Ariel Ko

Parenting, attachment, and perfectionism: A test of the Perfectionism Social Disconnection Model in Children and Adolescents
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

When I began my undergraduate studies, I took on tutoring positions as a part-time job and worked with families with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The experience showed me first-hand how psychological disorders can negatively influence children’s social, personal, and learning development. More importantly, the experience demonstrated the profound impact that misinformed parental perceptions on mental health have in not only creating barriers for accessing professional support but also in affecting parental attitudes and responses to children’s behaviours. These experiences sparked my interest in pursuing academic research in the field of clinical psychology.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC provides abundant personal and professional development opportunities, along with capable mentors to create a supportive environment where research and leadership abilities can be effectively cultivated and utilized. It is through the many research assistant positions and scholarships available that I was able to get my foot into research and continue my academic career.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The clinical psychology program opens doors for students to pursue academia, clinical work, or both. The nature of the program also allows students to apply what was discovered in research in real-world clinical settings as well as use clinical experience to inform research studies.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

All the multicultural cuisines available across the city! Vancouver’s food scene is amazing and there’s always new restaurants to explore!

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Having a strong social support system is very integral to me being prepared for the graduate program and continuing to enjoy the journey.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take advantage of the travel grants to fund your research conferences and choose destinations you haven’t been to before! One thing I didn’t expect going into graduate studies is the opportunities and support to travel to different countries. Not only can you network with other researchers and disseminate your research findings, you also get to explore a whole new city!


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