Current Members

Wendy Hoglund, PhD

Dr. Hoglund conducts both basic and applied developmental research on social-emotional and academic adjustment during childhood and adolescence. Her research primarily investigates within-group variability in the experiences and adjustment of children growing up in the context of low-income, with a focus on how setting-level influences promote resiliency among vulnerable children and adolescents.

Her basic developmental research investigates how relationships with peers, parents and teachers and also setting-level processes (e.g., classroom quality, instructional practices, home environment, ethnic diversity) influence the developmental course of social-emotional and academic competencies and problems in childhood and adolescence.

Her applied developmental research investigates how universal, school-based prevention programming and practices promote children’s positive peer relations and social-emotional competencies and interrupt the development of social-emotional and academic problems in diverse school settings.

Dr. Hoglund's research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research (ACCFCR), the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) at the University of Alberta, and the Killam Cornerstone Grant Program at the University of Alberta.

Graduate Students

Brenna Lindsey Zatto- PhD & PhD Student

I received a BSc Honors in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2014. During my undergraduate studies, I participated in the Postpartum Depression Treatment Program through support of a mother-infant therapy group targeted at mothers experiencing postpartum depression and their infants. My senior honors thesis, titled, “Contributions of Postpartum Depression and Mother-Infant Relationship Quality to Infant Development,” focused on the associations between mothers’ postpartum depressive and anxious symptoms and mother-infant relationship quality with infants’ social-emotional development. After graduating, I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I worked as a Blended Service Coordinator with the homeless population, acting as the single-point-of-accountability for consumers’ needs and goals.

In August 2016, I moved to Edmonton, Alberta to pursue graduate studies in developmental science and work with Dr. Wendy Hoglund in the PEERS Lab. My research interests focus on the developmental patterns of children’s internalizing symptoms (depression, anxiety, somatization) and the associations between these symptoms and individual (e.g., self-regulation) and contextual (e.g., teacher-child relationship quality, classroom climate) factors. I received my MSc in Developmental Science from the University of Alberta in August 2018. My master’s thesis, titled, “Depressive, Anxious, and Somatic Symptoms and Teacher-Child Relationship Quality in Early Childhood,” examined patterns of change in children’s depressive, anxious, and somatic symptoms and how these patterns were associated with change in teacher-child relationship quality (closeness, dependency, conflict) across preschool and kindergarten.

As a PhD student, I have focused my time on teaching, mentoring undergraduate students, supporting new research projects, and completing my doctoral dissertation. I plan to defend my doctoral dissertation, titled, "Heterogeneity of Depressive and Anxious Symptoms: Influence by Self-Regulation and Classroom Climate," in Fall 2022. My doctoral dissertation aimed to characterize the developmental patterns of children's depressive and anxious symptoms and identify aspects of self-regulation and classroom climate as key risk and promotive factors of symptom experience in the early childhood period. After completing my doctoral program, I will be entering the world of parenthood, with a little one expected in December 2022. While not working on my graduate studies, I enjoy cooking, doing yoga, and doting on my two cats.

Cheryl Mengjia Pan - MA Student

Hey everyone! I’m a grad student and currently working on my master’s degree. I’m Chinese, and I moved to Ontario, Canada since 2017. I received a BA Honors in Psychology with Thesis and Sociology at the University of Windsor in April 2021. My undergrad thesis titled “Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood: Relationships and Sexual Behaviours” investigated how different parenting styles, the perception of peers’ risky sexual behaviours, and relationships with peers and parents/step-parents were associated with participants’ risky sexual behaviours at two time points: adolescence (14 to 15 years old) and emerging adulthood (the past two years). After finishing undergrad, I took a year off to gain more experience in the field, specifically in child development and early childhood, since I wanted to focus my graduate studies on young children’s mental health, their behaviours and relationships. Therefore, I worked at an Early Childhood Centre as a secondary teacher in the classroom with toddlers and preschool kids. I was also a tutor on an online tutoring platform teaching multiple subjects, such as essay writing, SPSS data analysis, psychology and sociology-related courses, and exam prep. 

