The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Alva Tang

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Developmental changes and individual differences in social and emotional development; Social-contextual factors; Developmental psychopathology and cardiometabolic health

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-3821
Office: JO_4.206
Campus Mail Code: GR41
Website: Laboratory for Healthy Social-Emotional Development


Dr. Tang’s research focuses on understanding how individual differences in social and emotional development shape mental and physical health. She has conducted interdisciplinary studies that investigate individual differences linked to children’s and adolescents’ temperament (e.g., shyness) and exposures to early adversities (e.g. child maltreatment and neglect). This work aims to identify neural, biological, and social processes (e.g., neural correlates in processing social information, friendships, health behaviors, inflammation) that alter risk and resilient trajectories to enhance our understanding of developmental risk factors and ability to implement prevention strategies. To do this work, her lab uses multiple neural and behavioral measures (e.g., EEG, lab observations) in experimental and observational studies. Dr. Tang completed her BSc at the University of Toronto, PhD at McMaster University, and post-doctoral training at the University of Maryland.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Tang, A., Fox, N.A., Slopen, N. (2022). Examination of early childhood temperament of shyness and social avoidance and associations with cardiometabolic health in young adulthood. JAMA Network Open, 5(1), e2144727-e2144727.

Tang, A., Lahat, A., Crowley, M.J., Wu, J., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Children’s shyness and neural responses to social exclusion: Patterns of midfrontal theta power usually not observed until adolescence. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 21, 1262-1275.

Tang, A., Almas, A., Zeytinoglu, S., Zeanah, C.H., Nelson, C.A., & Fox, N.A. (2021). Long-term effects of institutional rearing and enhanced attachment relationships on close adolescent friendships. Child Development, 92(6), 2431-2446.

Tang, A., Crawford, H., Morales, S., Degnan, K.A., Pine, D.S., & Fox, N.A. (2020). Infant behavioral inhibition predicts personality and social outcomes three decades later. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(18), 9800-9807.

Debnath, R., Tang, A., Nelson, C.A., Zeanah, C.H., & Fox, N.A. (2020). Long-term effects of institutional rearing, foster care intervention and disruptions in care on brain electrical activity in adolescence. Developmental Science, 23(1), e12872.

Tang, A., Wade, M., Fox, N.A., Nelson, C.A., Zeanah, C.H., & Slopen, N. (2020). The prospective association between stressful life events and inflammation among adolescents with a history of early institutional rearing. Development and Psychopathology, 32(5), 1715-1724.