SRCD Updates Ethical Principles and Standards for Developmental Scientists

Revisions Address Issues of Diversity, Internationalism, Equity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Governing Council has approved a revised set of ethical principles and standards for developmental scientists that is explicitly designed to meet the challenges and opportunities of our time for research with children.  

The updated standards are the culmination of a special taskforce formed in 2019 to modernize the principles. In response to societal change and to prepare for challenges ahead, taskforce members drew on current federal regulations, international foundational documents, and ethics codes from other scientific organizations to bring SRCD’s ethical principles and standards in alignment with current research ethics practices.

“The experts on this taskforce were deliberative and inclusive in developing a revised code that embodies SRCD’s goals to foster a culture of integrity and equity among its members and all developmental scientists,” said Ken Dodge, President of SRCD.

What resulted from the initiative was a thorough set of ethical principles and standards reflecting the highest ideals of developmental science, as well as the more specific behavioral standards that guide developmental scientists to achieve these ideals.

The distinguished taskforce reflecting diverse perspectives on child development research included: Celia B. Fisher (Chair), Cheryl Boyce, Lorah Dorn, Celia Gomez, Frosso Motti-Stefanidi, and Carola Suárez-Orozco (see full affiliations in box below). Select members of the taskforce will be presenting the revised code at a special session of SRCD’s 2021 Biennial Meeting on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 11:35am EDT. Panelists will discuss how the updated principles can guide the responsible conduct of research conducted across the diverse populations, contexts, and research designs represented by developmental scientists. To attend the session, please register for the meeting.


Ethical Principles Taskforce

  • Celia B. Fisher (Chair), Fordham University, Center for Ethics Education and Department of Psychology
  • Cheryl A. Boyce, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of NIH 
  • Lorah D. Dorn, The Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing
  • Celia Gomez, Rand Corporation, Center for Qualitative and Mixed Methods
  • Frosso Motti-Stefanidi, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Psychology
  • Carola Suárez-Orozco, University of Massachusetts, Department Counseling and School Psychology