The bulk of our research is aimed loosely at understanding what are the healthy social, ecological, and physical inputs for young developing minds. How do they learn? Who do they learn from? What supports do parents or other caregivers need? How can we level the playing field for all children – providing parents and children with the supports they need to thrive?

To achieve these broad goals, we combine methods from developmental psychology with bio-cultural anthropology to examine children in their daily environments. Recently, we have incorporated methods borrowed from international development to assist in developing research goals that are participant driven and community-led. 

Current Research Projects

Early social interactions and communication in Canada and Vanuatu

Motor development across cultures

Examining culture-specific self-construal in a collectivistic society 

Co-sleeping in Vanuatu

Parenting and prosocial development across cultures

Social networks in urban and rural communities in Canada

Cultural learning in childhood

Language learning


See Publications for more research from Dr. MacGillivray's lab!