Research & Biography

Dolores G. Norton is Samuel Deutsch Professor Emerita in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her fields of special interest include early child development and ecology, human development and diversity, early linguistic interaction related to school achievement and literacy, temporal development in early childhood, and family support practice and programs.

Professor Norton taught courses at SSA in Early Human Development, Human Behavior in Social/Ecological Context, and was a recipient of the SSA Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997.

Professor Norton has published on early linguistic interaction and school achievement, diversity, early socialization and temporal development in children, and black family life patterns. Her 20 year longitudinal research, "Children at Risk: The Infant and Child Development Project", investigates patterns of parent/child interaction related to developmental outcomes, especially school achievement, of high-risk inner city African-American children and their families. She has helped to shape more effective supports for these children through her work with the California Department of Education Preschool Learning Guidelines, the WestEd Program for Infant and Toddler Care, and the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth & Families' Advisory Board on Early Head Start. She was a core faculty member of the interdisciplinary Center for Early Childhood Research at the University of Chicago. Currently, Professor Norton is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Urban Teacher Education Program at the University of Chicago; the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and the Revere Community School. She is also on the advisory boards of the Ounce of Prevention, Family Focus, Inc., the Midwest Learning Center for Family Support Education, and the Center for Family Health. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Ariel Education Initiative and served on the Board of Zero to Three.

Professor Norton is a graduate of Temple University and earned her M.S.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Bryn Mawr College. She has been recognized for her achievements with receipt of a NIMH Fellowship and a Jay Hay Whitney Fellowship, and the Metropolitan Chicago YWCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education. Professor Norton received the Bernice Weissbourd Award for Family Support from Family Focus in 2015. She received the University of Chicago's Norman Maclean Faculty Award in 2012 and the William Pollak Award for Excellence in Teaching at SSA in 1997. She also received the NASW Mentor Award in 2007. Prior to joining the faculty of the School of Social Service Administration, she was on the faculty of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College.