“Human beings are wired to connect – and we have the most complex and interesting social behavior out of all animals” Dr Michael Platt
My overarching research involves learning about the social behaviour and interactions of children during early childhood. I'm interested in understanding more about how parent-child relationships, teacher-child relationships, peer relationships, and sibling relationships evolve overtime and how children learn to understand and engage with their social world. I'm particularly interested in children's use of aggression and bullying behaviours. From a Social Learning perspective, I also conduct research on teacher, parent, and child beliefs, attitudes, scripts, schemas, and attributions and how these directly/indirectly influence child behaviour.
My current research project, 'THRIVE', is a short-term longitudinal study examining factors related to parent and early childhood educator health and wellbeing, as well as children's social and emotional development. This project is an attempt to improve our understanding of the risk and protective factors that contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand having the highest rate of reported childhood bullying and some of the worst child wellbeing outcomes amongst OECD nations.