Exploring Children's Socio-emotional Development and Cultural Influences

September 27, 2023

Raha Hassan

Western University's Department of Psychology is proud to welcome its newest faculty member, Raha Hassan, a developmental scientist with a background in clinical psychology and an interest in understanding the complexities of children's social and emotional development.

Hassan holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McMaster University. Her graduate research centered on the broad exploration of self-regulation in typically developing children, with a particular focus on the concept of self-regulation as a "double-edged sword." During this time, she also began considering the role of culturally specific perceptions of various temperamental styles in North America compared to other regions. In an ongoing cross-cultural study, Hassan is actively collecting data to further investigate these cultural differences in the perception of temperamental styles and their potential influence on children's development in Canada and Iraq.

“I am excited to continue extending my program of research during my time at Western by better understanding the role of contextual factors, including country, immigration status, and smaller-scale factors like the familiarity of social partners in contributing to children’s social adjustment.”

Hassan's primary areas of expertise revolve around children's socioemotional development. She aims to better understand the multifaceted factors that contribute to children's well-being, with a particular focus on the role of temperamental traits. To conduct her research, Hassan employs a longitudinal approach, following children over time to gain deeper insights into how they perceive and interact with their social environment. Her research methods encompass a wide range of assessments, including behavioural observations, questionnaires, and physiological measurements, to address her research questions comprehensively.

Hassan's most recent research findings can be explored in her publication titled  “Developmental patterns of children's shyness: Relations with physiological, emotional, and regulatory responses to being treated unfairly", where she examines how shy children in particular respond to being treated unfairly on an affective, behavioral, and physiological level.

Hassan is excited to be joining the Department of Psychology. “I am thrilled to be joining an accomplished and welcoming group of scientists. It is great to see a department with such diverse interests working together across different research clusters.”

With Raha Hassan's extensive knowledge and dedication to understanding children's development, Western University's Department of Psychology is further strengthened in its mission to advance the field of psychology and provide valuable insights into the human experience.