Professor awarded APA lifetime achievement award

Richard Fabes, the John O. Whiteman Distinguished Professor of Child Development and the founding director of Arizona State University's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, was recently granted the 2023 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for lifetime contribution to developmental psychology in the service of science and society. 

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), this competitive and high-profile award is given to “an individual whose work has, over a lifetime career, contributed not only to the science of developmental psychology, ... (but) also worked to the benefit of the application of developmental psychology to society.”

Fabes, who has directed both the Center for Child and Family Success and the Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of Hope, is known for his impactful research on human and child development, equity in education, positive emotionality and peer relationships. Having authored or contributed to over 250 papers, Fabes’ work has been included in journals such as Science, Psychological Bulletin, Annual Review of Psychology and more. 

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Fabes also serves in the Children’s Equity Project, which focuses on helping children reach their full potential by increasing equity in education. In addition, he co-founded the Sanford Harmony Project, a social-emotional learning program for pre-K–6 grade students designed to foster communication, connection and community both in and outside the classroom. 

“When I received the email informing me that I was to receive (this award), I had to read the email several times to make sure I had read it correctly,” Fabes said. 

“I am grateful to the many gifted and giving undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff, community members and funders I have collaborated and worked with in my career. I am honored that my contributions have been deemed worthy of this award — an award named for a leading thinker and someone who has clearly left a mark on so many and on the field itself. I am humbled (and continue to be surprised) by it.”

The award will be presented at this year’s APA Annual Convention in August. 

Jennifer Moore