Lab Members

Rachel Baitz, MA

My research interests broadly focus on adolescent social and emotional learning, with a specific focus on digital privacy and online sharing. My Master’s research investigated how online applications may affect the behaviour responses of youth and whether or not adolescents are motivated to share information about themselves online. Findings revealed that adolescents are highly motivated to post online, even when warned of the possible drawbacks of doing so. My dissertation will more deeply investigate the mechanisms of adolescent online posting behaviours, with a focus on determining protective factors of constant digital connections to others. Further, I continue to take an interest in the development of apps and online tools that address the online behaviours of youth as well as their ability to regulate their emotions.


Takara Bond, BA

I am a Master of Arts student in the Human Development, Learning and Culture program at UBC. My primary research interests surrounded impact of the internet on adolescents and emerging adults’ lives. More specifically, I am interested in examining how students use social network (SNS) websites, and how this use impacts academics. My Master’s research will examine the characteristics of post-secondary students who use SNS, their manner and motivation for using SNS, and its relationship to academic success.




Natasha Parent, BA

I am a Masters of Arts student in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture program. My broad research interests are in adolescent and young adult problematic mobile phone use and behaviours. More specifically, I am interested in the role of attachment style in young people’s relationship with their mobile devices and its impact on determinants of wellbeing..




Omar Garcia Navarrete, BA

I am interested in Social Media Learning (SML), Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and the online socialization processes with an emphasis on adolescents and parents’ online relationships, and behaviour. My main research is focused on the new theories that are starting to explain the online self-regulated learning process and its implications in the future of academics the way we understand them today. I have an interest in the development of models that will be able to explain the cyclic process of collective culture versus individualistic culture because of our use and connectivity through social media, more specifically socialization, epigenetics and gender identity development.


Hezron Z. Onditi, MA

Research Interests:
I am a Phd Candidate in Human Learning, Development, and Cutlure.  My research interests fall in the area of child and adolescent development and well-being in a dynamic world of Information and Communication Technologies.  Precisely, I am using a socio-ecological model to understand cyberbullying within a Tanzanian context, as well as how internal individual characteristics and external factors interact to influence cyberbullying, risk behaviors, and coping mechanisms for Tanzanian adolescents.


Johanna Sam, MSc

Research Interests:
I am a proud member of Tsilhqot’in Nation. Realizing the importance of a strength-based approach, I am involved in creating innovative youth-friendly educational and mental health resources. I completed a Master of Science in Population & Public Health with the support of CIHR’s Intersections of Mental Health Perspectives in Addictions Research Training Fellowship. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Human Development, Learning, and Culture with UBC’s Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, Special Education. My Doctoral research explores the association between cyberbullying with young people’s social and emotional wellbeing. I have been awarded several Graduate Fellowships, including SSHRC’s Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellow. I have a passion for making a difference in the lives of young people, especially in Aboriginal communities.


Tierney Wisniewski, BA

My broad research interests are in the transition to adulthood and adulthood, motivation and development from a self-determination theory perspective, and alternative education. My Masters research examines how students in an alternative set of university courses were supported in redefining their role as students, and the impacts of that on their educational engagement, as well as how others in those context responded to them enacting their new roles.