Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

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Diana Acosta

Diana Acosta
Training Track: Developmental
Lab: Children's Memory and Learning Lab (Dr. Haden) & Bilingual Language Development Lab (Dr. Gamez)
Advisors: Catherine Haden, Ph.D. and Perla Gamez, Ph.D.

Interests

My research interests include children's cognitive development, specifically how parent-child interactions impact children's learning and memory in low-income, minority populations. I am also interested in the role bilingualism plays in children's learning and development.

Michelle Adzido

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Social Justice & Intergroup Relations Lab  
Advisor: Robyn Mallett, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 218

Interests

Research interests include prejudice, discrimination, stigma, stereotyping intergroup relations & contact, as well as target responses to sexist and racist remarks and/or disparaging humor  

Grace Jhe Bai

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PACE Lab  
Advisor: Scott Leon, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 202

Interests

Resilience factors that promote adaptive adjustment among youth exposed to traumatic stressors, such as child maltreatment and exposure to community violence 

Masters Thesis Title

The protective effect of kinship support on the adjustment of youth in foster care 

Masters Thesis Committee

Scott Leon and James Garbarino

Dissertation Title

Child Maltreatment and Psychosocial Functioning among Foster Care Youth: Self-Concept as a Mediator and a Moderator 

Dissertation Committee

Scott Leon, James Garbarino, Noni Gaylord-Harden, and Maryse Richards, Ph.D.

Emma-Lorraine Bart-Plange

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Parents and Children Coping Together (PACCT) Lab  
Advisor: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 248

Interests

Currently, I study stress and coping with African American youth and families. Other research interests include acculturative stress, coping behaviors of immigrant and refugee youth and families, and public mental health concerns in low and middle income countries (LMICs).  

Masters Thesis Title

The effects of acculturative stress on mental health outcomes of African immigrant and refugee youth: Coping as a moderator 

Masters Thesis Abstract

For immigrant and refugee adolescents, acculturative stress such as social and family conflict may be experienced as a result of the acculturation process (Berry, 2006; Mena, Padilla, & Maldonado, 1987). While research documents that these adolescents demonstrate patterns of associations between acculturative stress and internalizing symptoms, development of coping strategies may help youth to address adverse stressors (Oppedal, Roysamb, & Heyerdahl, 2005; Zimmer-Gembeck & Skinner, 2011). In addition to mainstream coping strategies, culturally-relevant coping strategies may be used by ethnic minorities, particularly those of African descent (Utsey, Brown, & Bolden, 2004). The purpose of the current study was to determine if mainstream and culturally-relevant coping strategies are successful in moderating the deleterious effects of acculturative stress on the mental health of African immigrant and refugee youth.

The current study was comprised of 14 African immigrant and refugee adolescents between the ages of 11-18 (mean age = 14.65; 35.7% female). Participants were recruited from a church and a community-based organization serving immigrants and refugees. Data assessing levels of objective and perceived acculturative stress, use of mainstream and culturally-relevant coping strategies, externalizing and internalizing symptoms was collected. Regression analyses were used to determine whether coping higher acculturative stress levels were related to higher levels of culturally-relevant coping use and if coping moderated the stress outcomes relationship.
Consistent with hypothesis, higher levels of objective acculturative stress were related to higher levels of Maintaining Harmony coping use. Further, status (immigrant vs. refugee) appeared to influence this relationship. No other culturally-relevant strategies were related to acculturative stress. Inconsistent with hypothesis, active and avoidant coping strategies did not moderate the stress-outcomes relationship; however, support seeking coping affected this relationship in a direction different than predicted. Consistent with hypotheses, Maintaining Harmony coping moderated the relationship between objective stress and internalizing/externalizing symptoms. Inconsistent with hypotheses, no other culturally-relevant strategies affected this relationship. Results are discussed with regard to objective and perceived stress and implications of status on these outcomes.
 

Masters Thesis Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden and James Garbarino 

Dissertation Title

Cultural Assets and Racial Discrimination: A Person-based Exploration of Culturally Relevant Coping with African American Male Adolescents

Dissertation Abstract

African-American youth from economically-disadvantaged, urban families and communities are disproportionately exposed to stressful life conditions, placing them at increased risk for mental health problems (Gonzales & Kim, 1997; Grant et al., 2000). A subset of a broader domain of the ways children and adolescents adapt to stress is coping (Compas, 1998). Especially within the domain of adolescence, the general pattern of strategies youth use to cope with stress impacts their current and future emotional adjustment (Compas et al., 2001). Coping research with African American youth has found evidence for racial discrimination predicting use of culturally-relevant coping strategies (Gaylord-Harden & Cunningham, 2009) and suggests that low-income African American youths may draw upon other unique and culturally-relevant coping strategies that are not captured on existing measures of universal coping strategies. Culturally-relevant coping strategies attempt to take into account cultural and contextual factors that may affect the manifestation and utilization of coping strategies. Culturally-relevant coping strategies are derived from a particular cultural worldview or orientation (Noh & Kaspar, 2003; Beru, 2002). For African American youth, culturally-relevant coping strategies may be based in an Afrocentric worldview that is rooted in African philosophies and cultural traditions (Utsey, Adams, & Bolden, 2000; Chambers et al., 1998). African American youth possess varying levels of identity with this Africultural orientation (Jagers & Mock, 1993). These coping strategies are reflected in a 34-item measure called the Youth Africultural Coping System Inventory (Y-ACSI; Gaylord-Harden & Utsey, 2007). The four factors of the Y-ACSI include: Emotional Debriefing (managing stress by expressing oneself emotionally and creatively); Spiritual-Centered Coping, (spiritually-based attempts to manage a situation); Maintaining Harmony, (creating a harmonious balance with environmental stimuli and others); and Communalistic/Collectivistic Coping, (coping through relationships with others; Utsey at al., 2000). Given the unique coping patterns of African-American boys, the current study sought to validate the Y-ACSI measure in a sample of African American adolescent males, determine if racial discrimination exposure predicts use of culturally relevant coping strategies, and create latent groups based on coping strategy use and racial discrimination exposure to compare groups on various psychosocial outcomes.

