Congratulations to Alaina Wilson on receiving a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship! Alaina is a first-year graduate student (MS/PhD) in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Her program of research focuses on identifying strengths-based approaches to promote emotional development in early childhood, regardless of the resources available to children and families. Her project for the NSF-GRFP investigates pretend play as a cost-effective tool to promote healthy emotional development in early childhood. She will observe children’s play to identify behaviors that are associated with improvements in emotional skills, such as children’s emotion regulation. She plans to eventually incorporate these behaviors into a pretend play intervention that parents can easily utilize at home to promote development.
Alaina’s mentor is Dr. Rachel Thibodeau-Nielsen.