I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine (anticipated graduation June 2017). I earned my Masters of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University in 2011.
My research addresses the question “Why do adolescents take risks?” Broadly, I study adolescent development, particularly as it pertains to risk-taking and problem behavior. My training in developmental psychology has led me to view the increase in risk taking that occurs during adolescence, as compared to childhood or adulthood, as a normative response to the many changes that occur during this developmental phase. I am also interested in what happens when adolescents engage in risky behavior that is also illegal. As a result, my research is not limited to community samples, but has also included first-time juvenile offenders, as well as more serious, felony-level juvenile offenders.
I have an extensive research history and my work has been published in some of the top journals in my field, including Child Development and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.