Dissertation Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden, Helena Dagadu, James Garbarino, and Catherine Santiago

Rayne Bozeman

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: BROAD Lab: Behavioral Research on Acceptance and Diversity 
Advisor: Robyn Mallett, Ph.D.  
Office: Coffey Hall 306

Interests

My research focuses on ways to reduce intergroup prejudice. Confronting prejudice can change others' biased behavior and attitudes. However, individuals face many barriers in the decision to confront. This is in part due to the social costs associated with confrontational responses - you may be disliked or rejected for speaking up. Additionally, individuals may simply not know the best way to respond.  My research investigates ways that people can overcome these barriers and confront bias. Specifically, I train individuals to use confrontation strategies and reduce their fears of rejection. These simple interventions have the power to help people to dynamically respond to everyday instances of prejudice - both online and in face-to-face interactions. 

Masters Thesis Title

Bystander Confronting of Anti-Black Racism: Effects of Belonging Affirmation and Confrontation Training

Masters Thesis Abstract

Confronting has the potential to reduce prejudice, especially when implemented by a non-target group member. Not knowing how to respond and fearing social rejection have been identified as barriers to confronting in previous studies. The current study tests whether providing training to confront prejudice and affirming the need to belong helps individuals overcome these barriers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three training conditions: prejudice confrontation training (PCT), rude comment training (RCT), or no training control group (NT). Participants were also randomly assigned to one of two belonging conditions: belonging affirmation or control. Participants were then asked to imagine that a friend posted a racist Facebook comment on their page, and were asked to respond to the comment. Responses were coded for whether participants labeled the comment as racist, number of confrontation responses and strategy use. Training, belonging, and race interacted to predict participants’ confronting behavior. PCT increased confrontations for participants of color, whereas RCT did so for Whites. Whites confronted more when belonging was affirmed, whereas participants of color did so when belonging was not affirmed.

Masters Thesis Committee

Robyn K. Mallett, PhD; Tracy DeHart, PhD

Dissertation Title

The Impact of Regulatory Fit on Confrontations of Bias

Dissertation Abstract

(IN PROGRESS) Anti-Black racism remains a major problem in contemporary American life, with deleterious consequences for Blacks. Whites possess social power to change the status quo, and can be allies in the movement for social justice. Confrontation has the potential to reduce biased behavior and prejudiced attitudes, yet many people refrain from spontaneously confronting. Persuasive appeals may encourage ally confronting. The present studies test whether experiencing regulatory fit enhances the persuasiveness of a pro-confrontation message.  When individuals adopt goal pursuit strategies that match their regulatory orientation, they experience a sense of fit. This fit makes individuals feel better about the tasks they are engaged in. A pro-confrontation message could be framed in terms of approaching egalitarianism or avoiding prejudice. By matching allies’ regulatory focus with the message frame, I posit that that the resulting regulatory fit will increase confronting behavior and feeling right about the message relative to regulatory misfit. These studies are unique in examining the role of persuasion, message frame, and regulatory fit in confrontation. The results could inform anti-racism interventions and impact prejudice-reduction.

Dissertation Committee

Robyn Mallett, Tracy DeHart, Victor Ottati, Noni Gaylord-Harden

Stephanie Brewer

Training Track: Clinical, child subspecialty

Lab: CASA Lab  

Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D. 

Office: N/A

Email: sbrewer@luc.edu   

Webpage: Research Gate


Interests

I am particularly interested in promoting equitable mental health services for historically underserved youth. To achieve this long-term goal, my program of research focuses on: (1) understanding the contextually relevant stressors and culturally salient strengths that impact psychosocial wellbeing, (2) identifying evidence-based, culturally responsive interventions for children and adolescents, and (3) improving the implementation of contextually relevant and culturally responsive evidence-based interventions.

Masters Thesis Title

The impacts of family environment and stress reactivity on daily mood for low-income Latino adolescents 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Low-income Latino adolescents are at an increased risk for developing psychopathology, as the chronic stressors faced by those who grow up in poverty have an adverse cumulative effect, and the relationship between exposure to poverty and negative mental health outcomes is intensified for ethnic minority youth. One of the most impactful ways in which poverty causes deteriorations in adolescent mental health is through heightened levels of parent-child conflict. Another harmful result of the multiple stressors faced by poor youth is the dysregulation of the stress reactivity system. For Latino adolescents, problems with mood are a particular concern, as Latino adolescents have higher rates of mood problems than any other ethnic group. Fortunately, these youth may be able to benefit from the buffering effect of the cultural value of familism. Higher levels of familism may buffer against the harmful effects of parent-child conflict and inflated stress reactivity on mood. The present study utilizes a daily diary methodology to examine these processes in a nuanced way for low-income Latino middle school students. This research examines whether greater dysregulation of the stress reactivity system exacerbates the impact of high parent-child conflict on mood problems, while greater levels of familism buffer against mood problems, using hierarchical linear models that incorporate all daily ratings for each adolescent.

