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- College of Human Ecology: Human Development
In my research, I investigate three primary questions as they pertain to adolescent development.
How do social identities develop and change over time?
Adolescence is considered to be a time of great change and development of social identities in the lives of adolescence. This line of research examines how social identities (e.g., ethnic-racial, gender, or sexual orientation) are changing over time and what contextual factors and socializing agents could be influencing this change.
How are social identities related to mental health, well-being, and academic motivation?
Research has generally shown social identities are positively associated with more adaptive outcomes. However, there is still much to be known about what influences these associations and in what contexts. We are working to close this gap by investigating these relations and moderators across various contexts.
How can social identities be leveraged as assets to promote positive youth development and outcomes?
Research around social identities has exploded in the past 15 years, demonstrating at a stronger, more positive sense of self on the basis of various social identities promotes a host of adaptive outcomes. Surprisingly, little research has begun to develop ways to enhance and leverage these identities to foster better outcomes for youth. We are aiming to close this gap by developing interventions to shape identities to be congruent with positive youth development and outcomes.