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

Margaret T. Owen

Robinson Family Professor
Director, Center for Children and Families

Research Interests

Trajectories of self-regulation development and relations to school readiness and achievement in low-income ethnic minority children. Parent-child relationships and other important developmental contexts.

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-6876
Office: GR_4.826
Campus Mail Code: GR41
Website: Children and Families Lab, and Center for Children and Families


Dr. Margaret Owen is a leading researcher in the areas of parent-child and caregiver-child relationships and young children’s development in the context of these and other close relationships. Some of her recent research focuses on how the qualities of parent-toddler communication lay a foundation for successful language learning. She has collaborated with a large team translating these findings into interventions with parents and child-care providers to support low-income children’s language success. In another large collaborative effort, she is studying individual, family, and contextual factors contributing to risk and resilience in the development of school readiness and school achievement in a longitudinal study of low-income, African American and Latina children in Dallas, now spanning from toddlerhood through middle school. Dr. Owen previously studied the effects of maternal employment and child care on children’s development, from infancy through adolescence as an investigator on the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development throughout its multiple phases. Dr. Owen is the Director of the UT Dallas Center for Children and Families. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and has received the Rueben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations and the Margaret Cone Impact Award of the Dallas Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Owen earned her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, her master’s degree from the University of Kansas, and her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Nordahl, K. B., Owen, M. T., Ribeiro, L. A., & Zachrisson, H. D. (2020). Parenting quality from observational ratings at age 2: Validation from Norwegian and U.S. samples. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 379-390.

Tamis-LeMonda, C., Caughy, M. O., Rojas, R., Bakeman, R., Pacheco, D., Owen, M. T., Adamson, L., Suma, K., & Pace, A. (2020). Culture, parenting, and language: Respeto in Latine mother-child interactions. Social Development, 29(3), 689-712.

Caughy, M. O., Brinkley, D., Smith, E., & Owen, M. T. (2019). Fathering quality in early childhood and kindergarten achievement in low-income ethnic minority families. Journal of Family Psychology, 34(2), 215-225.

Caughy, M. O., Mills., B., Brinkley, D., & Owen, M. T. (2018). Inhibitory control, academic achievement, and the effectiveness of urban schools among low-income ethnic minority children. American Journal of Community Psychology, 61, 372-385.

Owen, M. T., Caughy, M. O., Hurst, J. M., Amos, M., Hasanizadeh, N., & Mata-Otero, A. (2013). Contributions of fathering and mothering to emerging self regulation in low-income ethnic minority preschoolers. Early Child Development and Care, 183, 464-482.