The Representations of Early Experiences Lab (REEL) is a research group based in the Department of Psychology at New York University – Abu Dhabi. Our lab primarily focuses on the developmental and cognitive mechanisms that account for the enduring effects of early experience across the lifespan.

Meet the Team

Dr. Waters is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi and a Global Network Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. He received his PhD from Emory University in 2013.  


Latest Projects & Collaborations

Narrative Identity Study

This multi-site longitudinal study examines stability and change in the autobiographical narratives of emerging adults. We are especially interested in the functions these narratives serve (self, social, and directive). In addition, we hope to examine the role of culture and social construction of meaning in narrative identity.

Nanjing MetroBaby Study

A 10-year longitudinal study of child development in Urban China lead by an interdisciplinary group of researchers across the three NYU global sites (New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai). Our lab is currently examining the development of secure attachment in middle childhood, including the influences of early care giving, peer relationships, and teachers.

Stress, Attachment, and Cellular Aging

A multi-site project examining the effects of early experiences on cellular aging. In particular, we are interested in exploring whether secure base script knowledge moderates the association between childhood stress/adversity and telomere length in a sample of high and low-risk mothers.