Social context and peer socialization of depression, self-injury, and suicide; interpersonal behavior; ethics and professional training issues
My primary line of research applies a developmental psychopathology lens to understanding the social context of adolescent internalizing distress and self-destructive behaviors. This work takes a multimethod approach, incorporating observational, physiological, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and self- and friend-report measures. I am particularly interested in understanding the interpersonal and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain why: a) some distressed adolescents experience an erosion of social support over time (e.g., reduced friendship quality, rejection) and b) some friends of distressed adolescents become increasingly distressed themselves (e.g., peer influence, socialization / contagion effects). This work largely focuses on adolescents’ maladaptive interpersonal behaviors and emotion regulation strategies as exhibited during interactions with friends.
A second line of research focuses on ethics and professional issues in training the next generation of psychologists. This work is grounded in a communitarian, multicultural, and social justice framework and emphasizes psychologists’ ethical responsibilities regarding self- and colleague-care. I am especially interested in understanding how trainees acquire ethical knowledge, awareness, and skills, and how training programs can best support trainees who are struggling with competence problems.
An emerging area of work brings what we are learning in the lab into our community as we implement and evaluate: a) evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curricula in schools, and b) mindfulness-based prevention programming to reduce burnout and increase resilience and competence in health care trainees and professionals.