My research examines how mothers and fathers may influence the early development of their offspring. I focus on (i) the link between early caregiving and child outcomes, including, for example, behaviour, cognition and brain morphology, and (ii) the link between parental mental health around childbirth and the risk for poor outcomes in children.
How might this research change lives?
There’s much that needs to be researched and further understood, but I hope to be able to make a valuable contribution with the thoughtful, knowledgeable colleagues I work with. For instance, by understanding the mechanisms that link parental mental health and child outcomes, we will be able to make a difference in the way we treat the most vulnerable families and offer them hope. More specifically, an understanding of the quality of early caregiving will enable the provision of appropriate skills to improve the way parents and children play in early childhood. This may have longer term implications for children’s health.