Cassia is the Lab Manager of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Lab. She first joined the ADDL as a Research Engagement student in January 2020 where she helped primarily with the 2020 Camp for People with Intellectual Disabilities by conducting semi-structured interviews on physical activity barriers and facilitators with youth and adults with intellectual disability. Cassia has since completed a Directed Studies course under the supervision of Dr. Grace Iarocci where she investigated how alexithymia and autistic traits relate to caregiver reactions to their child’s negative emotional expressions.
Cassia is also a Senior Research Assistant in the Adolescent Health Lab where she completed her B.A. (Honours) degree in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Marlene Moretti. For her Honours thesis, she examined child maltreatment as a risk factor for high-risk teens' engagement in dating violence and risky sexual behaviour, and the role of parent-child attachment security in reducing this risk.
Cassia’s research interests include attachment, developmental psychopathology, developmental disabilities and quality of life, the experiences of siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities, and interpersonal violence.
Outside of research and academics, Cassia has volunteered as a Writing and Learning Peer Educator with the SFU Student Learning Commons, and as a Youth Educator with Vancouver Coastal Health’s sexual health education program, BLUSH (Bold Learning for Understanding Sexual Health).