University of Calgary

Susan Graham

  • Professor
  • Director - Owerko Centre
  • +1 (403) 220-7188
  • +1 (403) 220-4955
  • +1 (403) 220-6468
  • +1 (403) 441-8413 (Owerko Centre)


Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


In Canada, 25% of kindergarten children have difficulty in at least one of five key developmental domains prior to entering Grade 1. These early-emerging developmental issues are often long-lasting and have cascading effects over development. My research program examines child development during the infancy and preschool years with specific focus on delineating the interactive trajectories of early language, cognitive, and social-cognitive development. We examine how young children form  and use concepts to organize their words. We also examine how children become effective communicators, taking other speakers’ perspectives and emotions into account. Information on my most recent publications can be found on the Language and Cognitive Development Lab's web page.

Member of the Ch.I.L.D. Research Group

Research Support

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Insight Grants and Insights Development Grant)

Recent Publications

Owens, S.J., Thacker, J. & Graham, S.A. (in press). Disfluencies signal reference to novel objects for adults but not children. Journal of Child Language.

 San Juan, V., Chambers, C.G., Berman, J.M.J., Humphrys, C., & Graham, S.A. (2017). The Object of My Desire: 5-Year-Olds Rapidly Reason about their Speaker’s Desire During Referential Communication. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 162, 101-119.

  Khu, M., Chambers, C. G., Graham, S.A. (2017). When you’re happy and I know it: Four-year-olds’ emotional perspective-taking during on-line language comprehension. Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12855

 Graham, S.A., San Juan, V., & Khu, M. (2017). Words are not enough: How preschoolers’ integration of perspective and emotion informs their referential understanding. Journal of Child Language, 44, 500-526

 Tough, S., McDonald, S., Collisson, B.A., Graham, S.A., Kehler, H., Kingston, D., Benzies, K. (2017). Cohort profile: The All Our Babies pregnancy cohort (AOB). International Journal of Epidemiology. 1-13,

  Switzer, J. & Graham, S.A. (2017). 14- to 16-month-olds Attend to Distinct Labels in an Inductive Reasoning Task. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1-14 .

 Graham, S.A., Gelman, S., & Clarke, J. (2016). Generics license 30-month-olds' inferences about the atypical properties of novel kinds. Developmental Psychology, 52, 1353-1362.

 Graham, S.A., & Madigan. S. (2016). Bridging the Gaps in the Study of Typical and Atypical Cognitive Development: A Commentary. Journal of Cognition and Development, 17, 671-681. [invited commentary]

 Collisson, B.A., Graham, S., Preston, J.L., Rose, S. McDonald, S., & Tough, S. (2016). Risk and Protective Factors for Late Talking: An Epidemiological Investigation. The Journal of Pediatrics, 172, 168-174 e.1.

 Owens, S. & Graham, S.A (2016). Thee, uhh disfluency effect in preschoolers: A cue to discourse status. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34, 388-401. DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12137

 Vukatana, E., Curtin, S., & Graham, S.A. (2016). Infants’ acceptance of phonotactically illegal word forms as object labels. Journal of Child Language, 43, 1400-1411. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000915000707

Berman, J.M.J., Chambers, C. G., & Graham, S.A., (2016). Preschoolers’ Real-Time Integration of Vocal and Facial Emotional Information.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142, 391-399.



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