Associate ProfessorB.Sc. (MSVU), M.S., Ph.D. (Penn State)
Phone: (902) 457-6559
Office: Evaristus Hall 420
Research InterestsCurrently, the focus of my research is on body image, placed in a sociocultural context. In this work I challenge the individualized model commonly adopted in psychology and place the widespread body dissatisfaction of women in an interpersonal and societal framework.
Most recently, I have collaborated with an Honours student to extend consideration of body issues to male athletes, examining the experiences of the current generation of young men who are increasingly under pressure to attain an unrealistic body ideal.
A secondary area of research centers on coercion in dating and risk-taking. I have long been a co-investigator on a series of funded research projects which evaluate the effectiveness of community level sexual health interventions (e.g., school-based health clinics) on issues central to health policy, particularly a decline in teen pregnancy. Thus, my research areas share a focus on the interpersonal messages and intrapersonal dynamics surrounding a silencing of the self, particularly the developmental processes that make youth especially vulnerable to this silencing.
I also have a general interest in methodological and statistical approaches to studying change over time and to identifying qualitative differences in interpersonal relationships.
Coming from an interdisciplinary program in Human Development, I particularly enjoy working across disciplines. Since coming to the Mount, I have collaborated on research projects with Dr. Sandra Bell in Sociology/Criminology at SMU, Dr. Langille in Community Health at Dalhousie and published in both of those fields in addition to my own discipline of Psychology.
In addition, I am active in the interdisciplinary Masters Program in Women’s Studies and am a member of the Women’s Studies Department.