In July 2022, I moved to Edmonton, AB to further my study in developmental science and I’m currently working with Dr. Wendy Hoglund in the PEERS Lab. My first-year research is mainly focusing on how peer relationships, teacher-child relationships, and school engagement contribute to children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms in early childhood (e.g., depression, anxiety, aggression, and hyperactivity). For my Master’s thesis, I’m planning to study more in-depth in the early childhood field based on my first-year research, and maybe include the aspect of ASD children if feasible. My future goal is successfully surviving my two years of master's and smoothly transitioning to Ph.D., so fingers crossed! My first fun fact is that I love reading tarot cards for my self-care, and I would also love to read it for you all if you find some aspects of your life confusing or overwhelming! Another fun fact about me is that I love singing, so karaoke is definitely my jam!

Isabella Schoettler - MSc Student

I am a first-year MSc student in Developmental Science under the supervision of Dr. Wendy Hoglund. In May 2022, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology. During my undergraduate degree, I worked as a research assistant at a Cognitive Development lab wherein I participated in projects that focused on understanding the development of metacognition in children (ages 4-12) using the approximate number system and through the completion of perceptual and memory tasks

In particular, I was involved in two key studies; one of which evaluated children’s metacognitive decision-making across differing cognitive domains to assess whether confidence in their decisions was correlated to accuracy in performance on perceptual and memory trials. The other project primarily assessed how verbal disfluencies (errors in speech such as “uh” and “um”, filler words and repeating words) in children’s speech could act as indicators of their explicit metacognitive awareness and implicit confidence through having children evaluate their choices numerical and factual estimation tasks in terms of certainty and uncertainty.

I also developed an interest in social policy, harm reduction, housing first initiatives, addiction and illicit substance regulation as aspects of community-based development for lower socioeconomic and vulnerable populations. I spent the summer of 2021 working with the University of British Columbia’s Urban Ethnographic Field School and Exchange Inner City in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods conducting ethnographic analysis and mapping out ground-level organizations and social enterprises that offered low-barrier employment services for residents.

I moved to Edmonton to begin my graduate studies and work in the PEERS Lab in August 2022. My first-year research involves conducting a systematic review of the implementation of mental health interventions and treatments for improving mental health and addiction outcomes of rural adolescents in Alberta. My systematic review aims to discover what current interventions exist for adolescents in rural communities and which of these interventions demonstrate the most effectiveness in treating youth’s mental illnesses and addictions, as well as reducing inequities and challenges related to geographical remoteness. I am hoping to build on upon the empirical findings of my first-year research and explore similar avenues for my thesis. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, crafting and exploring different parts of Edmonton.

Research Assistants & Honors Students

Aria

I am a 1st-year honours student in my 3rd year at the University of Alberta working on my BSc.  My research in the PEERS Lab (with my thesis partners Evan and Soobin) looks at the relationship between teacher child relationship quality, aggressive social cognitions, and internalizing problems in middle childhood.  In the future I hope to go to grad school to work towards my dream of being a practising psychologist in either the field of clinical psychology or counselling psychology.  A fun fact about me is that I love to bake! I took baking and pastry arts in high school and it inspired a love of making and designing desserts.  My favourite things to make are crème brûlée and raspberry cheesecake.

Alexa

I am in my final year of my BA honours psychology degree. I am currently completing my thesis with my fellow lab member Cassandra, which focuses on the relationship between peer victimization and emotion self-regulation in early childhood. I’ve already gained many valuable skills from my time in the PEERs lab and I hope to further these research skills in my last year here. In the future, I plan to attend grad school and continue working in the field of childhood development. In my (limited) spare time I enjoy crocheting, doing puzzles, reading, and playing games with friends. 

