Dr. Gretchen Perry does research focused on non-parental caregivers of children, and their impact on child well-being and outcomes. She comes to this work based on a 25 year career in social services work with vulnerable individuals and families. Dr. Perry has an M.S.W. which is complemented by her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology. This has allowed her to work across disciplines, using a culturally comparative approach.
My research interests include the effects of cultural variation on non-parental caregiving of children, and fosterage and adoption. I have conducted field work in rural Bangladesh. I use qualitative and quantitative methods from epidemiology and ethnography, as well as structured interviews. I continue to be interested in child protection research in Canada, as well as the impact of immigration on childcare and subsequent child development.
My current research focuses on the "matrilateral bias" (the persistent pattern of mother's extended family investing more in children, on average, than father's extended family) found around the world.