Developmental Psychology


Note: Students interested in applying to the developmental area may indicate as potential supervisor(s) faculty members from either the area faculty or associate faculty listed above.

We currently have four core members in the developmental area: Tanya Broesch, Jeremy Carpendale, Hali Kil, and Joanna Peplak. We have a strong research presence in the developmental science community, and as a group we excel in the area of social, moral, and cross-cultural development. Each of our faculty members is strongly connected to the discipline, giving international invited talks, and publishing in well-read venues.

Broesch is a leading researcher in the field of culture and development and takes a community-engaged and participant-led approach to her research. She is currently running a SSHRC-funded multi-site project with international collaborators on socialization practices across cultures. Broesch’s work has highlighted the role of cultural context in development across the world, including at her current research site in Vanuatu.

Carpendale has co-authored three books, edited several more, and published well over 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. He is a leader in developmental psychology and is well-recognized world-wide as a top expert in children’s early development. In 2018, he published the textbook The Development of Children’s Thinking: Its Social and Communicative Foundations, and in 2021 he and Charlie Lewis published, What makes us human? How minds develop in social interactions (Routledge).

Kil’s areas of expertise are in parenting, mindfulness, and culture. A process-focused researcher, Dr. Kil’s work emphasizes the complex pathways that link parents’ and children’s cognitions and behaviour across diverse contexts. In collaboration with clinical scientists, she also examines novel targets for improving parenting and children’s social and emotional development.

Dr. Peplak is a rising early career psychologist whose research investigates children's moral emotional development and the ways in which emotions guide children to do right or wrong. Alongside her international collaborators, she also explores the role of group dynamics, parent and peer socialization processes, and cultural factors in children's emotional development. She incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods in her work, and employs multiple approaches (e.g., behavior assessments, psychophysiological biomarkers, observations) to creatively and accurately measure her phenomena in question. Her research has implications for parents, teachers, and policy makers who wish to promote child-, family- and community-level health.

In combination, we investigate timely and critical research questions that push the field of Developmental Psychology forward in three major ways, including:  (1) the use of mixed methods within controlled experimental designs and “field” settings, (2) the expansion of the field’s reach to include a greater diversity of participants and researchers, (3) the importance of understanding "the child" across various physical, psychological, and relational spheres.

For more detailed information click on individual faculty members in the list above.