Social and Emotional Development Peer Relations Resiliency Early Childhood Middle Childhood Adolescence
I am an Associate Professor of Developmental Science in the Department of Psychology here at the University of Alberta. I received my PhD in Lifespan Development from the University of Victoria and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at New York University. In my research, teaching, and daily life I am interested in ways that we can best support the well-being and development of children and youth.
How do social, cultural and individual processes converge in enhancing or undermining the social and emotional development of socially and economically vulnerable children and adolescents? The developmental significance of social and economic adversity for children and adolescents continues to be an applied social challenge facing our communities and a rich area for scientific discovery. My research scholarship is aligned with a developmental psychopathology perspective that seeks to understand the etiology and developmental pathways of the various competencies and challenges that emerge across childhood and adolescence.
I conduct both basic and applied, community-engaged research on the social and emotional development of vulnerable children and adolescents and factors that enhance or undermine their resiliency. Most typically, my research investigates how relationships with peers, parents, and teachers, and setting-level processes (e.g., classroom instructional practices) offer protection or confer risk for social and emotional development in childhood and adolescence. My applied research uses a community-engaged approach to investigate how evidence-informed programming and practices promote positive peer relations and social and emotional competencies in childhood and adolescence.
In my research I encourage the active participation of junior colleagues, including graduate and undergraduate students. Students are involved in all phases of research, from project development to data collection and analysis to knowledge mobilization.
I believe that learning is a lifelong process and a shared experience that is informed by our everyday interactions with others. Community service-learning (CSL) is a pedagogical practice that I regularly integrate into my formal teaching to engage all participants in the learning process. My formal teaching assignments commonly include PSYCH 305 (Special Topics: Developmental Psychopathology), PSYCH 323 (Infant & Child Development), PSYCH 325 (Applied Research in Developmental Psychology), PSYCH 327 (Adolescent Development), PSYCH 423/622 (Special Topics: Social and Emotional Development in Childhood; Peer Relations in Childhood), and PSYCH 522 (Developmental Methods: Design & Data). I also regularly supervise students in individual research courses, including research apprenticeships (PSYCH 299), independent study courses (PSYCH 396/398/496/498), and honours theses (PSYCH 390/399/499).
Each year I provide ongoing mentorship to several graduate and undergraduate students. This mentorship is focused on social and emotional development in childhood and adolescence and on rigorous and ethical developmental methods. I have been the primary supervisor for 1 Doctoral student, 6 Master’s students, and 30 undergraduate honors students, and have served as a committee and/or examining member on several Master’s and Doctoral theses and candidacy exams (~20 students). Each year I also mentor several undergraduate students in research apprenticeships, independent study courses, honours theses, and volunteer placements within my lab.
Undergraduate Students: Our lab is full for the 2022-23 academic year. I am not currently accepting any new undergraduate students for independent studies or the honours program for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Graduate Students: I will potentially be accepting new graduate students for September 2023, particularly students whose interests are in the area of peer relations and social-emotional development in early childhood. Please see the Department of Psychology Application Information for admission requirements and all procedures and deadlines for applying to our graduate program. I do not accept individual applications that do not follow these guidelines or deadlines.
Biological, cognitive and social aspects of psychological development during the period from infancy to childhood. Prerequisite: PSYCH 223. [Faculty of Arts]
An in-depth review and analysis of research in an area of developmental psychology. Prerequisites: STAT 141 or 151 or 161, and PSYCH 323 or PSYCH 327 or 329. Note: Consult with the Department for the specific topic offered each year and any additional prerequisites. [Faculty of Arts].
[Faculty of Arts]