Masters Thesis Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD; Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD

Dissertation Title

The roles of HPA axis activity and attentional bias in the development of anxiety symptoms in low-income Mexican-origin children

Dissertation Abstract

The overarching goal of this research is to increase understanding of the development of anxiety in children of low-income Mexican-origin immigrants. Mexican-origin children display disproportionately high rates of mental disorders such as anxiety, as they face many chronic stressors related to poverty and immigration. A likely mediator of this process is HPA axis activity, causing a buildup of cortisol in the body in response to chronic stress. There is a large amount of evidence indicating that HPA axis activity is a mechanism through which accumulated poverty-related stress causes mental illness, but this mediator has not been examined in relation to culturally relevant immigration-related stress. Although chronic stress related to poverty and immigration likely causes chronic HPA axis activity, which can lead to problems with anxiety, not all highly stressed children develop anxiety, so there may be a moderator implicated in anxiety development. Neurocognitive processes such as attentional bias to threat have been shown to determine the trajectory of children’s anxious behavior later in life. Attentional bias to threat is a key component of the development and maintenance of anxiety, yet it has not been examined as a potential moderator distinguishing the highly stressed children who develop anxiety from those who do not. The present research focuses on HPA axis activity and attentional bias to threat in order to explain why some low-income Mexican-origin children develop anxiety symptoms and some do not. This study uses a culturally relevant measure of immigration-related stress and examines chronic HPA axis activity as a causal mechanism in the development of anxiety. Further, this research examines attentional bias to threat as a moderator of the association between chronic HPA axis activity and anxiety symptoms. The present study addresses these questions with a longitudinal research design in a community sample of low-income Mexican-origin children.

Dissertation Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD; Rebecca L. Silton, PhD; Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD; Christine P. Li-Grining, PhD

Kimberly Burdette

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Activity Matters Lab  
Advisor: Amy Bohnert, Ph.D. 
Office: On internship (of campus)
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

The links between adolescent health, body image, and self-concept; promoting healthy weight behaviors in girls; eating disorders in children and adolescents 

Masters Thesis Title

Self-Objectification and Self-Surveillance in African American and Latina Girls: Links with Body Dissatisfaction and Self-Worth 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Drawing on a sample of low-income African American and Latina girls, the goal of the present investigation was to examine the relevance of self-objectification and self-surveillance to body dissatisfaction and self-worth. Body mass index (BMI), ethnicity, and perceived athletic competence were examined as moderators of these relations. Participants were 10- to 14-year-old African American and Latina girls recruited from a summer camp targeting low-income, urban girls. Surveys that include measures of self-objectification, self-surveillance, body dissatisfaction, self-worth, and perceived athletic competence were individually administered to participants by a research assistant. Height and weight were measured to calculate BMI. Ethnicity information was obtained from surveys completed by parents. Results indicated that self-objectification and self-surveillance were related, and older girls reported higher levels of each. No main effects of self-objectification were found, however, higher levels of self-surveillance were associated with lower self-worth. Among African American girls with higher BMI, self-objectification was associated with less body dissatisfaction. Among Latina girls with higher perceived athletic competence, higher self-objectification was associated with lower self-worth. Findings indicate that self-objectification and self-surveillance are indeed experienced by low-income, ethnic minority girls and increase across the transition to adolescence. Self-surveillance may be particularly important to address in interventions targeting self-worth of ethnic minority girls. Finally, results suggest the importance of ethnicity, BMI, and perceived athletic competence in understanding how self-objectification and self-surveillance relate to well-being among ethnic minority girls. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Amy Bohnert and Denise Davidson 

Dissertation Title

Friendship Selection Patterns among Low-Income Minority Girls/Adolescents: Links to Obesity Risk

Dissertation Abstract

A growing body of research has argued that efforts to reduce pediatric obesity often fail because they do not consider the larger social context in which adolescents spend their time, such as the adolescent friendship network. Indeed, there are two striking patterns with which adolescents tend to select friends (selection patterns) that may hinder efforts to reduce obesity among adolescents. First, because of stigma against obesity, healthy weight youth often avoid befriending overweight youth. Second, as a result of this exclusion, overweight youth are left to select only each other as friends, forming small groups of friends who are all overweight. Research suggests that both of these selection patterns may maintain and promote obesity risk of overweight adolescents. Research on contexts that facilitate alternative selection patterns, particularly social inclusion of overweight youth and friendship groups with diverse weight status, is thus sorely needed. Summertime programs offer an ideal context for understanding how such selection patterns may be fostered because they bring together many youth who do not previously know one another, allowing youth to regroup into new friendship networks. Furthermore, research suggests that summertime programs may facilitate friendships between adolescents who would not normally select one another as friends. Drawing on a sample of low-income girls of color, this interdisciplinary, multi-method study will examine (1) the selection patterns that occur related to weight status in a community-based summer program for girls focused on healthy lifestyles (2) whether the observed selection patterns within the program relate to change in obesogenic behaviors over the course of the program, and (3) whether observed selection patterns and change in obesogenic behaviors differs for girls of different weight statuses. Participants will be ninety-one 10-14-year-old girls recruited from the program. Outcomes will be assessed at two time points: before and at the end of the program. At both time points, body mass index, dietary intake, physical activity, and sleep will be assessed. At the end of the program, friendship ties will be assessed to capture friendship networks that emerged during the program.

