Personality Across Development Lab

The PADlab examines child and adolescent personality and behavior in active collaboration with other research labs around the world. To examine our research questions, we use a variety of methods including genetic and hormone analysis, eye tracking, child and parent interviewing, survey/questionnaires, and other behavioral tasks to understand personality functioning in youth and how personality may help us understand psychopathology and other important outcomes. In our past and present research, we have investigated personality’s relationship with outcomes such as decision-making, gambling and alcohol use, risky behaviors, academic outcomes, and leadership.

We strive to answer important questions about youth development that fall at the intersection of personality and psychopathology research. In particular, we focus on understanding how youth personality can serve as both a risk and protective factor for various types of behavior problems as well as other critical developmental outcomes (e.g., relationships with family and peers, school achievement, leadership). We often do this by investigating behaviors and personality in community samples rather than clinical samples, to better understand the full range of variation in the population. In addition, our lab has a strong focus on measurement issues and assessment, aiming to improve our methods for reliably and efficiently measuring both personality and problem behaviors in youth. We approach questions of interest from a multi-disciplinary and multi-method perspective, working to understand how individual experiences, temperament, and biology interact.