- Adolescent health-risk behaviors
- Adolescent mental health
- Adolescent brain development
- Affinity for solitude
- Transitions from childhood to adolescence, and from adolescence to emerging adulthood
- Heterogeneity in developmental pathways
As a developmental psychologist, my research interest is in adolescent development, with a focus on two main questions: (1) What predicts the individual differences found among adolescents with regard to health-risk behaviors, mental health, affinity for solitude, peer sensitivity, etc., and (2) Is adolescence a sensitive period for development, resulting in unique vulnerabilities and opportunities for both negative (e.g., risk taking, nonsuicidal self-injury) as well as positive behaviors (e.g., engagement in structured activities, academic achievement)? In order to address these questions, I use a variety of methods including longitudinal questionnaires, physiological measurements (ERP, heart rate variability, cardiac impedance), actigraphy monitoring, as well as assessment of endocrine and genetic variation.