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Alessandra Sansavini

Full Professor


Academic discipline: M-PSI/04 Developmental and Educational Psychology

Curriculum vitae

Alessandra Sansavini

Full Professor in Developmental Psychology and Education- School of Psychology and Education- Department of Psychology- University of Bologna

Academic iter

- University degree (1989) at Bologna University. PhD in Psychology (1994) at Bologna University; PhD thesis awarded by AIP (Italian Society of Psychology) in 1994 (prize for the best PhD Thesis in Italy). Post-doc fellowship (1995-97) at the Psychology Department of Bologna University.

- Researcher (1997-2005) in Developmental Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology of Bologna University, then, since 2000, at the Faculty of Education where she has been teaching Developmental Psychology as well as at School of Health and Clinical Psychology. Associate Professor (2005-2016) in Developmental Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology of Bologna University.

- Period of study abroad: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., (a semester in 1985), during the University studies (Fulbright scholarship).

- Research periods abroad: a) Universities of Amsterdam and Groningen (1991) for a research collaboration with prof. B. Hopkins, A. Kalverboer and Y. Van Beek, on the effects of preterm birth on development; b) Laboratoire de Psycho-Biologie du Développement (CNRS, Paris, prof. H. Bloch) (1992) and Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (CNRS-EHESS, Paris, prof. J. Mehler and dott. J. Bertoncini) (1992, 1993, 1994), for a research collaboration on newborns' linguistic perception.

Research and teaching assignments abroad

- Research assignment (May-July 1995) at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (CNRS-EHESS, Paris, prof. J. Mehler and dr. J. Bertoncini).

- Cycle of lectures (October 1996) held at the University of Sussex, coordinator prof. G. Butterworth, within the Erasmus Teaching Exchange Program (1994-97).

- 2015 Visiting scholar (un mese) presso Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, collaborazione con prof. Jana Iverson.


Scientific activities

- Research fields: development of communication, language and cognition, newborns' speech perception, mother-infant interaction, oral and written language development, influence of biological and social factors on development, in typical and at risk populations. Experimental works done on preterm and at term newborns, infants and children, in collaboration with the Institute of Neonatology of Bologna University and with other Italian and European Research Labs and Universities. Further research fields: development of social, narrative, cognitive, and temporal competences in preschool children.

- Leadership of granted national project Ministry of University and Research PRIN (2008, biennial grant, duration of the project 2010-12) "Gestures and language in children with atypical and at risk developmental profiles: relationships among competences, mother-child interaction modalities and proposals of intervention". National collaboration with prof. M. C. Caselli and O. Capirci (CNR, Roma), prof. M. Lavelli (University of Verona), dr. A. Bello and S. Stefanini (University of Parma). International collaboration with prof. L. Justice (University of Ohio) and prof. J. Iverson (University of Pittsburgh).

- Leadership of a strategic project (2007, biennial grant, duration of the project 2007-11) at Bologna University entitled “Early communicative-linguistic and cognitive abilities: risks linked to preterm birth” and grants from Bologna University since 1991.

- Member of a FARB research project (2013, biennal grant, duration of the project 2013-15) at Bologna University entitled “Reading processes in preterm children, children with dyslexia and typically developing children”, coordinated by dr. A. Guarini. This project has an interdisciplinar character, based on the collaboration among psychologists and neonathologists.

- Member of granted national projects of: National Research Council (1992-98); Ministry of University and Research (1997-99); Ministry of University and Research PRIN (2004-06)“Development of expressive communication in the first months of life: normal and at risk paths” coordinated by prof. M.L. Genta.

- Member of granted European projects: Erasmus project for teaching exchange in Developmental Psychology and Psychobiology (1994-97) coordinated by prof. G. Butterworth; Socrates project (2004- biennial grant, duration of the project 2004-06) “Relational approaches in early education: enhancing social inclusion, personal growth and learning” coordinated by prof. P. Kutnick (King's College, London).

- Responsible for the Italian unit in the European Network on Communicative Development Inventories (since 2009)- Project: CDI Narratives: cross-linguistic data, coordinated by J. Reilly (San Diego State University).

The results of her research have been published in international and national scientific peer-reviewed journals, in international and national book chapters, and in monographic books (as author and editor), and presented in many international and national conferences, several times also as invited speaker.

Reviewer and member of editorial boards

- Reviewer for international journals: Archives of Disease in Childhood;British Journal of Developmental Psychology; Child: Care, Health and Development; Child Development Research; Child Language Teaching and Therapy; Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics; Developmental Neurorehabilitation; Developmental Science; Early Human Development; Family Science; First Language; Frontiers in Psychology; Infancy; Infant and Child Development; Infant Behavior & Development; International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders; Journal of Applied Oral Science; Journal of Child Health Care; Journal of Child Language; Journal of Neuropsychology; Journal of Pediatrics; Journal of Rehabilitation Science and Research Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research; Learning and Individual Differences; Neuropsychologia; Parenting: Science and Practice; Pediatrics; Research in Developmental Disabilities; World Journal of Pediatrics; for Italian journals: Bollettino di Psicologia ApplicataEtà Evolutiva; Psicologia clinica dello sviluppo; Ricerche di Psicologia; Rivista di Psicolinguistica Applicata; for the University of Padova; for the Early Language Acquisition Conference (Lyon, 2012).

- Member of the Editorial Board of the journal "Child Language Teaching and Therapy", Sage, London, and of the Italian Publisher Franco Angeli for a series of publications on Developmental Disabilities Psychology.