About Our Research

Here in the Determinants of Child Development Lab we explore how children's early social, emotional, and cognitive development is shaped by multiple factors such as perinatal influences, genetics, family environment, socioeconomic conditions, and broader social, cultural, and political contexts. Ultimately, our research aims to explore the risk factors and processes associated with children's developmental trajectories in order to arrive at a better understanding of how best to advance programs and policies that promote healthy child development. This comprehensive research program encompasses six key areas that we believe are critical to strengthening research and practice in the field of child development psychology: 1) theory; 2) methods; 3) student training; 4) knowledge translation; 5) clinical practice; and 6) policy and program development. Using a variety of methodological approaches (e.g., observational research, randomized control studies, retrospective studies, meta-analysis) and engagement with theoretical models in child development research, our research aims to contribute to empirical research that explores the multifold determinants of children's health and development. We believe strongly in the importance of training students to undertake rigorous research in child development research; hence, we are actively engaged in identifying and recruiting promising graduate students and post-doc scholars with an interest in clinical psychology and children's health and development. Another important element of our research endeavour is the translation of our research findings for multiple audiences, including the research community, clinicians, health and social service agencies, and the general public. These knowledge translation efforts will ensure that findings from our studies will reach various communities in a timely manner and provide individuals, families, practitioners, and researchers with information they can use in helping them to understand issues related to child development. Lastly, in recognizing the need for policy to be informed by evidence-based research, we aim to contribute to public policy and to sustain dialogue with relevant agencies, practitioners, and program planners dedicated to improving children's health.

 

For more information on the Research Program Overview, click here.

Research Topics

Our research covers a wide range of subject matter including, among others, child mental health and neuropsychological functioning, intergenerational family dynamics, perinatal factors, early childhood adversity, adolescent parenthood, and parent-child attachment relationships. The following is a broad outline of the groupings of research topics that we are currently focused on:

 

  1. The predictors and consequences of screens and digital media in the lives of children

  2. Intergenerational transmission of maltreatment and risk

  3. Antecedents and consequences of infant-caregiver attachment

  4. Determinants of child development

 

For more information on these topics, click here.

The Laboratory Space

The Determinants of Child Development Lab is located on the University of Calgary main campus (12th floor of the Education Tower). The newly constructed lab features a welcoming central waiting area for families and young children, a spacious observation room where on-site research is conducted, an adjoining control room for research staff to monitor proceedings, research offices, and ample student workspace. Located in a corner unit on the 12th floor of the Education Tower, the lab offers beautiful views of downtown Calgary, the mountains to the west, and the surrounding campus area. Research participants (families and young children) and research staff alike will find the lab to be an inviting and comfortable environment.

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