Erika Bagley, Ph.D.
B.S., University of New Hampshire; M.S., Francis Marion University; Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Dr. Bagley teaches classes in Child Development, Adolescent Development, and Introductory Psychology.
My educational background includes training in both developmental and clinical psychology, as well as biomedical sciences. As a result, my interests are very interdisciplinary and include a focus on understanding socioeconomic effects on physical and mental health of children and adolescents.
My research falls into two (somewhat overlapping) main lines. One line of research focuses on sleep as a fundamental aspect of health and a potential mediator that links childhood poverty, family stress, and overall wellbeing. Scientific knowledge about how sleep contributes to adjustment, behavior, obesity, and general health is growing rapidly; the consensus is that in addition to diet and exercise, sleep should be considered the “third pillar” of health promoting behavior. Research has also shown that children from poor families receive worse and shorter sleep than their more well-to-do counterparts. Understanding why there is a “sleep disparity” is a critical first step that will help inform prevention efforts aimed at improving the sleep (and maybe general well being) of children at risk.
The second line of research focuses on the period of development known as “emerging adulthood” and on the factors that influence the wellbeing of individuals during this period. Emerging adulthood is thought to span from about 18 to 25 years of age, when people are no longer adolescents, but not quite adult. During this phase of the lifespan emerging adults are hopefully acquiring skills that will help them make a successful transition to adulthood. In my research, I am interested in asking questions about how a particular background or experience may influence the acquisition of those skills and aid in a successful transition to adulthood.