Naomi Andrews, PhD

Lab Director

Assistant Professor, Child and Youth Studies

Dr. Naomi Andrews is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies and holds a Ph.D. in Family and Human Development from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Mothercraft’s Breaking the Cycle program – a prevention and early intervention program for mothers with substance use issues and their young children – and the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research at York University.

Broadly, her research focuses on applying a relational perspective to understand children and youth’s social adjustment and problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, victimization). From the lens that these problem behaviors are inherently social phenomena, she has focused on disentangling the complex social relationship processes that underlie problem behaviors. Through three related but distinct lines of work, Dr. Andrews is interested in: 1) understanding how children and youth’s peer relationships and the social context contribute to involvement in problem behaviors; 2) considering youth’s gender identity and gender-based peer experiences, particularly in relation to problem behaviors, social functioning, and relationships; and 3) applying a relational perspective to conduct meaningful, community-based intervention and evaluation research. Her goal is for this basic and applied research to have meaningful implications for decreasing children and youth’s involvement in problem behaviors in school or other social settings, understanding gender identity and intergroup relations, and promoting healthy relationships.

Kirsten MacAulay

Graduate Student

Kirsten MacAulay is a first-year MA student in the Child and Youth Studies department, supervised by Dr. Naomi Andrews. She completed her Honours BA in Child and Youth Studies at Brock University. Her previous experience as an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant provided her with a strong understanding and passion for the complexities and richness of new motherhood and mother-infant relationships. Her research interests include parenting, mother-child relationships, adverse childhood experiences, grief, children’s mental health, education equity, children’s agency and participation within family law, social justice, and children’s experiences with environmental injustice.

Hope Amos

Undergraduate Honours Thesis Student

Hope Amos is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Child and Youth Studies with a minor in Psychology. She is completing an honours thesis supervised by Dr. Naomi Andrews. Hope’s interests include understanding parent-child relationships, parenting, children’s behaviour, childhood development, and mental health. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to earn a Master of Social Work.

Oya Pakkal

Graduate Research Assistant, Teasing Project

Oya Pakkal is a PhD student interested in the intersection of social status, emotional dynamics, and cognitive processes in adolescents. She received an Honours BA in Cognitive Science of Language and an Honours BSc in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior at McMaster University, and her MA in Psychology at Brock University. Oya’s research primarily focuses on understanding how one’s position in the social hierarchy influences their emotional experiences, perceptions of self and others, and their behavior in social situations. She is particularly drawn to studying how subjective social status and negative status-relevant experiences such as exclusion or victimization impact adolescents’ self-concept, social identities, and their perception of the social environment. Her research delves into the developmental trajectories associated with low and high sociometric status in youth, looking at how these trajectories impact the development of emotion regulation, self-concept, and adjustment.

Research Assistants

Patty Moss
Undergraduate Child and Youth Studies and Psychology Student

Grace-Anna Piett
Undergraduate Psychology Student

Ximena Paredes
Undergraduate Psychology Student

Tajrian Hossain
Undergraduate Neuroscience Student

IMG_0930 copy

Patrick Segawa

Graduate Research Assistant, Teasing Project

Patrick Segawa is a Master’s student in the Child and Youth Department working with Dr. Rebecca Raby. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Health – Population and Reproductive and Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Uganda Martyrs University and Clarke International University respectively. Patrick has over 7 years of management experience coordinating and implementing reproductive health and HIV/AIDS community programs in developing countries. His cross-cutting skills in program leadership and management, social behavioural change communication, research methods, resource mobilization and fundraising, events planning and management, youth and social media engagement, community led advocacy, and capacity building are expertly applied in his previous role as Executive Director & Team Lead for Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU). Patrick’s research interest include; mental health, school related gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, creative and performance arts, substance abuse and additions among young people.

Lab Alumni

Jiayi Li

Graduate Student

Jiayi Li competed her MA in Child and Youth Studies, supervised by Dr. Naomi Andrews and Dr. Tony Volk. Prior, she completed her BA at the University of Alberta, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She studies healthy peer relationships among children and youth, specifically exploring the coping process of young victims of bullying and how bystanders (friends and defenders) can influence the victimization trajectory.

Katrina Smith

Undergraduate Thesis Student

Katrina completed her honours degree in CHYS with a minor in PSYC. Her research interests include at-risk children and youth, addiction, and mother-child relationships. Katrina’s research, supervised by Dr. Naomi Andrews, was focused on the influence a mother’s addiction has on the relationship with her child.

Elizabeth Al-Jbouri

Graduate Research Assistant, Faith and Wellness Project

Elizabeth is a PhD student in the CHYS department. She completed a BA at the University of Ottawa, with a major in Psychology and a minor in History prior to completing an MA in CHYS with her current supervisor, Dr. Tony Volk. She is currently a research assistant with the Faith and Wellness project. Broadly speaking, Elizabeth’s research interests include gender, youth peer relationships and social contexts, pro- and anti- social behaviour, social-emotional learning, and “children’s” media.

Megan VandenBerg

Undergraduate Thesis Student

Megan completed her PSYC honours thesis supervised by Dr. Naomi Andrews and Dr. Drew Dane. She studied the influence of public gender stereotypes on academic stereotypes and school motivation in children and youth.

Emma Peddigrew

Graduate Research Assistant, Faith and Wellness Project

Emma is a PhD student in the CHYS department. She completed her Honours BA in CHYS with a minor in Sociology and her MA in CHYS and Brock University with her current supervisor, Dr. John McNamara. Emma’s SSHRC funded masters research adopted a critical disability studies lens to understand the transitional experience and role of mental health for first year students with a diagnosed learning disability. Her broad research interests include learning disabilities, children and youth mental health, critical disability studies, and social-emotional learning. Emma is passionate about self-advocacy for young people, specifically those who are traditionally marginalized, such as those with learning disabilities. For her SSHRC funded doctoral work, Emma is looking to research the dual diagnosis of learning disabilities and mental health for children and youth, an area not typically considered as one.

Past Research Assistants

Parth Patel
Rachel Cochrane
Rhea Alitawi
Alyssa Hoar
Yulya Dubinsky

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

I am currently interested in taking on Child and Youth Studies PhD, MA, as well as Honour’s students in my lab. What I’m looking for are students who are hard-working, motivated, curious, and passionate about doing research related to children and youth!

In my experience, the two most important factors when it comes to choosing a graduate program are 1) finding a supervisor you get along with and who is a good fit for you, and 2) the opportunities available for research; specifically in areas you are most interested in.

With that said, if you are interested in some of the topics I have listed on my main page, please contact me so we can talk more. You can check out the projects tab for more information about specific research projects I currently have going on – data from these and other projects are available for students to use. Of course, students are also welcome to propose new research projects, but looking through my ongoing projects will give you a sense of the type of work I’m doing (and you can do too).

I also work closely with other faculty at Brock University and am part of the BRAVE Group: Brock Research on Aggressive and Victimization Experiences. What this means is that quite often, the undergraduate and graduate students in our labs work together on shared projects, and as a graduate student, you can have more opportunities to work with other great professors as well. This is a huge benefit, as collaboration is key to good research!

Finally, in joining my lab, there is also the opportunity for extra research funding in addition to Brock’s regular graduate funding package. So, if you are a bight and motivated student with research experience and/or interest in research on peer relationships, aggression, intervention, and more, consider applying to work with me or one of my colleagues!