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I remember when I was in high school, I got this horrible news alert on my phone about the mass school shooting down in Parkland, FL. Like everyone in that moment, I asked, who did this? Why did the person do it? Today we know who did it, but we only sort of answer the question why. When I was growing up, I was aware of my own aggression and temper. However, it never crossed my mind to kill or hurt anyone. What went wrong with this young man when he was growing up? What made him become the person he is? Answering these “whys” would allow us to have more insight towards preventing the next shooter. Exploring and understanding these deeper reasons are what motivate me to study psychology at the first place and build a website aimed at addressing adolescent developmental psychology.


We want middle school teachers and parents to ask, why. Why do we do the things we do, and why do we behave the way we do? Our online platform seeks to answer these questions from children and especially students.



The website is built around the mid/late childhood and adolescent developmental psychology topics from Child Development, The Irreducible Needs of Children, Mental Health First Aid USA and Illuminating Care. We discuss attachment, a trait we should form as soon we begin our lives, and how it impacts child development later in life. Indeed, we come into this world as unique individuals with distinct personalities. Finding ourselves living in a larger community, though, we begin to question who we are, our identity, and ways to understand self and others. We also question why we need to be social creatures and develop friendly relationships in life, especially when we confront challenges in those relationships as children. For example, peer pressure is inevitable and challenges a child’s confidence. It is important to ask if there are better ways we can help children healthily deal with the disappointment from peer pressure and contain aggressive reactions. In addition, our site seeks to discuss some other elements that can make children/adolescents more successful in school. For example, how children process and encode information, how to sustain their attention, and when children are in distress, what proper intervention measures are.

Each child is a unique individual. Every family, and even school, has their own unique story. We cannot help you solve every problem in life, but we can give you the toolbox and the general instruction manual.

To build a better and safer community, our children’s healthy psychological and physical development is the solution.

This website has been incorporated by Poughkeepsie school district (Dutchess County, New York) as part of the mental health and social emotional learning training resources for both high school/middle school teachers and parents.


Tony Huang


Currently a senior at Vassar College (Class of 2023) with a major in Psychological Science, I am simultaneously working as an Emergency Median Technician (EMT) in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie. The job provides me a unique perspective to see and interact with the community around me. I have been humbled by the diversity of hardworking people in our community and have also been able to visualize the inequalities and flaws within the community that Vassar is a part of. Serving as an EMT, I have had the opportunity to encounter people struggling with various issues, which were primarily centered around mental health issues. I enjoy learning about their stories from the short interactions that I have and these interactions are what have driven me towards my interest specifically to Developmental & Clinical Psychology.  Contact me

Carolyn F. Palmer PhD


Associate Professor of Psychological Science at Vassar College. Prof. Palmer has been at Vassar College since 1992, teaching a variety of courses at all levels of the curriculum, including developmental psychology. Her scholarly work includes research on perception/action learning and development across the lifespan. Read more

Elizabeth H. Bradley PhD


President of Vassar College. President Bradley has served as President of Vassar College since July 2017. President Bradley has most recently served on Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward Reopening Advisory Committee and helped draft the guidelines for New York higher education reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Bradley’s research has focused on quality of hospital care and large-scale health-system-strengthening efforts within the U.S. and abroad. Read more



I'm very grateful for all the support and guidance from one of my best friend, Melissa Roybal '23, and her contribution on Attachment section. I'm also grateful for my dear friend, Rayan Shikari '25, who donated his precious time to help me set up, build and design this project. The encouragement, trust and support from both of my advisors, Professor Carolyn Palmer and President Elizabeth Bradley, have placed a huge impact on me and this project. I would like to acknowledge John Bradley for his introduction to all the amazing local educators for inspirations. I would also like to acknowledge Karun Krishnamurthy '24, Jakob Lawson '23, and Rafaella Spielberg '23 for their amazing works on Tool section. I appreciate the Poughkeepsie school district placing the trust in me and this project and incorporating it as part of the mental health and social emotional learning training resources for both educators and parents. Lastly, I would like to dedicate this site to my grandpa, Wan Zhou Huang (黄万胄), who dedicate his whole life to education in China and inspire so many including me. 

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