Children's and adolescents' ability
to successfully interact with peers is an important
factor related to current and future psychological adjustment.
Peers can be an important source of support for youth during stressful
transitions or traumatic events. Peer relationships also can
promote adaptive social, academic, and behavioral development.
However, negative peer experiences, such as peer rejection or
victimization from peers, can contribute to disruptive or risk-taking
behavior, anxiety, depression, and related psychological symptoms
for some children and adolescents.
The Peer Relations Lab is involved in the study of peer relationships
and adjustment across development - from early childhood to adolescence.
We are interested in understanding how peer relationships might
contribute to psychological distress, and also how psychological
impairment can reciprocally influence social development.
The focus of our work is specifically on the links among peer experiences,
depression, suicidality, and health-risk behaviors.