Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California Department of Psychology has among its faculty internationally recognized scholars and one of the most diverse student populations in the United States. Our faculty and students are engaged in groundbreaking studies, investigating basic theoretical questions and bringing their work to bear on some of society's most pressing needs. The department offers graduate training in five areas: Brain & Cognitive Science , Clinical Science , Developmental Psychology , Quantitative Methods , and Social Psychology .
"Mary Ainsworth stands out as one of the major figures of the twentieth century in the study of the relations between young children and their care-givers. Her work on the nature and development of human security, her exquisite naturalistic observations of attachment-care-giving interactions, her conceptual analyses of attachment, exploration and self-reliance, and her contributions to methodology of infant assessment are cornerstones of modern attachment theory and research. The patterns of attachment that she identified have proven robust in research across diverse cultures and across the human lifespan. Her contributions to developmental psychology, developmental psychopathology, and ultimately to clinical psychology, as well as her teaching, colleagueship, and grace, are the secure base from which future generations of students can explore."
One reason for growth in this area centers on an aging population with longer life expectancies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that by the year 2030, nearly 20% of the population will be aged 65 or over, up from 13% today. Developmentalists address the main stressors that affect this life stage: loss of loved ones, chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, care-giving demands, memory problems, sexuality, health promotion and substance abuse. Positions in nursing homes and nonprofit agencies that work with older adults are expected to increase.