Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Elaine Reese

Tel +64 3 479 8441

Professor Elaine Reese is the co-leader of Kia Tīmata Pai (To Start Well), a national intervention trial with BestStart early childhood centres funded by the Wright Family Foundation. She previously served as the Education Domain Leader on a longitudinal birth cohort study, Growing Up in New Zealand. Elaine has authored over 130 papers and a book for parents, Tell Me a Story: Sharing Stories to Enrich Your Child's World (Oxford University Press). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and has received grants from the Marsden Fund, the Children's Research Fund of the Ministry of Social Development, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development in the US.

She has served as Editor of the Journal of Cognition and Development, and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Cognitive Development, Infant and Child Development, Narrative Inquiry, and Reading Research Quarterly.

Elaine joined the Department in 1993. She has over 30 years of university teaching experience, at both graduate and undergraduate levels.


Research interests

  • The development of children's and adolescents' autobiographical memory, language, and literacy
  • Social influences on children's development, especially the way that parents' and teachers' conversations enrich children's language and socioemotional development

Find out more about Professor Reese's research interests


Zhang, Y., Ballard, E., Lee, T., Lee, H., Schmidt, J., & Reese, E. (2024). Assessing vocabulary and grammar development in New Zealand Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking children: A validation study. Speech, Language & Hearing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/2050571X.2024.2303825

Arnett, A. B., Guiney, H., Bakir-Demir, T., Trudgen, A., Schierding, W., Reid, V., … Reese, E., & Poulton, R. (2024). Resting EEG correlates of neurodevelopment in a socioeconomically and linguistically diverse sample of toddlers: Wave 1 of the Kia Tīmata Pai best start New Zealand study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 65, 101336. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2023.101336

Bird, A., Reese, E., Schaughency, E., Waldie, K., Atatoa-Carr, P., Morton, S., & Grant, C. (2024). Talking, praising and teaching: How parent interaction during a learning task relates to children's early learning. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 66, 255-268. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2023.10.001

Bird, A., Reese, E., Salmon, K., Waldie, K., Peterson, E., Atatoa-Carr, P., & Morton, S. (2023). Maternal depressive symptoms and child language development: Exploring potential pathways through observed and self-reported mother-child verbal interactions. Development & Psychopathology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/s0954579423001311

Swearingen, I., Reese, E., Garnett, M., Peterson, E., Salmon, K., Atatoa Carr, P., Morton, S. M. B., & Bird, A. (2023). Maternal reminiscing during middle childhood: Associations with maternal personality and child temperament from the Growing Up in New Zealand cohort study. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/dev0001596

Back to top