Department of Psychology
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People & Projects




Dr. Linda Rose-Krasnor

The overall direction of my research program is to understand the development of social competence in children and youth, with a special focus on the roles of parents, peers, and activity involvement.


 I am a co-investigator in a large longitudinal study of the role of friendships and parent-child relationships in adolescence. In addition, as research director of the Centre for Excellence of Youth Engagement, I have been involved in studies focused on better understanding the process of youth involvement and strategies for promoting greater youth participation in activities and organizations. I have a particular interest in the role of youth engagement in the development of social competence and adjustment, especially among socially withdrawn youth.


Further information about this Canadian Centre of Excellence and its activities can be found at

Emily Thomas

I’m the Research Coordinator of the Youth Engagement Lab. I previously completed my honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Rose-Krasnor. In my thesis, I explored the incidence, nature, and perceived outcomes of shyness-changing events. In my future research, I would like to identify means of promoting positive development in children and adolescents, particularly as it relates to social competence.

Shanen Smith

I previously completed my honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Rose-Krasnor. In my thesis, I assessed the relationships between child gender, child shyness, parent support of sport activities and child sport engagement (behavioural and psychological), and investigated potential interactions between gender, child shyness and parent support in predicting sport engagement.  I received my BA (Hons) in Psychology in 2016.


Sarah Nafziger

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Toronto.  I graduated from Brock University with an Honours BA in Psychology in 2015.  I completed my thesis, which examined the relationship between parental stress and children’s emotional problems, and how shyness and youth’s positive psychological engagement in their activities may moderate this relationship, under the supervision of Dr. Rose-Krasnor.


bosacki Dr. Sandra Bosacki
Sandra Leanne Bosacki is an Associate Professor in the Graduate and Undergraduate Department of Education at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Her teaching and research interests include sociocognitive, emotional, moral, and spiritual development within diverse cultural and educational contexts. She is a contributing associate editor of the International Journal of Children's Spirituality and is the author of the books entitled, Children's emotional lives: Sensitive shadows in the classroom (2008) and The culture of classroom silence (2005). She has puublished research papers in the Journal of Educational Psychology, the Journal of Early Adolescence, Social Development, and Gender Roles: A Journal of Research.
Stoney McCart
Stoney is the Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, as well as the Director of the Students Commission in Toronto. The Commission is a charitable organization dedicated to creating and promoting opportunities for young people to learn and grow in a positive and safe environment.

Junru Zhao

Junru Zhao has finished her PhD in Life-Span Developmental Psychology and her dissertation investigated autonomy and relatedness in Mainland Chinese adolescents.


Marina Farrell

My study focuses on the associations between social preferences of children and adolescents with their later social adjustment. Specifically, I am interested in learning whether shyness and unsociability follow different developmental trajectories over time, whether they predict unique social functioning outcomes, and whether these trajectories change as a function of different contexts in children's lives, such as familial environment and out of school activities. Findings could assist educators and parents to facilitate positive social development of children with different social preferences and needs.


Current Project

Our current study, entitled “Children’s Activities, Personality and Social Development”, explores the relations between children’s activity involvement and positive child development.  We are particularly interested in how temperament differences may affect children’s participation in various activities, such as sports and music.  Specifically, we will examine the links between differing social temperaments, participation in organized extracurricular activities and socio-emotional functioning in early-mid childhood.  We will also explore how child attributes, parental factors and activity characteristics contribute to children's activity participation.

In order to help us understand differences in children’s activities and social development and explore the links between participation in activities and children’s social adjustment, we will be observing children while they participate in their activities.  We will also have children’s parents and activity leaders fill out questionnaires about the child.

We expect that our results will help activity leaders and parents support children so that they get the most from their activity participation.  Our research should also help activity leaders and parents in recognizing potential problems that socially withdrawn children may experience in activities so that they can address these problems early on.

Our research is being done in collaboration with Dr. Robert Coplan at Carleton University.






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