Dissertation Committee

Amy Bohnert, Robyn Mallett, David Shoham, and Colleen Conley

Amanda Burnside

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Parents and Children Coping Together (PACCT) Lab  
Advisor: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 248

Interests

Pathways to community violence exposure and factors that may prevent youth from negative outcomes after experiencing violence exposure.  

Masters Thesis Title

Psychological Predictors of Community Violence Exposure in Ethnic Minority Male Adolescents 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Urban, minority males are disproportionately impacted by community violence
exposure (ECV). However, person-based analyses have demonstrated variability in rates of ECV, suggesting that demographic risk factors do not always result in increased ECV, and it may be important to examine the utility of psychological factors in this relationship. Research suggests that depressive symptoms may actually exacerbate the risk of ECV. The current study examines the effect of internalizing symptoms on future ECV. Data were derived from a larger longitudinal study of adolescents who had committed a criminal offense. This subset of 184 participants ranged in age from 14-18. Results indicated that higher levels of depressive cognitions predicted more ECV over time, above and beyond demographic variables, somatic symptoms, affective symptoms, and prior levels of ECV. There was no significant indirect relationship between
depressive symptoms and ECV. Implications for intervention and further research are discussed. 
 

Masters Thesis Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden and Maryse Richards 

Kyle Deane

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab  
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 442

Interests

trauma, posttraumatic stress, exposure to community violence, gang violence, risk and resilience, family functioning, childhood and adolescent development, pediatric health psychology, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychological assessment

Masters Thesis Title

Posttraumatic Stress, Family Functioning, and Adjustment in Urban African American Youth Exposed to Violence: A Moderated Mediation Model

Masters Thesis Abstract

Exposure to community violence is a pressing public health issue that disproportionately impacts poor, urban, and ethnic minority youth. It has been associated with a multitude of negative externalizing and internalizing symptoms, most frequently with posttraumatic stress. This study investigates the role that posttraumatic stress has in mediating the relation between exposure to community violence and other adjustment difficulties. Moreover, because not all adolescents experience these difficulties in the face of significant violence exposure, the study examines the moderating role of family cohesion and support in buffering the effect of violence and posttraumatic stress on later adjustment. A sample of 268 low-income, urban, African American sixth graders living in high crime neighborhoods participated in a three-year longitudinal study measuring the effects of community violence exposure. Family cohesion and daily family support exhibited a protective-stabilizing or buffering effect for several of the proposed outcomes. Posttraumatic stress was shown to mediate the effect of witnessing community violence on subsequent internalizing symptoms and aggression. However, the strength of these indirect effects was dependent on level of family cohesion. The findings provide evidence in support for interventions provided at both individual and family levels. Mental health providers working with this population should be aware of the intertwined nature of chronic exposure to community violence, posttraumatic stress, and subsequent maladaptive outcomes

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse Richards, Ph.D. and James Garbarino, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

Examining Exposure to Community Violence, Trauma, Adjustment, and Family Functioning in Youth Living in Low-Income Urban Environments: Differing Methods of Measurement

Dissertation Abstract

The three studies presented in the current proposal seek to address the interlocking nature of exposure to community violence, adjustment difficulties, such as posttraumatic stress, and family functioning among ethnic minority adolescents living in economically disadvantaged and socially toxic neighborhoods. Understanding the nexus and complex interactions between these variables is critical to more effectively address intervention efforts and policy issues in this area. Furthermore, each study in this collection utilizes various methodologies and measurements of violence exposure, its consequences, and familial protective factors, providing a more nuanced understanding of these relationships. These differing approaches address the aforementioned methodological limitations present in the current literature, including inconsistent definitions of violence exposure, overreliance on retrospective questionnaires, cross-sectional designs, and atheoretical foundations, which inhibit a cohesive understanding of the nature and effects of violence. 

Dissertation Committee

Maryse Richards, James Garbarino, Cate Santiago, and David Treering

Cara DiClemente

Cara DiClemente
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey 442/443
Webpage: Research Gate 

Interests

I am interested in discovering potential protective factors and assessing interventions for reducing externalizing problems in underserved youth exposed to trauma.

