Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Promoting Adjustment in Children through Evaluation (PACE) Lab
Advisor: Scott Leon, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 202
Lauren's research interests include strengthening families and supporting children at risk for social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties from underserved populations, with an overarching goal of improving health equity and reducing disparities. Lauren's current research examines factors that promote adjustment among children and families in the contexts of foster care, parental incarceration, and chronic illness.
Masters Thesis Title
Impact of Visitation with Incarcerated Fathers on Behavioral Adjustment among Children in the Foster Care System
Masters Thesis Abstract
This study sought to examine whether in-person visitation with incarcerated fathers related to less behavioral problems among children in foster care. The sample consisted of 282 youth (M = 10.18, SD = 2.36 years). Data were collected from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling revealed paternal incarceration was associated with increased externalizing slope trajectories (𝛽15 = .18, p = .025), but not internalizing. African American youth had lower externalizing slope trajectories compared to the remainder of the sample (𝛽20 = -.14, p = .032). The association between paternal incarceration and externalizing was attenuated among youth who visited fathers (𝛽25 = -.17, p = .008). Findings suggest paternal incarceration is associated with externalizing behaviors among youth in foster care, and visitation may be protective. In addition, African American youth appear more resilient in the face of paternal incarceration compared to youth of other backgrounds.
Masters Thesis Committee
Scott Leon, PhD; Arthur Lurigio, PhD
Ecological Systems of Youth in the Contexts of Parental Incarceration and Foster Care
Scott Leon, PhD; James Garbarino,PhD; Noni Gaylord-Harden, PhD; Rebecca Shlafer, PhD