Ilaria Grazzani is Full Professor in Developmental and Educational Psychology at the Department of Human Sciences ‘R.Massa’, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (Milan, Italy), and Director of the Laboratory for Developmental and Educational Studies in Psychology. In her Department, she is president of the Research Quality Assurance Committee and PQA’s contact, research branch. She coordinates various projects, including the EU Erasmus+ KA3 project PROMEHS. 

Key research interests: role of language in the children’s development of theory of mind; children’s development of socio-emotional competence; validation of the impact of intervention programs in promoting the children’s social understanding. She is part of various Scientific organisations, including EADP (European Association on Developmental Psychology), ISRE (International Society for Reseach on Emotions) ed ENSEC (European Network for Social and Emotional Competence).

Selected publications


Grazzani, I., Brockmeier, J. (in press). Language games and social cognition: Revisiting Bruenr. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, doi : 10.1007/s12124-019-09489-0

Ornaghi, V., Pepe, A., Agliati, A., & Grazzani, G. (in press). The contribution of emotion knowledge, language ability, and maternal emotion socialization style to explaining toddlers’ emotion regulation. Social Development. doi:10.1111/sode.12351


Grazzani, I., Ornaghi, V., Pepe, A., Brazzelli, E., & Rieffe, C. (2017). The Italian version of the Empathy Questionnnaire for 18- to 36-months-old children: psychometric properties and measurement invariance across gender of the EmQue-I13. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 14(1), 118-126. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2016.1140640.


Ornaghi V., Pepe A., Grazzani I. (2016). False-belief understanding and language ability mediate the relationship between emotion comprehension and prosocial orientation in preschoolers. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 1534. doi: 103389/fpsyg.2016.01534

Grazzani, I., Ornaghi, V., Brockmeier, J. (2016). Conversation on mental states at nursery: Promoting social cognition in early childhood. European Journal of Developmental Psychology.13, (5), p. 563-581

Grazzani I., Ornaghi V., Agliati A., Brazzelli E. (2016). How to foster toddlers’ mental-state talk, emotion understanding and prosocial behavior: A conversation-based intervention at nursery school. Infancy, 21(2), 199-227.

Ciucci, E., Baroncelli, A., Grazzani, I., Ornaghi, V., Caprin, C. (2016).  Emotional arousal and regulation: Further evidence of the validity of the “How I Feel” Questionnaire for use with school-age children. Journal of School Health, 86, 3, 195-203.


Grazzani I., Corti I., Ornaghi V., Antoniotti C., Pepe A. (2015). Regolazione delle emozioni, autoefficacia emotiva ed empatia: Una ricerca in preadolescenza. Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, XIX, 3,429-447. doi: 10.1449/81775

Grazzani I., Ornaghi V., Riva Crugnola, C. (2015). Emotion comprehension and attachment: A conversational intervention with school-aged children. Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée/European Review of Applied Psychology, 65(6), 267-274. doi: 10.1016/j.erap.2015.10.0004

Grazzani I., Ornaghi V. (2015). La “Prova di completamento di storie sull’orientamento prosociale”: Un’esperienza per potenziare la disposizione ai comportamenti di aiuto. Psicologia Clinica dello Sviluppo, 2 (Agosto), 357-362.

Ornaghi, V., Grazzani, I., Cherubin, E., Conte, E. Piralli, F. (2015). ‘Let’s talk about emotions!’ The effect of conversational training on preschoolers’ emotion comprehension and prosocial orientation. Social Development, 24, 1, pp.166-183.


Grazzani, I. (2014). Psicologia dello sviluppo emotivo. Seconda edizione, Bologna, Il Mulino.

Ornaghi V., Brockmeier J., Grazzani I. (2014). Enhancing social cognition by training children in emotion understanding: A primary school study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 119, pp. 26-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.10.005.


Ornaghi V., Grazzani I. (2013). The relationship between emotional-state language and emotion comprehension: A study with school-age children. Cognition and Emotion, 27, 2, pp. 356-366.

Grazzani I., Ornaghi V. (2012), How do use and comprehension of mental-state language relate to theory of mind in middle childhood? Cognitive Development, 27, pp. 99-111.

Grazzani I., Ornaghi, V. (2011), Emotional state talk and emotion understanding: A training study with preschool children, Journal of Child Language, 38(5), pp. 1124-1139.

Ornaghi V., Brockmeier, J., Grazzani I. (2011), The role of language games in children’s understanding of mental states: A training study, Journal of Cognition and Development, 12(2), pp. 239-259.

Grazzani I., Ornaghi V., Antoniotti, C. (2011), Children’s and adolescents’ narratives of guilt: Antecedents and mentalization, European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8(3), pp. 311-330.

Grazzani, I., Ornaghi, V. (2002). Children’s conceptions of name: A study on metalinguistic awareness in Italian children. In J. Brockmeier, M.Wang & David R. Olson (Eds.). Literacy, Narrative and Culture, Curzon Press, Rickmond (UK), pp. 199-214.


Grazzani I., Oatley K. (1999). The experience of emotions of interdependence and independence following interpersonal errors in Italy and Anglophone Canada, Cognition & Emotion, 1, 49-63.