Masters Thesis Title

Coping with Exposure to Community Violence: Assessing the Protective Effects of Behavioral Avoidance on Delinquency in Low-Income Urban Adolescents

Masters Thesis Abstract

Exposure to community violence has disabling effects on the mental health, behavior, and academic achievement of many youth in the US, with especially high rates of exposure for African American adolescents from underserved, urban communities (Cooley-Quille et al., 2001; Fowler et al., 2009; Zimmerman & Messner, 2013; Voisin, 2007). Community violence is strongly linked to externalizing problems such as aggression and delinquency, suggesting a great need for preventing and reducing juvenile misconduct in these communities (Fowler et al., 2009; McMahon & Washburn, 2003; Wagstaff et al., 2016). In the cognitive-transactional model of stress and coping, youth engage in particular coping strategies in response to community violence exposure, with certain strategies that may exacerbate or reduce externalizing symptoms (Forsythe & Compas, 1987; Connor-Smith et al., 2000). Recent literature suggests that avoidant coping, specifically behavioral avoidance, may be most effective and adaptive for youth that are exposed to uncontrollable stressors like violence in their neighborhood (Grant et al., 2000; Rosario et al., 2003; Carothers et al., 2016). The current study will investigate the utility of four different types of coping strategies (behavioral avoidance, behavioral approach, cognitive avoidance, and cognitive approach) in reducing aggression and delinquency in 284 African American youth (mean age = 11.65, 59.9% female) from low-income, high crime communities. The study will also explore the influence of gender on these effects under the presumption that boys may benefit more from behavioral avoidance than girls. This research will serve to fill several gaps in understanding how youth adaptively cope with exposure to community violence so as to inform future therapeutic interventions for externalizing behaviors.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse Richards, Noni Gaylord-Harden

Yelyzaveta DiStefano

Yelyzaveta DiStefano
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Social Cognition and Attitudes
Advisor: Victor Ottati, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL27

Interests

Generally, my research interests revolve around social cognition, identity, and categorization, perceptions of the homogeneity of groups, intragroup social judgements, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. More specifically, I am interested in studying these previously mentioned concepts as they relate to gender and LGBTQAI individuals.

Laura Distel

Laura Distel
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CASA Lab
Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 406
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

I am interested in how chronic stress impacts the mental and physical health of Mexican-origin immigrant families. I am also interested in understanding culturally relevant resilience factors among these communities.

Masters Thesis Title

The impact of chronic stress on childhood obesity and the protective effects of parental warmth.

Masters Thesis Abstract

An increasing body of literature has indicated that accumulation of stressful life experiences affects the HPA axis functioning, leading to numerous poor health outcomes (e.g. Van Uum et al. 2008; Kirschbaum et al. 2009; Thomson et al. 2010; Groeneveld et al., 2013). In addition, there is a growing literature on the effects of stressful life circumstances on becoming overweight and obese in childhood (Tsigos & Chrousos, 2006). However, there is a paucity of research that has investigated the complex relationship between stress, the dysregulation of the HPA axis and childhood obesity. In addition, while there is a growing body of literature on the effects of warm parenting on childhood obesity (Rhee et al., 2016), there is a lack of research on the mechanisms through which parental warmth affects childhood eating and weight management. Thus, the aims of this project were to 1) identify the direct and indirect (through HPA axis activity) effects of stress on children’s health and 2) examine the protective effect of parental warmth on child health. This study examined the hair cortisol levels of children ages 6 to 10 from a low-income Mexican-origin immigrant population. During the initial visit, parental warmth was assessed through both objective measurement through a coded video-taped interaction between parents and children as well as a subjective measurement of warmth through parent self-report. Twelve months later, children’s hair cortisol was sampled to reflect cortisol accumulations from 3-6 months prior to collection. Children were also weighed and measured to assess for zBMI at this time point. The discussion will examine the mechanisms through which stress affects childhood weight management and discuss possible modifiable mechanisms to improve physiological health outcomes of children at-risk for obesity.

Masters Thesis Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago and Amy Bohnert

Katherine Dorociak

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PIER Lab  
Advisor: Patricia Rupert, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 344
Email: kdorociak@luc.edu   
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

professional well-functioning, burnout, self-care, clinical neuropsychology

Masters Thesis Title

Development of the Personal and Professional Self-Care Scale

Masters Thesis Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of self-care for psychologists and other mental health professionals. However, the research on self-care is limited because of the lack of an empirically based, psychometrically sound measure of this construct. Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop a measure of personal and professional self-care. The preliminary phase involved the development of a self-care definition and a two-factor framework that divided self-care into personal and professional activities. Based on this definition and framework, self-care items were generated for expert evaluation. After incorporating the expert feedback, 52 potential self-care sale items were selected for use in the initial validation study. A total of 422 licensed psychologists in Illinois completed the Self-Care and Professional Well-Being Survey. This survey contained the 52 self-care items as well as other measures of personal and professional well-being. Contrary to expectations, a two-factor structure for self-care was not supported.  Factor analysis reduced the self-care scale to 34-items representing eight factors: Life Balance, Professional Development, Cognitive Strategies, Daily Balance, Professional Support, Exercise, Diet, and Sleep. The validity analyses provided strong initial support for the validity of the first five factors listed above. However, the validity support for the physical self-care factors was not as strong. Based on factor analysis and validity data, a five-factor, 28-item “Professional Self-Care Scale” was established for validation and use in future research.

