Stefanie Sinno, Ph.D.


Developmental Psychology
Moyer Hall - Room 221
[email protected]
Fax: 484.664.5627 

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

Dr. Sinno teaches courses in Developmental Psychology, Methodology, and Interpersonal Psychology.


Within developmental psychology, I teach child and adolescent development, as well as a seminar course on the developmental understanding on inclusion and exclusion. I also teach interpersonal psychology, which is grounded in the development of self and relationships with others.  I enjoy teaching introductory psychology as well as methodology courses.

My teaching philosophy is that learning in the classroom is a cognitive, social, and emotional experience for my students and myself. Each new semester brings a myriad of individual thoughts, feelings, backgrounds and ideas. The combination of 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 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 and the world around us.

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 two main areas of research that my lab 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 how socioeconomic status influences the distribution of resources, how children and adolescents’ reason about socioeconomic disparities, and how children and adolescents’ perceptions of inequality affect their psychological and physical well-being. 

I also have a strong interest in the psychology of teaching and learning and have interests in the teaching of interpersonal skills in the classroom and the increased importance of information literacy in understanding psychological research and the representation (or misrepresentation) of psychology in the popular press.


Recent Publications
* Student Authors

  • Rosenberg, A.*, Gates, A.*, Richmond, K., & Sinno, S. (2016). It’s not a joke: Masculinity and homophobic language. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, online first.
  • Sinno, S., Schuette, C. & Hellriegel, C.* (2015). The impact of family and community context on children’s understanding of parental roles. Journal of Family Issues, online first, 1-22. 
  • Sinno, S. (2014). Book review of The New Kinship: Constructing Donor-Conceived Families. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 582-583. 
  • Sinno, S., Schuette, S., & Killen, M. (2013). Developmental social cognition about gender roles in the family and societal context. In H. Tenenbaum & P. J. Leman (Eds.), Gender and development (pp. 133-154).  Hove, UK: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 
  • Horn, S. & Sinno, S. (2013). Gender, sexuality, and discrimination. In M. Killen & J. Smetana (Eds.) Handbook of Moral Development (Vol. 2, pp. 317- 339). Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
  • Sinno, S. & Killen, M. (2011). Social reasoning about “Second-shift” parenting. Special Issue: Gender and Relationships. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, 313-329.
  • 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.


Recent Conference Presentations

  • Sinno, S., Gates, A. *, & Rosenberg, A.* (2015). Adults’ Perceptions of Homophobic Language among Children and Adolescents. Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, New York, NY. 
  • Sinno, S., Richmond, K., Rosenberg, A.*, Gates, A.*, & Silk, C*. (2014, August). Regulating Masculinity through Homophobic Language: A Developmental Perspective. Presented at American Psychological Association Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • Boviard, H.*, Shepley, B.*, Waldman, R.* & Sinno, S. (2014, March). Barriers to Family Engagement from the Perspective of Parents and Teachers. Presented at Eastern Psychological Association Conference, Boston, MA.
  • Sinno, S., Repice, J.*, & Stovall, B.* (2013, May).  Social reasoning about distributive justice in school-aged children. Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Washington, D.C.
  • Sinno, S. (2013, April). Teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of family engagement in a struggling community.  In N. Margie (Organizer), Promoting Family Engagement: Family Characteristics, Family-Teacher Relationships, and a Research-Based Framework.  Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.
  • Sinno, S. (2013, April). Children’s and adolescents’ reasoning about inequality in school resources.  Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.
  • Sinno, S. & Goebel, S.*(2012, June). How do I know what to do when I’m older? Poster presented at 10th Biennial Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues convention, Charlotte, NC.
  • Hourani, A.*, Roth, S.*, Zeitoun, J.*, & Sinno, S. (2012, May). Children’s and Adolescents’ Reasoning about Allocation of School Resources. Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Sinno, S., Repice, J.*, Silverman, J.*, Stovall, B.*, Butto, A.*, & Rosenberg, A.* (2012, May). Family Engagement in an Urban Middle School: Investigating Multiple Perspectives. Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Silverberg, S. & Sinno, S. (2012, February). Who gets what? Adolescents' distribution of school resources. Poster presented at Society for Research in Child Development Themed Meeting: Positive Development of Minority Children, Tampa, FL. 
  • Bips, L., Richmond, K., & Sinno, S. (2011, September). Designing Introductory Psychology for an expanding audience. Poster presented at the Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology Conference, Monmouth, NJ.
  • Nugent, N., Sinno, S., Patterson, R.*, Porrino, D.*, & Wolloch, D.* (2011, April). Family engagement in community schools.  PA Campus Compact Conference, Carlisle, PA.
  • Sinno, S. (2010, June). Adolescents’ gender attitudes and social reasoning about parental caretaking responsibilities. Poster presented at the 8th Biennial Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues convention, New Orleans, LA.
  •  Sinno, S., Schuette, C., & Charlton, M. (2010, April) Who’s the boss?: Children’s social reasoning about conflicting parental desires for roles in the home. Poster presented at the Biennial Gender Development Research Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Sinno, S. & Silverberg, S.* (2010, March) Who gets what? Adolescents’ distribution of school resources. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescents, Philadelphia, PA.