Individual differences in socioemotional behaviors (e.g.,social withdrawal, aggression); peer relationships and friendships; internalizing problems
My research program focuses on the roles that close interpersonal relationships (e.g., friendships, parent-child relationships) play in social and emotional development and psychopathology during late childhood and early adolescence. I am especially interested in how peer relationships function as risk and protective factors in the lives of children and adolescents who are considered at risk for such internalizing and externalizing difficulties as anxiety, depression, and aggression. My work includes longitudinal analyses of peer nomination and self-report data, along with laboratory observations of adolescents and their best friends. Other current research projects examine the importance of time and place in understanding friendship and victimization experiences (the TRIP study, funded by a National Science Foundation grant), the developmental significance and internalizing consequences of temporal changes in peer relationships (e.g., losses of friendships), the emergence and impact of romantic experiences, such as other-sex crushes, and the peer and psychological correlates of social behaviors across cultures. Current projects also consider the developmental significance of being alone and spending time in solitude across the life-span, including in older age.