Masters Thesis Committee

Dr. Patricia Rupert & Dr. Fred Bryant

Dissertation Title

Pain and Neuropsychological Performance following Electrical Injury

Dissertation Abstract

Electrical injury (EI), a relatively rare, yet significant medical trauma, is associated with numerous short- and long-term medical, psychological, and social consequences. Cognitive consequences of EI are particularly important to understand as they may impact survivors’ abilities to adjust to injury and return to work. Research has demonstrated cognitive impairment in several domains following EI, including memory, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning. However, it remains to be determined whether the cognitive sequelae following EI is due to the direct effects of the electrical injury itself or other injury-related factors, such as emotional distress and chronic pain. In addition to cognitive impairments, EI patients often endorse significant psychiatric comorbidity. There is also some research indicating that greater depressive symptomatology is associated with poorer cognitive performance, which suggests a possible link between emotional distress and cognitive functioning in this population. Another factor that may be critical in understanding and explaining cognitive deficits following EI is chronic pain. Pain is a common and significant physical symptom following EI and is often multifactorial and disproportionate to measurable neuropathy in this population. Research with chronic pain patients demonstrates that pain may influence cognitive functioning, either directly or indirectly by influencing emotional distress which then impacts cognitive functioning. However, to date, no research has examined the relationship of pain to cognitive functioning following EI. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between pain and cognitive performance after electrical injury. More specifically, the present research has three primary aims: a) to examine the relationship between pain and neuropsychological performance in EI patients; b) to examine whether depression mediates the relationship between pain and cognitive performance; and c) to examine whether the relationship between pain and cognition is unique to this population or consistent with the relationship observed in a chronic pain population.

Dissertation Committee

Dr. Patricia Rupert, Dr. Grayson Holmbeck, Dr. Fred Bryant, & Dr. Neil Pliskin

Colleen Driscoll

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CHATS Lab  
Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D.  
Office: Coffey Hall 302

Interests

Colleen is interested in how parent factors (stress, distress) and perceptions (uncertainty, vulnerability) influence youth outcomes in youth with chronic illnesses and their families as well as how children with chronic illnesses manage everyday health behaviors, such as eating and exercise. As part of the CHATS lab, Colleen examines these behaviors in the families of youth with spina bifida.

Masters Thesis Title

Parenting-related stress, parental distress, and youth health-related quality of life in families of youth with spina bifida: Parenting behaviors as mediators

Masters Thesis Abstract

Research has shown that youth with spina bifida (SB) have poorer psychosocial outcomes, including health-related quality of life (HRQOL), compared to typically developing youth. Demographic and illness-severity factors that may affect HRQOL have been identified, but modifiable factors affecting HRQOL have not yet been identified in this population. Potential modifiable factors include parent factors. In fact, in other pediatric populations, parent factors have been found to impact HRQOL above and beyond illness-severity. This impact may be especially salient for youth with SB, as these youth are more socially isolated and depend on parents for both medical and non-medical caregiving needs.
The current study proposes that increases in three parent factors (parent distress, parenting stress, and SB-specific parenting stress) lead to less adaptive parenting behaviors, which, in turn, affect youth HRQOL. The present study addresses gaps in the literature by utilizing a longitudinal, multi-method, and multi-informant research design.

Masters Thesis Committee

Grayson N. Holmbeck and Joanna Buscemi (DePaul University)

Darian Farrell

Darian Farrell
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interaction Lab  
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL22
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

My research interests focus on the self and social identity and how that impacts interpersonal relationships.  

Anne Fuller

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Promoting Adjustment in Children through Evaluation (PACE) Lab  
Advisor: Scott Leon, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey 202
Webpage: Research Gate 

Interests

My research interests center on intervention evaluation and relational and family influences on child and adolescent mental health. Specifically, I am interested in studying how the family and other interpersonal relationships contribute to risk and resilience, particularly among trauma-exposed youth. 

Masters Thesis Title

Sexual behavior problems in child welfare: Predictors of reliable change

Masters Thesis Abstract

This study examined predictors of changes in children’s sexual behaviors across two time points within a sample of youth in the child welfare system. Hypothesized predictors of increases or decreases in children’s sexual behaviors included child attributes, positive parenting, exposure to sexuality and violence, maltreatment history and child welfare placement history, and treatment variables. Participants included 145 children with reported sexual behavior problems and their primary caregivers and mental healthcare providers. Children’s sexual behaviors were classified as improved, worsened, or unchanged. Optimal Data Analysis (ODA) and multivariate classification tree analysis (CTA) via ODA were used to identify predictors of children’s classification status and to form subgroups of youth based on interactions between predictors. Results indicated that child functioning (i.e., internalizing and externalizing symptoms) and treatment variables (e.g., sex education) were significant predictors of children’s classification status. Post-hoc analyses revealed differences between subgroups with regard to child variables and therapist theoretical orientation. These results highlight associations between internalizing and externalizing symptoms and children’s sexual behaviors, as well as the benefits of including education in clinical services for children with sexual behavior problems. Future research should continue to examine the appropriateness of various treatment approaches for children with specific symptom presentations.

