Meredith Martin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
Martin’s research is driven by a desire to help children overcome social adversity by effectively capitalizing on personal strengths and social supports. She focuses on the motivations underlying social behavior and the ecological factors that influence how individuals balance competing goals across development. At its core is the contention that maintaining a sense of safety and security is a fundamental human need. With this in mind, she aims to identify the confluence of intra- and interpersonal factors that shape the strategies children adopt to maintain a sense of security across relationship contexts and to pinpoint the unfolding developmental consequences of balancing security with other developmental goals.
Martin is particularly interested in the affective, psychological, and behavioral nature of children’s coping with interpersonal threat (e.g., anger, aggression, rejection, competition). In the family, her research has focused on interparental conflict as a salient stressor for children. In school contexts, she is primarily interested in peer threats, ranging from social exclusion to bullying, and how these complex social dynamics interact with other interpersonal relationships (e.g., close friendships). Currently, Martin is serving as head of the developmental branch of the Nebraska Bullying Prevention Academy at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and is studying the role of insecurity in the experience and perpetration of school bullying.