Children are not just our future they are our present. As a cross-cultural developmental psychologist, I specialise in how children learn and develop executive function, with a speciality in the effects of the delay of gratification. I have led projects in the UK, Slovakia, and Vanuatu with research that focuses on providing empirically backed and policy-relevant research in three areas: Integration, education/development, and the delay of gratification. My work has been featured at TED conferences, covered by the British Psychological Association and on Slovak radio and print media.
Integration has become an increasingly important to topic in many nations throughout the world. As many countries become affected by social instability resulting from war, acts of terrorism, and global warming, an increasing number of people are forced or choose to be resettled in new countries. This can create tension between the migrants and the host country. I focus on the ways in which second-generation immigrants (the children of immigrants born abroad or in the host country) become acclimated to their new cultural environment and provide services regarding policy interventions to better integrate migrants and refugees.
Effective education and development is crucial to creating a society worth living in. I have worked with schools in multiple countries to better inform the ways in which classroom time and the daily structure of educational time can be more effective at achieving the goals and needs of local, and national, communities.
The ability to delay gratification has been shown to have a wide range of effects that last a lifetime. Those children who are better able to delay gratification for greater rewards in the future have been shown to turn into adults with higher educational achievement, they are at lower risk of early (teenage) pregnancy and addiction, and appear to be more well adjusted and productive adults. I have used my research to test new activities that can help children to increase their ability to delay gratification that have been shown to work cross-culturally.
You can always contact me for more information or read more in my book “The Impact of Ritual on Child Cognition” with Bloomsbury (Jan. 2020).