Who we are

Laura K Taylor (PhD) is a Lecturer in Psychology at University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast. Her 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. 

Jocelyn Dautel is a Lecturer (Education) in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University, Belfast. Jocelyn holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago.  Jocelyn is interested in the development of social cognition, or in other words, how young children think about the world around them and navigate their social relationships. Her research uses experimental methods from cognitive and social psychology to understand the processes underlying children’s thinking about social groups, with a particular emphasis on how social context influences these processes.

Risa Rylander completed her MSc in the Psychology of Childhood Adversity at Queen’s University, Belfast. Her thesis project explored how primary school children from differing school settings begin to develop and recognize social categories. In particular, how the types of primary schools children attend in post-accord Northern Ireland may affect the concreteness or fluidity of perceived social categories. Since joining the Helping Kids! team, her work has involved children’s recognition of social markers commonly ascribed to a particular social category or background as linked to their preferences helping behaviours and outgroup attitudes.