Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
My program of research focuses on the mutual influence of parents and peers on the development and evolution of children's social competency, social relationships, and psychopathology. My research interests thus provide a natural bridge between clinical and developmental psychology, and I am actively involved in both graduate programs at Duke. A central focus of my research has involved understanding the lessons children learn within their family context about social behavior and social knowledge that then influence their adaptation to peers and their acceptance or rejection by peers. Most recently, I have been involved in a large scale, comprehensive study of the social experiences and causes specifically associated with peer rejection and aggression among middle childhood girls. This research involves an intensive, multiple context examination of the unique social dynamics, behavior, and processes characteristic of the social relationships and interpersonal behaviors among girls. My role as the Executive Director of the Duke Talent Identification Program has led to a focus on the peer relations of gifted children and the long term outcomes associated with giftedness.