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Moyer Hall- Room 221
Muhlenberg College
Allentown, PA 18104
Fax: 484.664.5627

Stefanie Sinno, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

(B.S., Ursinus College PhD, University of Maryland, Department of Human Development)

Dr. Sinno joined the psychology department in 2007. She teaches Child Psychology, Psychology of Adolescence and Research Methods.


I teach courses in developmental psychology, primarily child and adolescent development, as well as a seminar course on the developmental understanding on inclusion and exclusion. My teaching philosophy is that learning in the classroom is a cognitive, social, and emotional experience for both students and me. Each new semester brings new students with new thoughts and ideas as well as new backgrounds and feelings. The combination of these diverse individuals is what, in my mind, makes teaching such a unique profession. A teacher presents a lesson to the class, and each student takes his or her own interpretation of the material with them as they learn the material throughout the course. It is the teacher's role to make sure that the students' interpretations involve not only a correct basic understanding of a given concept, but also a meaningful application that they can add to their expanding knowledge base.

My role of professor at Muhlenberg College is one that brings with it many rewards and challenges. It is rewarding to watch my students make connections between the course objectives and everyday life circumstances and, in many instances, go above and beyond my expectations. In addition, there is a constant need to challenge oneself to grow and expand in teaching. I find it important to continue to find new and interesting ways to present material and think outside of the box. I believe that learning within in a liberal arts setting is a process for both students and teachers and that by working together we can question, analyze and expand our knowledge and continually increase one another's interest in psychology.

Research Interests:

My research training and expertise is in the area of social and moral development, with a focus on children's and adolescents' social reasoning in everyday contexts. My three main lines of research focus on (1) how children and adolescents reason about exclusion in social contexts; (2) how children's and adolescents' social reasoning is influenced by stereotypes; and (3) how children and adolescents come to understand the processes of inclusion and exclusion as it is affected by both individual and group categorization. To this end there our several projects that my research group is involved including (1) examining parental gender roles in the home with a focus on how children and adolescents reason about these roles, how gender attitudes affect their reasoning, how family background affects their reasoning, and how children and adolescents think about their own future roles in the family; (2) examining the development of distributive justice, with focus on the distribution of school resources, how socioeconomic status influences the distribution of resources, how Protestant Work Ethic influences this distribution, how community connectedness affects distributive justice reasoning; and (3) examining the inclusion and exclusion of individuals with disabilities, how this process is affected by perceptions of the community about the disabled, how this process is affected by access to social participation, how this process is affected by discriminatory processes.

Recent Publications and Student Presentations:

* Student Authors

Sinno, S., & Killen, M. (2009). Moms at work and dads at home: Children's evaluations of parental roles. Applied Developmental Science, 13(1), 16-29.

Sinno, S. & Silverberg, S.* (2009, June). Age-related changes in reasoning about distributive justice. Poster presented at 39th Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, Salt Lake City, UT.

Sinno, S. & Theimer-Schuette, C. (2009, March). Children's evaluations of parental roles regarding work and family: The role of traditional and non-traditional family work. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Denver, CO.

Sinno, S. & Richmond, K. (2009, January). Psychology classes that address (or should address) interpersonal skills. Poster presented at the National Teaching of Psychology Conference, St. Petersburg, FL.

Sinno, S., Lee , P.*, & Martin, D.* (2008, April). Parental occupations and adolescent's attitudes toward equality in the home. Poster presented at the Biennial Gender Development Research Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Sinno, S. (2008, April). Children's and adolescents' expectations of parents: Can parents really do it all? In S.Sinno (Organizer), Family dynamics and child gender: What do we know and what do we need to know? Paper presented at the Biennial Gender Development Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Horn, S., Sinno, S., & Killen, M. (2008, April). Social reasoning about gender stereotypes and discrimination in multiple contexts. In M. Killen & R. Bigler (Organizers), Gender Bias, Discrimination and Stereotypes. Paper presented at the Biennial Gender Development Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Killen, M., Sinno, S., & Margie, N.G. (2007). Children's experiences and judgments about group exclusion and inclusion. In R. Kail (Ed.), Advances in Child Psychology (Vol. 35, pp. 173-218). New York: Elsevier.

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