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Jelena Obradović


Jelena is a professor at Stanford University in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She completed a Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, and postdoctoral training in psychophysiology at the University of British Columbia. She is the recipient of a Jacobs Foundation Advanced Research Fellowship, a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, and Early Career Research Contribution Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. Jelena’s research examines how the interplay of children’s physiological stress arousal, self-regulatory skills, and quality of caregiving environments contributes to their health, learning, and well-being over time. She also studies how caregivers’ executive functions and emotion regulation skills contribute to teaching and parenting practices that promote or undermine child development. Her current work involves the development of novel, pragmatic, scalable assessments of executive functions, emotion regulation, and motivation.

Other Titles

Professor, Graduate School of Education
Member, Bio-X
Member, Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance
Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)

Program Affiliations


Research Interests

Assessment, Testing and Measurement | Brain and Learning Sciences | Child Development | Early Childhood | Equity in Education | Motivation | Parents and Family Issues | Poverty and Inequality | Psychology | Social and Emotional Learning

See a full list of GSE Faculty research interests >

Recent Publications

Finch, J. E., Saavedra, A., & Obradovic, J. (2023). Academic Motivation and Self-Regulated Classroom Behaviors in Middle Childhood: Moderation by Parental Education. JOURNAL OF CHILD AND FAMILY STUDIES.

Armstrong-Carter, E., Bush, N. R., Boyce, W. T., & Obradovic, J. (2023). Cortisol response marks biological sensitivity to kindergartners' social hierarchies for emerging school engagement. Developmental Psychobiology, 65(2), e22373.

Sulik, M. J., Townley-Flores, C., Steyer, L., & Obradovic, J. (2023). Impacts of two public preschool programs on school readiness in San Francisco. EARLY CHILDHOOD RESEARCH QUARTERLY, 62, 194–205.

Jelena Obradović in the News & Media

A study led by Associate Professor Jelena Obradović shows that excessive parental involvement when children are focused on an activity can undermine behavioral development.
August 6, 2022
Associate Professor Jelena Obradović provides research-backed advice on engaging with your children.
October 27, 2021
Photo of two children doing schoolwork at home
July 27, 2020
Research Stories
Associate professor Jelena Obradović says taking time to unplug can feel urgent as many parents are working double or triple duty right now.
May 8, 2020
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