Cassandra

I am in my 5th year at the University of Alberta and am in my 2nd year of the BSc Honours program in psychology.  I am currently working on my honours thesis alongside my fellow lab member Alexa. We are focusing our research on the relationship between peer victimization and emotion self-regulation in early childhood. In the future, I hope to continue into grad school in a School and Clinical Child Psychology program and to continue applying all the skills I have learned working with Dr. Hoglund and the PEERs Lab. I am extremely passionate about working with children and am currently working part-time at both an early learning center and out-of-school care. In my limited free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, doing puzzles and playing games with my friends.

Emma

Hello! I'm a second year honours student in the fifth and final year of my undergraduate degree here at the University of Alberta. I'm currently working on my honours thesis, in which I research how children's peer relationships and their classroom environment affect their academic achievement and engagement. My goal is to attend graduate school and become a counsellor for young adults. In my free time, I love playing DnD, watching anime, and baking.

Evlin

I am currently in my 3rd year at the University of Alberta working to complete an Honors thesis in Psychology. My research (collaborating with Peony Li) is focused on examining the frequency of change in emotion self-regulation across early childhood and if there are associated gender differences. I will additionally be looking at the covariance between emotion self-regulation and teacher-child relationship quality. My future goals are still in the works, though I hope to purse graduate school in counselling or clinical psychology. Fun fact about me is I love to sing and play piano! I did music school for almost 8 years and now continue it as a hobby!

Jovielle

I am in my second-last year of my degree here at the university of Alberta, working towards completing my BA in psychology with a sociology minor. My research in the PEERS lab (along with my group members - Tori and Pallavi) focuses on exploring the relationships between both peer aggression and peer victimization with anxiety and depression, as well as what effects ‘self-efficacy’ and ‘gender’ serve in moderating these variables. My future plans include attaining my masters degree and then hopefully my Ph.D., I would like to go on to become a clinical psychologist working with vulnerable children and communities.

A fun fact about me is that I love crafting with a passion and own a small business making personalized decor and items! Another fun fact is that I adore animals and may or may not have 4 kitties lol (shared with my husband)

Harleen

I'm currently in my third year at the University of Alberta, completing an BSc Honours in Psychology with the PEERS lab. Along with another PEERS member, Kirat, we are researching the moderating factors (i.e., dyadic friendship quality, teacher-child relationships, and gender) between the relationship of peer victimization and academic skills within middle childhood. My future plans include getting a job as a pediatrician so I can assist with children's physical & behavioural development, and mental health as they grow. A fun fact about me is that I love to travel to new places, as you get the chance to experience and learn about different cultures!

Hailey

Hello! I’m a fourth-year student at the University of Alberta and I am currently working towards completing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. In the PEERS lab, I am in my first year of independent studies and my research focuses on cognitions and behaviour in young children. Specifically, my research project this year focuses on school readiness in preschool-aged children. My future goals include going to graduate school and working as a counsellor. One fun fact about me is that I love collecting things such as candles and ornamental Christmas nutcrackers (I have about 16 now)! Another fun fact about me is that I enjoy volunteering. Some organizations I currently volunteer with are CASA as a clinical volunteer and the Undergraduate Psychology Association as a peer tutor.

Madison

I am in my fifth year of my undergraduate degree, completing my BSc in the honors psychology program. Ritika and I are currently researching the developmental trajectories of peer victimization and aggression in adolescence. Along with being a second year honors student, I am also a research assistant supporting the training of our volunteers and rolling out the Early Learning Project in preschools. Alongside being an RA, I currently work for Alberta Health Services as a Client Care Assistant for their Youth Stabilization Program. In the future, I hope to work with adolescents and young adults in mental health settings - whatever that may look like!

Pallavi

I’m a 1st year Honours student in PEERS Lab and currently working on my Honours Thesis. My research is mainly focusing on co- occurrence of cyber victimisation and aggression with depression and anxiety in adolescents and how self efficacy acts as a protective factor in these relationship. My future goal is successfully completing BA and pursuing Ph.D in clinical psychology. My first fun fact is that I love doing handwriting analysis for my self-care. Another fun fact about me is that I love dancing - especially Indian classical Kathak.

