorge, A. (2011). Developmental Pathways to Integrated Social Skills:  The Roles of Parenting and Early Intervention. Child Development, 82 (2), 583-600.

Kurth, J. & Mastergeorge, A (2010). Individual Education Plan Goals and Services for Adolescents with Autism:  Impact of Age and Educational Setting. Journal of Special Education. 44 (3), 146-160.

Mastergeorge, A.  &  Martinez, F. (2010). Rating Performance Assessments of Students With Disabilities:  A Study of Reliability and Bias.  Journal of Psychoeducational  Assessment, 28 (6), 536-550.

Kurth, J. & Mastergeorge, A. (2010).  Academic and Cognitive Profiles of Students with Autism:  Implications for Classroom Practice and Placement. International Journal of Special Education, 25(2), 8- 14.

Mastergeorge, A., Au, J. & Hagerman, R.  (2010).  Fragile X:  A Family of Disorders. In R. Nass, & Y. Frank (Eds.) Cognitive and Behavioral Abnormalities of Pediatric Disorders, 170-187 , New York, Oxford University Press.

Abedi, J., Kao, J., Leon, S., Mastergeorge, A., Sullivan, L., Herman, J. & Pope, R.   (2010). Accessibility of Segmented Reading Comprehension Passages for Students with Disabilities.  Applied Measurement in Education, 23(2), 161-186.

Williams, S. Mastergeorge, A. & Ontai, L. (2010). Caregiver Involvement in Infant Peer Interactions:  Scaffolding in a Social Context. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25 (2), 251-256.

Williams, S., Ontai, L. & Mastergeorge, A. (2009) The Development ofPeer Interaction in Infancy:  Exploring the Dyadic Processes. Social Development, 19(2), 348-368.

Mastergeorge, A. (2009).  A Tool for Assessing Engagement in Instructional Contexts.  Seminars in Speech and Language Pathology, 30 (1): 48-56.

Mundy, P, Sullivan, L. & Mastergeorge, A. (2009).  A Distributed Information Processing Model of Joint Attention, Social-Cognition and Autism.  Autism Research, 2: 2-21.

Nommsen-Rivers, L, Mastergeorge, A., Hansen, R., Cullum, A. & Dewey, K. (2009). Doula care, early breastfeeding outcomes, and breastfeeding status at six weeks postpartum among low-income primiparae. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 38: 157-173.

Knapp, P. & Mastergeorge, A. (2009). Clinical Implications of Current Findings in Neurodevelopment.  Journal of Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 32: 177-197.

Williams, S, Ontai L, & Mastergeorge A.  (2007). Reformulating Infant and Toddler Social Competence with Peers. Infant Behavior and Development, 30(2): 353-365.

Knapp P, Ammen S, Artein-Kerlake C, Poulsen, M. & Mastergeorge A.  (2007).  Relationship-based Interventions for Young Children in Public Health Settings. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(2): 152-161.

Mastergeorge, A.  (2007) Maternal Belief Systems:  The Discourse of Cultural Practice as Evidence. Topics in Language Disorders, 27(1): 62-73.



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