About Us

Welcome to the Applied Developmental Psychology Lab, located at Victoria University of Wellington under the leadership of Dr Deirdre Brown.

Our research addresses questions about how adults communicate with children in a number of different contexts (e.g., legal, clinical, healthcare, and education). We are interested in various aspects of children’s memory and narrative development, and the ways in which adult interactions influence what and how children communicate about what they know. For example, we work at the intersection of developmental and forensic psychology to conduct research on children’s eyewitness testimony and effective interviewing techniques for helping children describe their experiences. We also investigate how specific tools (such as diagrams, and likert scales) may be useful in helping children to communicate.

In another line of research with colleagues at the University of Otago, we are investigating ways of communicating with parents about their child’s overweight and family-based intervention strategies for addressing childhood obesity.
We conduct our research through lab-based studies, such as staging a unique and interesting event at school and later interviewing children to see what they remember. In conjunction with Child, Youth and Family and the New Zealand Police, we also conduct field-based studies where we examine the factors that influence interviewing practice in investigations of child maltreatment.

We recently received a Marsden Fund Grant in support of new research on developmental reversals in children’s false memories for experienced events.

We welcome contact from potential collaborators or student volunteers who would like to get involved in any of the above studies, or new research projects.

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