In my research I adopt a developmental systems perspective (Lerner et al., 2005) focused on human plasticity as a way to understand early life roots of later well-being. I integrate contemporary developmental theories of relationships and emotions with positive psychology theories of well-being to test early life determinants (e.g., caregiver-child relationship, emotions) of adolescent and adult indicators of well-being (e.g., physiological indicators of health, life satisfaction) and maladaptation (i.e., rumination, depression) by linking them to individual and contextual factors in infancy and childhood. Adult well-being literature often includes psychological constructs (e.g., life satisfaction, emotion regulation) that have not fully developed for infants and children. My research seeks to identify childhood factors that precede and shape these later life constructs to broaden understanding of well-being and to prevent psychopathology.
One of my passions is to help others flourish through a range of contexts. I enjoy applying what we've learned in science to optimize experiences for people in a variety of contexts. I work with organizations and individuals. With organizations, I help them to understand the core ingredients and benefits of a positive work environment, employee and organizational well-being, and work life balance. With individuals, the range of my work includes helping teenagers prepare for college, adults to find meaningful careers and to build a healthy work life balance, or single adults navigate online dating. Finally, I'm interested in technology as a tool to promote flourishing. I've worked with companies like Potentia Labs and Happify to develop online interventions designed to boost well-being.