W. Roger Mills-Koonce, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Human Development and Family Studies and Applied Developmental Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Contact Information:
Website: http://www.uncg.edu/hdf/faculty/mills-koonce/

Research Interests & Goals:

Roger Mills-Koonce is an Associate Professor in the division of Human Development and Family Studies and the division of Applied Developmental Science. Prior to joining the School of Education at UNC Chapel Hill in 2018, he was an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UNC Greensboro and before that a Research Scientist at the Center for Developmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Mills-Koonce’s areas of expertise include three complimentary areas of research, each involving the integration of experience and psychobiological functioning in individual development and functioning. His primary research interest focuses on biopsychosocial models of parenting, parent-child attachment relationships, and the emergence of self-regulation in early childhood. His second research interest focuses on the biopsychosocial correlates of social, emotional, and behavioral functioning in early childhood and middle childhood with an emphasis on early onset conduct problems and callous-unemotional behaviors in young children. His third research interest focuses on the health and well-being of LGBTQ parents and children.

Across each domain of research, Dr. Mills-Koonce has a specific interest in the central role of the parent-child relationship in the development of the individual. He has expertise in the assessment of parenting behaviors and child attachment quality and has overseen observational parenting assessments across numerous studies. Most recently Dr. Mills-Koonce oversaw the assessment of parenting interventions effects for the Administration for Children and Families multi-site intervention designed to ameliorate the adverse of effects of early toxic stress exposure in young children.

Dr. Mills-Koonce currently is an Investigator on multiple ongoing developmental studies. These include the Family Life Project (funded by the NICHD), one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of children living in poor, rural American communities; The Brain and Early Experience Study (funded by the NICHD), which examines the experiential mechanisms through which prenatal and postnatal exposures to poverty affect neurological development and emergent executive functioning in young children; the Mood, Mother and Child Study (funded by the NICHD), which examines psychobiological resilience in mother-child dyads that have clinical and subclinical levels of maternal depression; and the New American Family Study (funded by the NICHD), which is a nationwide study of the factors affecting the health and well-being of LGBTQ couples and their decisions regarding the transition to parenthood.


Dr. Mills-Koonce was also selected as a Faculty Engaged Scholar in 2012. For more information about his work and this prestigous group, read more here.