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Developmental research group

Within the broad topic of developmental psychology, staff research clusters into three core areas: Family and social relationships, cognitive development, and health and risk. Across this range of topics, research projects involve theoretical, empirical, and intervention methodologies.

One concentration in the developmental group focuses on family relationships and contexts, studying t he effects of divorce, the importance of family meals, decisions about stored embryos following fertility treatment, impact of parental work schedules on children, family as a membership categorisation device, and parental expectations for children who develop conduct disorder. Some of our research focuses on application of research to program development, including interventions for parents of sexually abused children, and programs for divorcing families.

Cognitive developmental research in the School includes a focus on individual differences in intelligence as well as the relationship between cognitive and social development. Ongoing projects also examine children’s response to interactive versus linear programming, and intraindividual differences in cognitive performance including the effects of fatigue and mood.

Health and risk are themes that run through the research of several staff members. We examine individual level attributes as well as social contexts that facilitate or undermine healthy development. Our ongoing research in these areas includes motivations for child health behaviors, the causes and consequences of childhood obesity and eating disorders, and healthy adolescent sexuality. We examine links of the educational system to healthy development with studies on school bullying and safer schools, and the protective influence of school sports and club involvement.

Staff members in the developmental research group

Name Main research interests
Helen Davis Cognitive development; intelligence and individual differences; memory; inhibition and information processing.
Suzanne Dziurawiec Infant perception and cognition; perceptual processes and object representation; general developmental psychology.