Robert Duncan

Assistant Professor

Dr. Duncan has an interdisciplinary background (i.e., lifespan psychology, life course sociology, family studies, public health, and education) and extensive quantitative training that inform his research.

Dr. Duncan’s research focuses on understanding children’s co-development of language abilities, academic skills, executive function, social-emotional skills, and fine/gross motor skills. He is particularly interested in the role of education interventions and policies for fostering academic success and wellbeing, especially in children facing increased levels of socio-demographic risk. His quantitative interests are primarily in longitudinal and multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, and causal inference.

In addition to appointments in Public Health and Human Development and Family Studies, he is a core faculty member of the Advanced Methods at Purdue (AMAP).


2015-2017, Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Irvine
2015, Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Oregon State University
2015, Master of Public Health (Biostatistics), Oregon State University
2012, M.S., Human Development and Family Studies, Oregon State University
2009, B.S., Psychology, University of Florida


  • Early and middle childhood development, interventions and policies
  • Executive function
  • Academic achievement
  • Socio-emotional learning
  • Language environments


For more information on Dr. Duncan, including professional publications and honors and awards, visit his full profile.