Associate Professor, Psychology; Adjunct Associate Professor, Social Work
My research has contributed to the body of knowledge on off-time pubertal development, that is, developing earlier or later than one's same-sex peers. Off-time development is a non-normative aspect of puberty that confers risk for serious problems including depression, anxiety, and delinquency.
One area of my work explores parallel developmental tasks such as ethnic-racial identity development and psychologically threatening experiences (e.g., ethnic-racial and gender discrimination) that create resilience or vulnerability to puberty-linked outcomes like depression and delinquency.
The second area of my work investigates how interpersonal experiences with adults and peers such as exclusion by peers and contextual conditions such as the racial composition of schools help or hinder off-time pubertal effects.
I draw upon both secondary data analysis and original data collection. My research is guided by the central tenets of social development theory which emphasize that individual development occurs within a social and cultural context, which itself develops, and furthermore, perpetually interacts with the developing individual.
Areas of study: biological transitions, gender identity, ethnic-racial identity, relationships in the school context, peers, friendships, parent-early adolescent relationships