Overall, my research is motivated by the belief that, by understanding children's development of social relationships and social-emotional competence, research can help inform interventions and public policies designed to foster children's positive development. My research interests are derived from the intersection of cognitive and relationship perspectives as they relate to children's social-emotional development. Operating within this framework, I am interested in understanding how interactions within close relationships, such as the parent-child dyad, shape children's representations of others as well as themselves, and their expectations for, and competence in, social interactions. One way to capture this is by examining the cognitive-affective exchanges that occur in children's close relationships through conversation. Currently, I am designing a study to investigate links between parent-child conversations about emotions, the broader relationship quality, and young children's compassionate and prosocial responding.
My previous research experience includes work with typically developing children on links between the quality of child care experiences and young children's temperament over time as well as clinically based work investigating parent-child interactions, temperament, and maternal anxiety disorder as risk factors for the development of anxious behaviors in infants and toddlers.