Mark Cummings

Mark Cummings

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Notre Dame Chair in Psychology
Director, Family Studies Center
Co-Director, Center for Children and Families

Office: 203 Brownson Hall
Phone: 574-631-4947

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Areas of Expertise

Parental impact on child development, psychology of children and families

Cummings is the director of the Family Studies Center and co-director of the Center for Children and Families. His research interests focus on family factors and child development, especially socio-emotional processes, associated with normal development and the development of psychopathology. Of particular interest are the influences of the qualities of the emotional relationships between the parents and between the parents and children, and relations with children’s adjustment. Recent directions include research on social ecological contexts and children, including political and community violence, and the role of families and children’s psychological processes in the effects of these contexts on child development. Another recent direction is the development and testing of prevention programs designed to improve family functioning, especially the quality of interparental and parent-child relationships, and children’s adjustment and well-being. Cummings also currently serves as a faculty fellow for The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.


Fight in front of kindergartner, expect problems during teenage years, study shows
In Northern Ireland, political violence harms youths through families, new study shows
Study researches effectiveness of mediation in custody disputes
Research shows The Troubles of Northern Ireland linked to mental health problems in children
New studies target childhood obesity, child maltreatment
Notre Dame research shows children’s school performance tied to family “type”
New research focuses on forgotten victims of European wars
New book explores impact of marital conflict on child development
New study links parental conflict to stress hormone in children
Cummings, Stadtherr to receive Burns Graduate School Award
New studies confirm impact of parental conflict on children’s future development
Parents’ conflict key in kids’ development
Battling parents leave scars on kids
New studies confirm impact of parental conflict on children’s future development


The Atlantic — How Passive Aggression Hurts Children
Business Insider — Science says parents of successful kids have these 16 things in common
Huffington Post — When Parents Fight
Huffington Post: Divorce — Divorce Effect On Kids: Do You Wish Your Parents Had Split?
U.S. News and World Report — Parents’ Fighting May Have Long-Lasting Effect on Kids
WTHR — New studies shed light on early childhood issues
New York Magazine — All Joy and No Fun: Why parents hate parenting
WNDU — Notre Dame professor studies effects of families on children’s academic performance
Psychology Today — Conflict in the Family: Why Mom and Dad Should Say “Sorry”
Good Morning America — Study Finds Children Aren’t Distressed When Parents Argue and Solve Conflict
Newsweek — Do Your Kids Know How to Fight?