Jaimie Monk

"Just give me some space". The effect of poverty on child development: the role of stress, cognitive load and screen time

PhD student Jaimie Monk

Email: jaimie.monk@vuw.ac.nz

Supervisors: Professor Arthur Grimes and Professor Philip Morrison (School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences)


Jaimie has an Honours degree (first class) in Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science both from Victoria University of Wellington. She has tutored public policy, public economics and public management courses.


BA (Hons) in Public Policy – Victoria University of Wellington

BA in Economics and Political Science – Victoria University of Wellington

Research interests

Jaimie’s research interest stems from her desire to see the psychological costs of policies taken into account in their design. Her PhD consequently explores how the cognitive load of poverty affects parents’ decision making. This will be done by using Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of child development to frame the relationship between poverty, stress and cognitive load, screen use and the child’s development. Three questions will be used to empirically test these relationships using longitudinal data:

  1. Is there an association between poverty (and other factors such as unemployment) and parental stress and cognitive load?
  2. Is there an association between parental stress and cognitive load and children’s screen use?
  3. Is this screen use associated with child behavior?

The preschool years are the most critical stage of child development and the most effective time to target policy interventions. Therefore, this research will focus on parents of pre-schoolers.