As a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary, I work closely with the Determinants of Child Development team led by Dr. Sheri Madigan, and the All Our Families Team led by Dr. Suzanne Tough. Through these collaborations, as well as my previous training as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Temple University in the Mood and Cognition Lab working with Dr. Lauren Alloy, I have three main areas of research.
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH
This line of research utilizes a biopsychosocial approach (biology, psychology, and socio-environmental) to understand factors that promote well-being and reduce psychopathology for children and youth. The goal of this line of research is to identify mechanisms that may contribute to the development and varied manifestation of mood disorders. The aim of this research program is to provide a more nuanced understanding of how to best intervene and potentially prevent the onset of psychopathology.
EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
This line of research utilizes a developmental and systems framework to understand factors that optimize child development and health outcomes (e.g., language development, developmental milestones, unintentional injury, sleep, physical activity). Recognizing that healthy functioning in childhood emerges from multiple interacting factors in the child's ecology, I have sought to examine both proximal factors (i.e., child characteristics such as temperament, parenting methods) and distal factors (i.e., systemic variables that exert influence on development by shaping the proximal environment, such as caregiver psychopathology). The goal of this line of research is to better understand what drives optimal developmental outcomes for who and when, as well as how to intervene to promote positive development.
SCREENS AND DIGITAL MEDIA
My newest line of research focuses on understanding the predictors and consequences of screen use for children and youth, as well as their families. In response to the rapidly evolving digital landscape and increased exposure to screens, this line of research aims to understand patterns of screen use that confer risk or act as protective factors for children and youths' socioemotional and developmental health outcomes.