Associate Professor, Co-Director for the Early Experiences Research Center (EERC), Director of Graduate Studies
Hillary Fouts is a cultural anthropologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies. Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses mainly on parenting practices and social-emotional development, 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. Her research is conducted in diverse cultural and socioeconomic contexts internationally and in the United States, with special interest in rural and urban populations from Central and East Africa.
- Parenting and alloparenting of infants and toddlers
- Social-emotional development
- Social-cultural learning and play
- Infant and child feeding and health
- Ph.D., Anthropology, Washington State University, 2002
- Post-doctoral fellow, National Institute for Childhood Health and Human Development, Section on Social and Emotional Development, 2002-2005
Awards and Recognitions
- Wenner Gren Research Grant (2016-2018), project title: A Bio-Cultural Perspective of Parenting and Environmental Risk among the Gamo People in Southern Ethiopia.
- Candidate at the HERS Leadership Institute, Wellesley College (2016-2017); sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and the Department of Child and Family Studies.
- The Jacky DeJonge Award (2013) from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.
- The Angie Warren Perkins Award (2012) from the Office of the Chancellor and the Commission for Women; awarded for showing outstanding promise in scholarship, teaching, and other contributions to campus intellectual life.
Selected Recent Publications
Tucker, E.A. & Fouts, H.N. (2016, online first). Connections between prenatal physical activity and breastfeeding decisions. Qualitative Health Research, DOI 10.1177/1049732316628514.
Fouts, H.N., Neitzel, C.L., & Bader, L.R. (2016). Work-themed play among young children in foraging and farming communities in Central Africa. Behaviour, 153, 663-691, DOI:10.1163/1568539X-00003362.
Palagi, E. & Fouts, H.N. (2016). Motivation to play: from ethological to neurological perspectives. Behaviour, 153, 655-662, DOI 10.1163/1568539X-00003383.
Palagi, E., Burghardt, G.M., Smuts, B., Cordoni, G., Dall’Olio, S., Fouts, H.N., Řeháková-Petrů, M., Siviy, S. M. & Pellis, S.M. (2016). Rough-and-tumble play as a window on animal communication. Biological Reviews, 91, 311-327, DOI 10.1111/brv.12172.
Hallam, R.A., Fouts, H.N., Bargreen, K.N., & Perkins, K. (2016). Caregiver-child interactions during mealtimes: Observations of toddlers in high subsidy child care settings. Early Childhood Education Journal, 44, 51-59, DOI 10.1007/s10643-014-0678-x.
Fouts, H.N. & Silverman, L.S. (2015). Parenting and environmental risk: An examination of child loss and maternal involvement among Bofi Foragers in Central Africa. Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective, 26, 73-88, DOI 10.1007/s12110-015-9221-z.
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.