Most of my research is focused on self-regulation and moral development in early childhood, in both typically developing children as well as in high-risk families characterized by parental psychopathology or socio-economic difficulties. I endeavour to explore how early social relationships and interactions shape the regulation of cognitive and emotional processes that help people to function according to social norms and standards in society. I am fascinated by the question why some children struggle with self-regulation more so than others, and propose that these regulation differences can be key to explain the intergenerational patterns we observe in psychiatric problems, problem behaviours, but also in socio-economic adversities. Overall, my work contributes to a better understanding of the social origins of children’s regulation of behaviour, emotions, and cognition. I study these processes in an ecologically valid way to better understand children’s ability to socially adapt in naturalistic settings. Specific research topics vary from infant emotion regulation, to child inhibition, delay of gratification, and frustration tolerance, to parent and child lying. I am specialized in using observational paradigms and coding schemes to study the interaction and (dyadic) regulation of parents and children. I strongly endorse the open science movement and I am keen to implement this in my future work.

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Rianne Kok