Masters Thesis Committee

Scott Leon and Fred Bryant

Dissertation Title

Social support and well-being among foster care youth: Self-Concept as a mediator

Dissertation Abstract

Youth in the child welfare system frequently undergo a variety of adverse experiences, including maltreatment, living in poverty, placement changes, school changes, and relationship disruptions. Therefore, it is unsurprising that as a group, these youth exhibit poorer psychosocial functioning (e.g., elevated rates of mental health difficulties, poorer social and academic competence) than their peers. Yet despite these findings, there is also evidence that a number of youth in foster care are functioning relatively well and can be thought of as demonstrating resilience. These contrasting findings of both poor functioning and resilience among foster care youth raise questions regarding the factors that distinguish between those who function well and those who exhibit difficulties. Various protective factors, including social support and positive self-concept, have been associated with resilience. Both of these factors have been associated with more positive functioning in several domains, including internalizing problems, externalizing problems, social competence, and academic competence. Additionally, social support is positively related to self-concept. This pattern of findings suggests that self-concept may mediate the relations between social support and well-being, and several studies have found evidence for this effect. However, it is important to further examine these associations in the unique context of foster care. The present study will examine self-concept as a mediator of associations between social support (from multiple sources, including foster parents) and four domains of psychosocial functioning: internalizing problems, externalizing problems, social competence, and academic competence. Cross-lagged panel models will be tested via structural equation modeling to evaluate the hypothesized mediational models. Separate models will be evaluated for each domain of well-being and for the different measures of social support (i.e., foster parent support, total social support from other sources), resulting in eight sets of analyses.

Dissertation Committee

Scott Leon, James Garbarino, Catherine Santiago, and Jesse Klein

Amy Governale

Amy Governale
Training Track: Developmental
Advisor: James Garbarino, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 106
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

My research interests include community resources that promote positive youth development among low-income, ethnically diverse adolescents. Specifically, my research focuses on the relation between participation in community-based afterschool programs and youth outcomes both during the summer months.

Masters Thesis Title

The Influence of Community-Based Summer Programs on Ethnically Diverse, Low-Income, Chicago Youth

Masters Thesis Abstract

How youth spend their time has become an increasingly important factor in studying adolescent development. During the summer months, longer periods of unsupervised time have been associated with a loss of academic skills and lower social-emotional skills. One support for at-risk youth and adolescents might be summer programs housed in community-based organizations. Using a pre-post test design over an 11-week period, the present study examines the linkages among participation in summer programs, individual characteristics, and youth outcomes among ethnically diverse, low-income Chicago youth. Analyses revealed ethnicity was related to math skills at the end of the summer, although the strongest predictor of mathematic ability at the end of the summer was academic skills at the beginning of the summer. Higher participation in summer programs was associated with more empathetic feelings on a self-report measure. Future directions and implications for studying community-based summer programs are discussed.

Masters Thesis Committee

James Garbarino and Christine Li-Grining

Holly Griskell

Holly Griskell
Training Track: Developmental
Lab: Bilingual Language Development Lab  
Advisor: Perla Gamez, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 117

Interests

I am interested in language development, bilingualism, and student motivation 

Katie Guarino

Katie Guarino
Training Track: Developmental
Advisor: Elizabeth Wakefield, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL24

Natalie Hallinger

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interaction Lab  
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL22
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

I investigate intrinsic motivation and decision-making processes. My research looks at how the ideal self (the best version of yourself that you'd like to be) influences interpersonal attraction, relationships, and other generalized choices. 

Masters Thesis Title

The Influence of Ideal Similarity on the Relation Between Self-discrepancy and Attraction 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Some research indicates that individuals with high self-discrepancy (distance between the actual self and the ideal self) are more prone to interpersonal attraction than those with low self-discrepancy and that perceived ideal similarity (how closely a target individual resembles your own ideal self) strongly influences attraction. To test the hypothesis that ideal similarity moderates the relationship between self-discrepancy and attraction, manufactured Facebook profiles were used to manipulate perceived ideal similarity of target before having participants rate the target on measures of liking and respect. This study surveyed 232 college students; 111 from a mid-sized, private Midwestern university and 121 from other US universities recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (M-Turk). The experimental manipulation of ideal similarity was marginally significant for the private university sample, but was not significant for the M-Turk sample. Despite controlling for sample source, the main regression analysis of the effect of ideal similarity on the influence of self-discrepancy on ratings of liking and respect was not significant either. However, post-hoc regression analyses revealed that though self-discrepancy did not appear to directly influence liking or respect, ideal similarity did have a significant, positive influence on both liking and respect. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Tracy DeHart, Victor Ottati, and R. Scott Tindale 

Hannah Hamilton

Hannah Hamilton
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interactions (SASI) Lab
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL22

Interests

Self, interactions, relationships, health behaviors, need to belong

Masters Thesis Title

Drinking to belong: The effects of friendship interactions on college student drinking

Masters Thesis Committee

Tracy DeHart and Robyn Mallett

Dissertation Title

Not all fun and games: Sexism and college women’s alcohol consumption

Dissertation Committee

Tracy DeHart, Robyn Mallett, Victor Ottati, Grayson Holmbeck

Amy Heard

Training Track: Clinical 
Lab: Activity Matters Lab  
Advisor: Amy Bohnert, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey 228

Interests

My research focuses on the biological, social, and environmental factors contributing to the prevention and treatment of obesity and disordered eating.  

