Child and Family Studies

College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

Hillary Fouts

Dr. Hillary Fouts

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies

1215 W. Cumberland Avenue
422 Jessie Harris Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-1912
Curriculum Vitae


Hillary Fouts joined the department of Child and Family Studies in 2006. Prior to this, she spent four years in a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s section on Social Emotional Development. Fouts received a PhD in anthropology from Washington State University in 2002.

Fouts’ research focuses on child-rearing practices in diverse cultural and socioeconomic contexts, with emphasis on understanding the role of ecological, biological, and cultural factors in infants’ and children’s experiences and interactions with various caregivers and social partners. Within this main research area, Fouts is specifically interested in: 1) young children’s play and cultural learning; 2) how culture and environmental risk relate to parenting strategies and parent-child interactions; 3) the social and emotional contexts of infant and child feeding practices; and 4) understanding the effects of ethnicity and socioeconomic status on infant and toddler care practices. Pursuant to these research interests, Fouts has worked predominantly in underrepresented cultural and socioeconomic contexts internationally and in the United States. Internationally, she has worked mostly in small-scale societies in Central and East Africa, as well as in urban informal settlements in Kenya.

Selected Publications

Fouts, H. N. (2013). Fathering in Central and East Africa., In D. Schwalb, B. Schwalb, & M. E. Lamb (Eds.), The Father’s Role: International Perspectives (pp. 151-172). New York: Routledge.

Fouts, H. N., Hallam, R. A., & Purandare, S. (2013). Gender segregation in early childhood social play among the Bofi Foragers and Farmers in Central Africa. American Journal of Play, 5(3), 333-356.

Fouts, H. N., Hewlett, B. S., & Lamb, M. E. (2012). A Bio-cultural approach to breastfeeding interactions in Central Africa.  American Anthropologist, 114(1), 123-136.

Fouts, H. N., Roopnarine, J. L., Lamb, M. E., & Evans, M.  (2012). Infant social interactions with multiple caregivers: The Importance of ethnicity and socio-economic status. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43(2), 328-348.

Hewlett, B. S., Fouts, H. N., Boyette, A. H., & Hewlett, B. L. (2011). Social learning among Congo Basin hunter-gatherers. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366, 1168-1178.

Jung, M. & Fouts, H. N. (2011). Multiple caregivers’ touch interactions with young children among the Bofi foragers in Central Africa. International Journal of Psychology, 46(1), 24-32.

Fouts, H. N. (2010). Bofi foragers and farmers: Case studies on the determinants of parenting behavior and early childhood experiences, In C. Worthman, D. Schechter & P. Plotsky (Eds.), Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Fouts, H. N. & Lamb, M. E. (2009). Cultural and developmental variation in toddlers’ interactions with other children among two small-scale societies in Central Africa. European Journal of Developmental Science, 3(4), 389-407.

Hallam, R. A., Fouts, H. N., Bargreen, K., & Caudle, L. (2009). Quality from a toddler’s perspective: A Bottom-up examination of classroom experiences. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 11(2),

Fouts, H. N. & Brookshire, R. A. (2009). Who feeds children? A Child’s-eye-view of caregiver feeding patterns among the Aka Foragers in Congo. Social Science & Medicine, 69, 285-292.

Fouts, H. N. (2008). Father involvement with young children among the Aka and Bofi foragers. Cross-Cultural Research, 42, 290-312.

Fouts, H. N., Roopnarine, J. L., & Lamb, M. E. (2007). Social experiences and daily routines of African American infants in different socioeconomic contexts. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 655-664.

Fouts, H. N., Hewlett, B. S. & Lamb, M. E. (2005). Parent-offspring weaning conflicts among the Bofi farmers and foragers of Central Africa. Current Anthropology, 46, 29-50.

Roopnarine, J. L., Fouts, H. N., Lamb, M. E., & Lewis, T. E. (2005). Mothers’ and fathers’ behaviors toward their 3-4-month-old infants in low-, middle- and upper-socioeconomic African American families. Developmental Psychology, 41, 723-732.

Fouts, H. N. & Lamb, M. E. (2005). Weanling emotional patterns among the Bofi Foragers of Central Africa: The role of maternal availability and sensitivity, In B. S. Hewlett & M. E. Lamb (Eds.) Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods (pp. 309-321). New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

Fouts, H. N. & Lamb, M. E. (2005). Ethical issues in cross-cultural research, In C.B. Fisher & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Applied Developmental Science (Vol. 1, pp. 409-412). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Fouts, H. N. (2005). Central African families: A comparison of Bofi Farmer and Forager families, In J. L. Roopnarine & U. P. Gielen (Eds.), Families in Global Perspective (pp. 347-362). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Fouts, H. N. (2004). Social and emotional contexts of weaning among Bofi Farmers and Foragers. Ethnology, 43, 65-81.

Fouts, H. N., Hewlett, B. S. & Lamb, M. E. (2001). Weaning and the nature of early childhood interactions among the Bofi Foragers in Central Africa. Human Nature 12(1), 27-46.

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