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/ Department of Psychology

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Experts in: Parent-child relations

BERNIER, Annie

Professeure titulaire

Anchored in developmental psychology, our team's research interests revolve around the concept of reciprocal connections between social experiences in the first years of life and children's social, neurocognitive, and psychophysiological development. In particular, we are interested in carefully measuring various aspects of mother-child and father-child relationships so as to determine how they can allow for better understanding of the development of sleep rhythms, executive functioning, brain structure, and socio-emotional adjustment in normative child populations.

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Mageau, Geneviève

MAGEAU, Geneviève

Professeure titulaire

My current research focuses on the definition, the determinants and the outcomes of autonomy support (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989; Mageau & Vallerand, 2003) in hierarchical relationships in general, and in parent-child interactions in particular.

  • To be autonomy supportive is to consider another (e.g., a child) as a separate individual who has unique needs and feelings and who deserves respect and self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000). 
  • Autonomy support has often been operationalized using the following behaviors: (1) to acknowledge the other’s feelings, (2) to give a rational for rules and demands, and (3) to provide choice and opportunities for initiative taking (Grolnick, Frodi, & Bridges, 1984; Koestner, Ryan, Bernieri, & Holt, 1984).

I am also interested in looking at the other key interpersonal dimensions (i.e., involvement and structure) and how they combine with autonomy support to foster optimal functionning.

Finally, I am co-leader of the How to Project, whose goal is to evaluate the effects of the parenting program called "How to talk so kids will listen & how to listen so kids will talk". This program teaches parents how to offer a clear and consistent structure to their children, while supporting their autonomy and maintaining a warm interpersonal relationship.

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