Peony

Hello! I’m in my forth year at the University of Alberta, and this is my first year as a BA Honours student working in the PEERS lab. My fellow thesis partner Evlin and I are currently looking into the association between teacher-child relationship quality and child emotion self-regulation in early childhood for our research. I hope to gain experience in research and develop valuable and transferable skills in the PEERS lab. In the future I hope to continue my studies in grad school and becoming a registered Psychologist in clinical/counselling. A fun facts about me is that I volunteer a lot with the University of Alberta Student’s Union! In my limited leisure time, I like watching shows, writing journals, baking and cooking!

Pearl

I am currently in my 4/5th year at the University of Alberta and pursuing a research certificate in Psychology with PEERS Lab. My research focuses on how negative parental expectations(perfectionism) and financial insecurity/ racial socialization may affect adolescent development and subsequent academic performance. My plan includes attending grad school and becoming a clinical psychologist for adolescents. A fun fact about me is I like to sing and dance. I was also a choreographer of a youth dance team for my country Nigeria, and we used to dance at fun events all over Edmonton.

Ritika

I am currently in my fourth year at the University of Alberta, completing an Honors BSc in Psychology with the PEERS lab. My research (which I’m working on with a fellow PEERS member Madison) is about the developmental co-occurrence of peer victimization and peer aggression in adolescence and how this co-occurrence differs by adolescents’ attitudes toward aggression and perception of the school climate. I am also a Research Assistant in the lab. Currently, I am supporting our Early Learning Project by training undergraduate students in child assessments and observations as well as working on administrative tasks. My future plans include going to graduate school and becoming a counsellor for children and adolescents. One fun fact about me is that I have run my own youth empowerment organization since I was 14 (going on 21 now)!

Rahul

I am currently in my third year in the Psychology Specialization program, in the Faculty of Science. Within the lab I am an independent study student, working towards attaining a research certificate in psychology, as well as a research certificate in applied social science. My research focuses on exploring emotional and behavioral self-regulation in neurotypical and neurodivergent children, during early development. I am also a researcher within the Early Learnings Project, training to become a reliable asset when in the field. My future goals include completing graduate studies and entering the counselling field. One fun fact about me is that I am a big Cricket enthusiast, in both playing and watching.

Soobin

I am currently in my first year of the Honours Psychology program, and my third year working on my BSc. I’m working on my thesis with Evan and Aria, and we are looking at the relationship between internalizing problems, hostile attributions, and teacher-child relationship quality in middle childhood. I hope to go into pediatrics or psychiatry in the future. A fun fact about me is I really love pigeons. I think they are so smart and wonderful, and I hope that one day I can domesticate one. 

Sharen

Hi 🙂 I’m Sharen and I’m an Independent Study student with the PEERS Lab looking at anxiety in children. Right now, I’m finishing up my BSc Psychology with a plan to be a psychologist one day. Besides all the studying, I love going out on hikes with my friends and family and stuffing my face with good food after!

Sydney

I’m a second-year honours student with the PEERS lab! My research focuses on a universal classroom intervention and its influence on socio-emotional and academic adjustment in middle childhood. As someone who has struggled with anxiety throughout my life, I’m interested in neurodivergence in childhood. I currently work at the Citadel Theatre, where I run a sociodramatic play program with children with Autism called I Can Pretend, and I Can Pretend Too. I also work as a behavioural intervention for the Center of Autism Services Alberta (CASA). I hope to finish my thesis this year and start working towards a degree in counselling psychology, utilizing play and drama as mechanisms to process trauma. 

Tori

I am in my third year of my B.A. in psychology at UofA, and my first year in the honours psychology program. My research, alongside Jovielle and Pallavi, focuses on the co-occurrence of cyber victimization and aggression with depression and anxiety. My goals for the future are to get my PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology. A fun fact about me is that I’m a huge sports fan. I play rugby and I played on the first girls' contact football team in Alberta!

