Academic Profile : Faculty

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Dr Anne Rifkin-Graboi
Head, Infancy and Early Childhood Research, OER Centre for Research in Child Development
Senior Research Scientist, National Institute of Education - Office of Education Research
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What accounts for differences in the way we remember, organize, plan, regulate, and perceive information? How do differences in early caregiving affect these functions? Under what conditions do such differences impact our daily lives and well-being?

What is the role of developmental timing in the association between experience and development? Can experience alter the pace of development? Why do caregiving practices differ from one family to the next? What can we do to help families and children in need of support?

These are the types of questions I seek to answer. Prior to coming to NIE, I investigated similar topics in my role as a Principal Investigator and Head of the Neurodevelopment Research Centre at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. There I worked closely with researchers in the GUSTO, EGAIN, DEGA, and SPRESTO cohorts to investigate the impact of exposure to a variety of
forms of experience (e.g., antenatal mental health, maternal behavior, anesthesia, gestational diabetes, breastfeeding, etc.) on aspects of child neurobehavioral development. As a GUSTO PI I am still privileged to be part of these pioneering studies. In addition, I am the PI on the “BE POSITIVE” study, a collaborative effort between my CRCD colleagues and investigators from Singhealth's Polyclinics to hone in on early life factors that may influence the way children "prioritize" achieving one skill over the next. BE POSITIVE is designed, in many ways, to be a platform for collaborative research focused upon the ways that home, community, and school experiences and expectations influence child development.
I am also the PI on another highly collaborative effort, the NRF funded "SPACE" project, which uses a combination of behavioral and neuroscientific tools to uncover the pathways linking socioeconomic status to subsequent school achievement. In its totality SPACE aims to elaborate on the complex interrelations between socioeconomic status, parenting, preschoolers' emotional, cognitive and neural development, and performance in mathematics. Understanding the pathways between these processes can lead to better interventions.

I am also a certified parent-child intervener, within the evidence based intervention, Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD). My methodological training includes formal reliability on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and Frightening/Frightened (FR) systems, and I am additionally a trainer for the "Berkeley 6 Year (Attachment) Reunion" coding system. I have designed and conducted experiments with event related potentials, eye tracking, and parental sensitivity.
More generally, I have experience working with infants, young children, parents, and even university students, nonhuman primates, and hyenas. I am a member of ;Infancy' s Editorial Board and an Associate Editor for Attachment and Human Development, and appeared as a contributor in the first episode of
Netflix Nutopia's docuseries, "Babies."

Current Appointment
Senior Research Scientist, National Institute of Education, Singapore (Apr 2018 - Present)

Previous Appointments
• Head, Neurodevelopment Research Centre, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A*STAR, Singapore (2011 - 2018)
• Principle Investigator, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A*STAR, Singapore (2013 - 2018)
• Research Scientist, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A*STAR, Singapore (2009 - 2013)
• Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School (2006 - 2009)
Attachment relationships and Schemas,Early Childhood,Executive Functioning,Fronto-limbic structures and functioning,Health,Maternal Mental Health,Memory,Sensitive Parenting,Stress
  • Optimising pre-schoolers working memory and numerical processing capabilities
  • Activity-based Evaluation Tools for Values
  • Beginning Early: SingaPore's Ongoing Study starting in Infancy of Twenty-first-century-skills, Individual differences, and Variance in the Environment (BE POSITIVE study)
  • The Importance of CARE: Covid-19, Attachment, Resilience, and Early Life
  • Exploratory study of children's values and the association between values and prosocial behaviour
  • Exploratory study of children's values and the association between values and prosocial behaviour
  • Mobile Web App for Preschool Screening of Language Weakness in English and Mandarin (MAPS-LEM)
  • The Instrument Pilot Study for Research on Early Education and Development in Singapore (REEDS-Pilot)