Our Lab

Current Members

Laura K Taylor (PhD)

Lecturer in Psychology at University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast.

Laura’s research is framed by an intergroup developmental approach to study risk and resilience processes for youth in settings of protracted conflict. Her work has implications for child outcomes, such as aggression, prosocial behaviours and social identity, as well as broader psychosocial processes, such as shared education and intergroup relations, which may fuel or constrain conflict. Toward this end, she studies how and why violence affects behaviours and attitudes related to conflict transformation, primarily during childhood and adolescence. 

Dearbháile Counihan

Postgraduate Research Assistant

Dearbháile holds a Master’s degree in Psychological Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, both of which were earned at University College Dublin. She became a member of the Helping Kids! Lab during her Master’s in 2020-21, completing her thesis under the supervision of Dr Laura Taylor. Dearbháile’s current research interests are centred on identifying the individual and family-level factors that predict children’s intergroup prosocial behaviours, with thanks to the generous support and funding of the Irish Research Council (IRC New Foundations) and the Swiss Embassy in Dublin.

Bethany Corbett (PhD)

Postdoctoral Researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.

Bethany has been working with Helping Kids! since September of 2021. Her background is in socio-cognitive and prosocial development, with a current focus on intergroup processes.

Isabelle Nic Craith

Isabelle Nic Craith

Postgraduate Research Assistant

Isabelle holds a BSc in psychology from University College Dublin and is a Masters in Cultural Psychology candidate in the University of Amsterdam. Her undergraduate thesis focused on how young people’s causal attributions for mental illnesses influence stigma towards individuals with those illnesses. Isabelle works as a research assistant within the Helping Kids! Lab, investigating how superordinate identities, such as European identity, develop among youth, and how they may contribute to social inclusion.

Isabelle Zammit

Isabelle Zammit

PhD Student at University College Dublin

Isabelle is currently working on her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Laura K. Taylor. She is a teacher by profession and has worked with NGOs in different countries. Her PhD focuses on how religiousness is transmitted in early childhood, and how transmission effects children’s prosocial behaviours.

Lab Alumni

Lauren Walsh

Lauren Walsh

Former MPsychSc Student (2021-22)

Lauren holds a Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology from Dublin Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Music from Dundalk IT. Lauren worked as a research assistant for the ROI/NI Developing Belief project. Her masters research focused on children’s belief development in collaboration with Jocelyn Dautel and Hannah Kramer.

Dean O’Driscoll

Dean O’Driscoll (DECAP)

Chartered Educational and Child Psychologist

Dean holds a Doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology from Queen’s University Belfast. While working with the Helping Kids! Lab, Dean’s research explored intergroup processes among youth living amid protracted conflict, including the development of prosocial behaviours. Dean currently works as an Educational and Child Psychologist supporting children, adolescents and adults with Special Educational Needs within public service and private practice.  

Alex Jacobs

Alex Jacobs

Former Helping Kids! Research Assistant

Alex holds a BA in History and International Affairs from Northeastern University. She worked as a Research Assistant for Helping Kids! at Queen’s University Belfast in 2019, supporting the development of a new study on intergroup resource allocation among school-aged children.