Assistant Professor of Social Work
Room 710
212-851-2414

Anne Conway

A much-cited authority on children’s development and mental health, Dr. Conway researches the factors that allow children to regulate their emotions, attention, and behavior.


Anne Conway is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center. Dr. Conway focuses on (1) identifying factors that predict children’s ability to engage in adaptive self-management and regulation of emotion, behavior, sleep, and neurocognitive function (i.e. focusing attention and ignoring distractions), and (2) determining whether these abilities help protect children from the development of health and mental health problems.

Dr. Conway has made an important contributions to the field with research that has been cited in over 1, 700 publications. From her research, Dr. Conway has identified and reported findings documenting pronounced disparities in neurocognition (executive functions) based on parental income and education in children entering kindergarten throughout the United States. She has also identified and reported numerous findings on distinct links between early parenting in the prediction of children’s neurocognition (executive function), emotion regulation, and sleep. By taking a personalized approach in this line of work, she has contributed to the understanding of individual differences in children’s temperament in the regulation of emotion, attention, and sleep and associations with behavior problems and depression to help inform mental health intervention efforts. Examples of Dr. Conway’s original contributions include reporting the first set of findings documenting variations in associations between parenting and early executive function based on children’s temperament, and the first set of findings showing long-term health and mental health effects of 9/11 on young toddlers and their mothers by using a naturalistic, quasi-experimental study.

Based on her interdisciplinary training in neuroscience, social work, child development, psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics, Dr. Conway has developed a unique lens towards understanding and conducting innovative research in child development and mental health. Capitalizing on recent findings in neuroscience, child development, psychology, and social work, she uses a contextual and neurobehaviorally-informed approach to investigating factors that are salient to the development of regulatory abilities at key periods for the emergence of pediatric health and mental health problems. These key periods include early childhood, early adolescence, and emerging adulthood. She focuses on factors at the interface of multiple biopsychosocial domains, including social context, emotion, attention, and sleep.

Dr. Conway has experience working with individuals with mental health challenges from early childhood through late life in inpatient and outpatient settings. She holds an MSW and PhD from the University of Michigan, and was awarded two research fellowships funded by the NIMH and NICHD to pursue postdoctoral training in early childhood and adolescent mental health research.

Book Chapters

Conway, A., Tugade, M., Catalino, L., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). The Broaden and Build Theory of positive emotions: Form, Function, and Mechanisms. In J. Boniwell, S. A. David, & A. Conley Ayers (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Happiness. London, England: Oxford University Press.

Reprinted in a French version  by Martin-Krumm, C. & Tarquinio, C. (2011). Traité de Psychologie Positive : Fondements théoriques et implications pratiques. Bruxelles : De Boeck.

Dahl, R. E., & Conway, A. (2009). Self-regulation and behavior problems: Toward an integrative conceptual and translational research agenda. In S. Olson & A. J. Sameroff (Eds.), Regulatory processes in the development of behavior problems: Biological, behavioral, and socioecological interactions. Cambridge University Press.Link: More

Journal Articles

Conway, A., McDonough, S.C, MacKenzie, M. J., Miller, A., Dayton, C., Rosenblum, K., Muzik, M., & Sameroff, A. (2014). Maternal sensitivity and latency to positive emotion following challenge:  Pathways through effortful control. Infant Mental Health Journal, 35(3), 274-84.

Conway, A., McDonough, S.C, MacKenzie, M. J., Follett, C., & Sameroff, A. (2013). Stress-related changes in toddlers and their mothers following the attack of September 11. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83(4), 536-44.

Conway, A. & Stifter, C. A. (2012). Longitudinal antecedents of executive function. Child Development, 83(3), 1022-36.

Ladouceur, C. D., Conway, A. & Dahl, R. E. (2010). Attentional control moderates the relations between negative affect and neural correlates of action monitoring in adolescence. Developmental Neuropsychology, 35, 194-211. Link: More

Stifter, C., Cipriano, E., Conway, A., & Kelleher, R. (2009). Temperament and conscience: The role of effortful control. Social Development, 18, 353-374. Link: More

Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J., & Conway, A. (2009). Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion, 9, 361-368.Link: More

Conway, A. (2009). Neurophysiological basis of self-regulation in children and youth. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 17, 16-22.

Conway, A. & McDonough, S. (2006). Emotional resilience in early childhood: Developmental antecedents and relations to behavior problems. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Link: More

Keller, M. C., Fredrickson, B. L., Ybarra, O., Cote, S., Mikels, J. A., Johnson, K., Conway, A., & Wagner, T. (2005). A warm heart and a clear head: The effects of weather on mood and cognition. Psychological Science, 16(9), 724-731. Link: More

Conway, A. (2005). Girls, aggression, and emotion regulation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75(2), 334-339. Link: More