Research suggests that exposure to various forms of traumatic events is associated with a host of negative outcomes in both child/adolescent and adult populations. The studies that will be conducted for my dissertation aim to understand the effects of interpersonal violence (e.g., exposure to community violence, physical abuse) and loss (e.g., permanent separation or death) on child, parent and family outcomes, respectively. My previous research projects have primarily focused on exposure to community violence and its effects on both family functioning and positive or neutral parenting practices as well as child psychosocial experiences. In addition to these research foci, one additional area of research that will be explored in my dissertation is the effects of childhood physical maltreatment on similar outcomes. Physical maltreatment in childhood and parenting abusive practices are both areas of research that I am less familiar with and would greatly appreciate working with an undergraduate who is interested in working in these important research areas. For this reason, an undergraduate who is interested in expanding their knowledge across this particular research area and in helping to conduct a literature review on childhood physical maltreatment and parenting abusive practices would be a huge asset to my research team. More broadly, this project would be a great opportunity for an undergraduate to support this very crucial part of my dissertation process while simultaneously learning specific research skills/strategies for effectively and efficiently conducting a literature review that they can apply to their own future research projects.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still evolving, it is possible that in-person research experiences will continue to be greatly impacted and may be limited. Fortunately, the work the undergraduate mentee would be doing (i.e., conducting a literature review) could easily be done entirely remotely if need be. I would also make sure to prioritize weekly, virtual check-in meetings to discuss progress on the task and would request summaries of what the undergraduate is finding.