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My area of specialization is Biocultural Anthropology. My cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research program utilizes naturalistic field study designs, such as sports, as a proxy for aggression and psychobiological stress.

I investigate how children's and adults' physiological responses differ/parallel to social and physical challenges.

Testosterone, estrogens, and cortisol are associated with energetic mobilization, aggression, and stress in the adult human and non-human animal literature. Children are also competitive, yet their gonads have not yet been activated to produce high levels of primary sex steroids (e.g., testosterone, estrogen).


Thus, I am interested in understanding how hormone mediators underpin competitive behavior and regulate physical and psychological stress during childhood development and how these evolved physiological responses shift across the life course. 
 

To assess these questions, I collect and evaluate adrenal hormones via saliva during social challenges, such as soccer (physical) and eSports, and academic competitions (nonphysical). I design quasi-experimental studies in Hong Kong and the USA to investigate competition effects on hormone change and variation during in- and out-group competition, and how these responses are related to individual and team performance measures.
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 In- vs Out-group Soccer Competition:
‘American and Hong Kongese juvenile boys’ hormone responses’


Juvenile Boys Dyadic Table-Tennis Competitions:
'Effects of competition on hormone responses & performance'


Academic competition:
'Impacts on juvenile stress, performance, and hormone changes'


Esports competitions:
'Effects on hormone changes among young adults'



Investigating girl's hormone responses to physical competition: 'USA vs Hong Kong'

Learning to Game, Gaming to Learn: 
'Investigating steroid hormone reactive changes, cognitive abilities, & learning strategies in eSports athletes across the life course' 
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