Jane Childers, Ph.D.

"Try new ideas and never give up!"

- Jane Childers, Ph.D.

Professor Jane Childers joined the Trinity faculty in 2000 following a post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University.The main focus of her research is  children's early verb learning, both in laboratory studies and in naturalistic contexts across cultures. Her current research uses behavioral enactment and video and eye tracking procedures to test how a specific mental process, the comparison of events, may be used by children when deducing the meaning of new verbs.

Childers teaches courses that explore various topics in development. Key topics of interest are how human infants compare to non-human primates in their cognitive abilities, how development is influenced by and unfolds across cultures, and recently, explorations of developmental disabilities.


  • Childers, J. B.  (2011). "Attention to Multiple Events Helps Two 1/2-Year-Olds Extend New Verbs,"  First Language, 31, 3-22
  • National Institutes of Health, Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Grant (R15) (8/2010-7/2013). "Verb learning: How does comparison develop?" $199,600. Jane B. Childers, principle investigator.
  • Childers, J. B. (2009). "Early Verb Learners: Creative or Not?" Invited commentary for L. R. Naigles, E. Hoff & D. Vear's Flexibility in early verb use: Evidence from a multiple-n diary study in the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 74, 133-39.
  • Childers, J. B., & Paik, J. H. (2009). "Korean- and English-speaking children use cross-situational information to learn novel predicate terms." Journal of Child Language, 36, 201-24.

Community Service & Involvement

  • The Children's Research Lab provides child development information to local families. This year, the lab participated in "Zoo Boo" at the San Antonio Zoo.
  • Childers serves as the chair of the IRB and is chair of the linguistics program at Trinity.

Personal Interests

Childers lives in New Braunfels with her husband, Danny, their daughter, Emily, and two cats. She is an active member of Christ Presbyterian Church.