I am interested in various issues relating to children’s involvement as witnesses in the legal system. My current research projects involve studying how different characteristics of the child witness might influence judgments of their credibility by potential jurors as well as looking at aspects of true and false memory across development. I am also interested in children’s moral development and how it interacts with testimony.
My research interests include factors related to child development in the context of child maltreatment and emotional climate in the home. Specifically, I am interested in emotion regulation development, parent-child attachment, memory and suggestibility, and biological stress regulation processes associated with child maltreatment and early-life stressors.
I’m interested in how people, primarily children, respond to stressful situations and how their instinctive response may influence their ability to be reliable eyewitnesses and be perceived as such by jurors. Instinctive responses would include emotional regulation abilities, coping mechanisms, attending to central vs. peripheral details, and cognitive reappraisal strategies. My interests also include improving investigative techniques and protocols when interviewing children, as well as other subsamples, that would acknowledge the cognitive and developmental limitations and strengths of the interviewee.
I am interested in children’s memory for traumatic events, and how psychopathology such as post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociation can affect children’s autobiographical memory accuracy and specificity. I am additionally interested in positive self-concept as a protective factor in normative self- and memory-development processes, especially in these high-risk populations. Finally, I am also interested in best practices for child forensic interviewing following traumatic events, particularly for children and adolescents whose maltreatment experiences have been within the human trafficking industry.