I am an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. I received my Bacholor’s degree from McGill University in Psychology, a Master’s and Ph.D from the University of Toronto in Developmental Psychology. I then did a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Université de Montréal before coming to Dalhousie in 2003.
My research focusses on the development of three aspects of self-control in children, namely, cognitive control (children’s ability to control their thinking and take other people’s perspectives), behavioural control (their ability to control their aggressive and impulsive behaviours), and emotion regulation (their ability to control their emotions). Early self-control predicts a range of important occupational, psychosocial and physical life outcomes. I also study the role that language development might play in the development of self-control. Our ability to speak not only helps us communicate with others, but we can use self-talk to help us think, resist temptation, control our behaviour and our emotions. Recently, I have begun collaborative research with a dog researcher to examine the relation between language and self-control in dogs to see if connections between these develop in the same way as they do in humans.