Faculty Biography

Alena Esposito

Alena G. Esposito, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: 508.793.7271
Email: aesposito@clarku.edu

Curriculum Vitae
Professional Website


Dr. Esposito earned her B.I.D. in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University, College of Design. Her program of study focused on educational material design. She then earned an M.A.T. in elementary education at East Carolina University. She completed her Ph.D. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology at North Carolina State University and went on to a postdoctoral research fellowship at Emory University. She joined the Clark faculty in 2018.

Current Research

Dr. Esposito is a developmental scientist with a focus on cognitive development. Her research concentration is malleable factors influencing learning and subsequent academic achievement, especially for minority race and language students as well as those growing up in poverty. The current application of her research is in dual-language education, where she is examining cognitive and academic outcomes for both language minority and majority students. As part of this project, she is also investigating the process of building a knowledge base both within and across languages with the long-term goal of informing educational policy and practice. This investigation entails examining the encoding and manipulation of semantic memory as well as conceptual representation across languages. The work is inherently interdisciplinary and includes both laboratory and classroom work.

Dr. Esposito is currently teaching courses on cognition and lifespan development.

Recent Publications

*denotes student author, + denotes graduate student or postdoctoral collaborator

Esposito, A. G., and Bauer, P. J. (in press). Self-derivation through integration: A mechanism of semantic knowledge construction. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

+Lauer, J., Esposito, A. G., and Bauer, P. J. (in press). Affective correlates of children’s math achievement: Gender differences and predictive specificity across middle childhood. Developmental Psychology.

Esposito, A. G., and Bauer, P. J. (in press). From bench to classroom: Collaborating within a dual-language education model. Journal of Cognitive Development.

Esposito, A. G., *Sirkin, R. E., and Bauer, P. J. (in press). Bilingual Education. SAGE Encyclopedia of lifespan human development.

Esposito, A. G., and Bauer, P. J. (2017). Going beyond the lesson: Self-generating new factual knowledge in the classroom. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 153, 110-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.09.003

Serpell, Z. N., and Esposito, A. G. (2016). Development of executive functions: Implications for educational policy and practice. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 203-210. doi: 10.1177/2372732216654718

Bauer, P. J., +Blue, S., +Xu, A., and Esposito, A. G. (2016). Productive extension of semantic memory in school-aged children: Relations with reading comprehension and deployment of cognitive resources. Developmental Psychology, 52, 1024-1037. doi: 10.1037/dev0000130

Esposito, A. G., and Baker-Ward, L. (2016). Immigration, language proficiency, and autobiographical memories: Lifespan distribution and second-language access. Memory, 24, 949-60. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1061010.