Volunteers

Amrita

Hi! My name is Amrita and I am currently in my third year of my science degree in Psychology and I am a student volunteer on the PEERS Lab. My role is to observe and deliver various types of assessments to children and adolescents in their classrooms. I am very interested in the socio-emotional development within children and how certain factors of their environment can impact their resiliency. My future goal is to pursue a career in mental health and become a counselor/therapist. A fun fact about me is that I like to bake in my free time and I volunteer as a Crisis Intervention Support Worker with the University!

Alyssa

I am currently in my fourth and final year of the Bachelor of Arts Honours Psychology program at the University of Alberta. I am volunteering with the PEERS lab in order to gain more research experience within the realm of social-emotional development. I am interested in working with children and adolescents in a clinical setting in the future and hope to attain a Masters in Counselling, or School and Clinical Psychology. For my honours thesis I am researching adolescent personality and it’s impacts on social-emotional functioning under the supervision of Dr. Christina Rinaldi and the LEAP lab. While my thesis focuses on adolescents, I am excited for the opportunity that the PEERS lab presents me with being able to research and do assessments with younger children as well.

Angely

Hi, my name is Angely! I’m currently a 4th year undergraduate student, and I’m in the Honours Psychology program. This is my first year joining the PEERS lab as a volunteer, and I’m currently helping out with translating Tagalog. One reason I wanted to join the PEERS lab was to gain futher research experience. My future plan is to go to graduate school to focus on research surrounding the stroke field. Alongside the PEERS lab, I am also involved in Dr. Colbourne’s lab in the Psychology department, where I analyze combination therapies using therapeutic hypothermia for ischemic stroke along with various other projects relating to stroke. A fun fact about me is that I have been playing the clarinet and violin for over 10 years now!

Hasnaa

I am currently a third year Undergrad student at The University of Alberta completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I’ve always been interested in Psychology but after taking Psych 223 I’ve taken a special interest in child and adolescent psychology. Wanting to be a therapist focusing on working with young children and adolescence I found the PEERS lab to be the perfect fit. I’ve been working with the PEERS lab as an Arabic translator. I’m also hoping to go into a Master's in Counseling. A little fun fact about me is that I LOVE crocheting even though I’ve been working on the same scarf for 9 years now but it’ll be done one day and it’ll be great.

Haadiya

Hello! I am currently in my third year of completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Alberta. I am volunteering with the PEERS Lab in order to gain research experience and learn more about the social-emotional aspects of developmental psychology. I look forward to conducting assessments with children and adolescents within the lab. My future goal is to pursue a career in clinical neuropsychology. 🙂

Ishrath

Hello everyone! My name is Ishrath and I’m currently in my second year of a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Psychology and minor in Sociology. As a volunteer I am assisting with the Early Learning Project, by delivering/conducting various assessments and observations in preschool classrooms. My research interests lie in how factors like classroom climate can be enhanced, to meet the developmental needs of children who come from marginalized populations. Through my position in the lab I hope to gain valuable research experience and mentorship, and in the future I hope to pursue graduate studies in psychology.
A fun fact about me is that I have been involved in speech and debate for 7 years now, as a competitor and coach. I use my experience to teach public speaking courses to elementary and junior high school students who do not have access to speech and debate programs, so that they can grow confidence in their interpersonal communication skills and use them as an asset to accomplish their goals 😀 !

Jaiden

Hi, my name is Jaiden and I am currently in my third year in a Bachelor of Science with a Specialization in Psychology. I am currently a volunteer in the PEERS lab and my role includes assisting with data collection for the Early Learning Project. After my undergraduate degree, I plan on completing a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and focusing on Pediatric Rehabilitation to help children gain independence and strengthen their skills. A fun fact about me is that I am originally from Saskatchewan!

