My primary research interests are in the area of early childhood mental health. Broadly, I am interested in the role of family risk and parenting behaviors in the development of child emotion regulation during the toddler and preschool years. This has led to two interrelated lines of research focused on: (a) understanding how young children develop the ability to use language as a way to effectively manage negative emotions and how certain child-rearing environments (e.g., parental psychopathology, poverty) may compromise this process; and (b) examining how cognitions among low-income parents (e.g., cognitive complexity, mind-mindedness, parenting self-efficacy and locus of control) as well as child and family functioning influence parents’ ability to promote self-regulatory skills in their preschool-age child. My long-term goal is to refine intervention targets for low-income families raising young children.
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