My research focuses on experiences of solitude across the lifespan and across cultures. In particular, I am interested in the development and implications of shyness, social withdrawal, and preference for solitude. My most recent research projects have focused on: (1) the costs and benefits of solitude in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; (2) the challenges faced by shy and anxious children at school; and (3) the meaning and implications of social withdrawal in different cultures.
Current Research Projects
The Costs and Benefits of Solitude
This program of research explores different reasons why individuals seek to spent time alone, developmental changes in experiences of attitudes about solitude, and mitigating factors that may underlie the link between solitude and socio-emotional functioning at different life stages.
Collaborator: Julie Bowker (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Shyness at School: The Role of Teachers
This research focuses on shy children’s experiences at school, with a particular focus on teachers’ beliefs about shyness and best practices for facilitating positive school adjustment among shy students.
Collaborators: Liv Heidi Mjelve and Geir Nyborg (University of Oslo)
Social Withdrawal across Cultures
This research examines the meaning and implication of different forms of social withdrawal (shyness, unsociability, social avoidance) in childhood and adolescence across cultures.
Collaborators: Junsheng Liu (East China Normal University), Stefania Sette (Sapienza University of Rome), Mona Bekkhus (University of Olso), and Xinyin Chen (University of Pennsylvania)