colby-sawyer faculty

Maurissa Abecassis

Associate Professor, Social Sciences and Education
(603) 526-3781 |

Joined faculty in 2000. B.A. from University of Winnipeg; M.S.C., from University of Alberta; and Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. Professor Abecassis is a developmental psychologist with teaching and research experience in children's social and emotional development. A related area of interest is the interface between social policy decisions and their impact on children and families.

Areas of Expertise

  • Children's Peer Relationships
  • Lying and Deception in Children and Adults
  • Mutual Antipathies and Enemies Among Children
  • Social Policy: Real-world Implications of Psychological Research
  • Sources of Violent and Aggressive Behavior Among Children

Publications and Presentations

  • Abecassis, M., M. Sera, A. Yonas, and J. Schwade. "What's in a shape? Children represent shape variability differently than adults when naming objects." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2001).

  • Hartup, W.W., and M. Abecassis. "Friends and Enemies." in P. Smith, and C. Hart, Handbook of Social Development. UK: Blackwell, in press.

  • Abecassis, M., W.W. Hartup, G. Haselager, R. Scholte, and C.F.M. Van Lieshout. I dislike you and you dislike me: Prevalence and adaptational significance of mutual antipathies. Under review.

  • Abecassis, M. "Mutual antipathies and associated behavioral difficulties." Invited presentation at the ISSBD Social Policy Workshop: Parents, Peers and Schools. Lima, Peru. July 2001.

  • Abecassis, M., W. Hartup, C. Van Lieshout, G. Haselager, and R. Scholte. "I dislike you and you dislike me: The impact of mutual antipathies in childhood on adjustment and behavior in adolescence." SRCD. Minneapolis, Minn. April 2001.


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • B.A. (Honors), University of Winnipeg