Jerry

Greetings! I’m Jerry Wang, an undergraduate volunteer student for the PEERS Lab and aiming to get into the honours program next year. I’m interested in clinical and forensic psychology, and I wish to dive into the topic of the relationship between criminal behaviour and childhood experiences in my future (and if possible, I wanna study parasites that might affect our mentality). I hope I can get into the honours programme and successfully get accepted by grad school. In my free time, I like to watch true crime documentaries and medical documentaries, and I love reading mysteries. I also like singing and drawing, after all I used to be an Art & Design student 🙂

PS: Corresponding to your pic, nope, you didn't!!

keesha

Hello! This is my third year being with the PEERS Lab. I am currently a volunteer who previously finished my BA Psychology Honours with Wendy as my supervisor. My honours project looks at peer aggression in middle childhood and it’s association with internalizing symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety) and classroom support. I am now expanding on this work with the goal of going to Graduate school for psychology, specifically looking at interpersonal relationships. Something that I love to do is connect with those around me. I currently work with a non-profit that helps empower and support young Indigenous girls who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. My goal is to continue to de-stigmatize mental health, especially in academic settings!

Karina

I am a third-year undergraduate psychology student at the University of Alberta. I joined the PEERS lab as a volunteer to develop skills in research and explore the field of developmental psychology. My research interests focus on external factors that influence an adolescent’s sociability, emotional regulation, and personality development. In the future, I hope to pursue graduate school and a career in clinical psychology or mental health. One fun fact about me is that I love building custom computers and keyboards.

Karen

I’m a Psychology major and a Biological Sciences minor. My interest lies within developmental, abnormal and cultural psychology. I have a growing interest in studying how emotional, social and developmental states influence children, adolescents and young adults. Few of my research interests consist of finding possible solutions to providing children from all socioeconomic status with an equal opportunity to have a positive childhood, how immigrant children behave in unfamiliar environments, and last but not least, how parent-child/ teacher-child interactions influence motivation in early childhood. These are just a few research interests of mine! My future plans consist of getting my Masters degree in Developmental/Counseling psychology. Something I would also love to do in the near future is to learn French and to learn how to read & write in my language, Malayalam. Fun fact about me is that I absolutely love spoilers, in fact I usually search up the entire plot on wikipedia before I watch the movie 😀

Maeve

I am currently working towards an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at the University of Alberta. I am a volunteer at the PEERS lab, so my role is to gather data through child assessments and observations for the Early Learning Project. My future academic plans are to go to graduate school for clinical psychology, and to work with incarcerated individuals. A fun fact about me is that I like to go thrift shopping every chance I get!

Matt

I am a PEERS lab volunteer, learning more about how we evaluate young children's readiness for school through cognitive, affective and social assessment. My interests also extend to research on the critical periods of pediatric brain development and the role that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) play in early development. I am interested in the science of prevention and the impact of adversity encountered in early childhood and how adverse experiences work against healthy development, contributing to difficult lifelong health outcomes like pathology and addiction. 

I am also part of the Intercultural Communications lab, where I help with synthesizing research on aspects of self-determination and its role in second language learning motivation! Fun bit about me: I love food science and cooking and enjoy fermenting my own vinegars, cider, kombucha, lacto-fermented vegetables, misos and garums!

 

Pauleanne

Hi! My name is Pauleanne Codilla, and I am a third-year Psychology student. I am a volunteer translator for the PEERS lab, working on translating Tagalog. I was born and raised in the Philippines, so I am fluent in the language alongside other Philippine dialects (Waray and Bisaya)! My future plans entail pursuing a Juris Doctorate and becoming a family lawyer. A fun fact about me is I love engaging in various hobbies such as cooking, singing, playing squash and badminton, volunteering, and many more!

Victoria

I am currently in my fourth year of a BSc majoring in psychology and minoring in business. I am a volunteer in the PEERS lab working on the early learning project where we will be doing assessments and observations with children in their classrooms. My future goals are to go to graduate school for clinical psychology and become a registered psychologist. A fun fact about me is that I love to travel and have been to over 10 different countries so far.