My research has focused on understanding how pretend play is involved in child development and in child psychotherapy. I have worked with my students to develop a measure of pretend play that assesses both cognitive and affective processes. We have also carried-out a number of studies that have investigated the relationship between pretend play and areas of adaptive functioning such as creativity, coping, and emotional understanding. In addition, we have developed play intervention procedures to help children improve their play skills. We are now investigating the facilitation of play in clinical populations. We have a brief behavior rating system that assesses play and we are validating that measure with clinical populations. A broad question that I have also worked on and written about is how affect in involved in the creative process.
I am planning to accept a new graduate student during the upcoming academic year.