Masters Thesis Title

The relation between appearance evaluation and disordered throughout college: Trajectories and moderators

Masters Thesis Abstract

The college years are a time of increased risk for body image concerns and disordered eating attitudes in both men and women. Studies have shown that body image concerns may emerge in childhood, increase throughout adolescence, and become more stable in middle adulthood, but less is known about the changes that happen during the college years that may cause these concerns to level off. One of the most common ways of assessing body image is by measuring appearance evaluation, or global satisfaction with appearance. While problematic appearance evaluation and disordered eating attitudes are often associated with one another, all individuals who are dissatisfied with their appearance do not go on to develop an eating disorder. This may be due to moderating factors such as mindfulness and emotion regulation, specifically expressive suppression of emotions. The current study draws on a longitudinal sample of first through fourth year college students assessed on measures of psychosocial functioning, including body image, disordered eating attitudes, mindfulness, and expressive suppression. This study found that while appearance evaluation was stable across the college years, disordered eating attitudes increased during that time period. Over the course of college, appearance evaluation significantly predicted disordered eating attitudes, and the inverse relation was also significant at a trend level. However, mindfulness and expressive suppression were not predictive of disordered eating attitudes. Likewise, they did not impact the relation between appearance evaluation and disordered eating attitudes. These results demonstrate the importance of designing disordered eating interventions that span the entire course of college and have implications for the current literature on the link between mindfulness, emotion regulation, and disordered eating attitudes. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Amy Bohnert and Colleen Conley

Elizabeth Hilvert

Elizabeth Hilvert
Training Track: Developmental
Lab: Emotion, Language, and Cognition in Neurotypical and Atypical Development Research Lab
Advisor: Denise Davidson, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 246

Interests

language and literacy development in typical and atypical development (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Masters Thesis Title

Script and Non-script Based Narrative Retellings in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Masters Thesis Abstract

Narrative production is challenging for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), particularly in terms of creating coherent and cohesive stories.  However, differences between the narratives of children with and without ASD may be minimized when the cognitive and linguistic demands are reduced. Therefore, the present study examined whether incorporating a script-framework, that structures the story around common events, reduced difficulties with narratives. This study compared the narrative abilities of 19 children with ASD and 26 neurotypical (NT) children on a script-based and a non-script based retelling task.  Narratives were coded for microstructure macrostructure, and the types of events included in the script-based story (script, non-script). The relation between narrative and theory of mind (ToM) was also assessed. Unexpectedly, the narration of both stories was equally difficult for children with ASD for the majority of variables, including grammar, references, adverbials, connectivity, structure, and content, which resulted in narratives that were less cohesive and coherent than the NT group. Examination of the script-based story revealed that children with ASD included the same number of script details as the NT children, but were less likely to include non-script details. ToM ability was a strong predictor of coherence and cohesion in children with ASD. The difficulties with the script-based story appear to reflect general narrative impairments, instead of abnormalities in the representation of script knowledge. These findings provide evidence that narrative impairments may be pervasive across narrative type, and that ToM ability predicts these difficulties in children with ASD.

Masters Thesis Committee

Denise Davidson, Ph.D., Perla Gamez, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

Characterization of Writing Development in Children with ASD: The Role of Language, Handwriting, and Cognitive Processing Ability

Dissertation Abstract

Despite the importance of writing for academic, social, and vocational outcomes, and evidence from standardized assessments that writing is often impaired in children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), there is a paucity of research that has comprehensively investigated specific writing impairments across a variety of text genres, especially non-fictional writing, in this population. Even less empirical research has assessed the nature of written expression difficulties in children with ASD. This is important to understand considering that ASD is a heterogeneous disorder, where many children have impairments in handwriting, language, executive functioning, and theory of mind – skills which are essential for writing effectively. Therefore, the goal of my Dissertation is to bridge critical gaps in knowledge by: (1) comprehensively assessing writing skills in children with ASD (9-14 years) across text genres in comparison to their neurotypical (NT) peers, and (2) exploring the potential underlying mechanisms (i.e., handwriting, language, executive functioning, theory of mind) contributing to specific writing skills in children with ASD, taking into account age, language, handwriting, and cognitive processing abilities.

Dissertation Committee

Denise Davidson, Ph.D., Perla Gamez, Ph.D., Molly Losh, Ph.D., Cheryl Scott, Ph.D.

Lauren Hindt

Lauren Hindt
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Promoting Adjustment in Children through Evaluation (PACE) Lab
Advisor: Scott Leon, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 202

Interests

Lauren's research interests include strengthening families and supporting children at risk for social and emotional difficulties from underserved populations, with an overarching goal of improving health equity and reducing disparities. Lauren's current research examines factors that improve behavioral outcomes among children and families in the context of foster care and parental incarceration.

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 (��15 = .18, p = .025), but not internalizing. African American youth had lower externalizing slope trajectories compared to the remainder of the sample (��20 = -.14, p = .032). The association between paternal incarceration and externalizing was attenuated among youth who visited fathers (��25 = -.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

Chair: Dr. Scott Leon; Reader: Dr. Arthur Lurigio
 

Brynn Huguenel

Brynn Huguenel
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: IMPACT Lab
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 308 and 202
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

Brynn is interested in the risk and resilience factors of mental health outcomes during periods of stress, namely the transition into emerging adulthood and college. Additionally, she is interested in the implementation and evaluation of preventative and intervention programs, including mindfulness and technology-based approaches. In the IMPACT lab, she completed a Master’s thesis examining the interrelationships between social media use and negative mental health outcomes of college students.

Masters Thesis Title

Fear of missing out: A moderated mediation approach to social media use

Masters Thesis Abstract

Literature examining the relation between social media use and mental health outcomes remains mixed and inconclusive. The current study explores whether fear of missing out (FOMO) mediates the relation between social networking site (SNS) use and negative mental health outcomes. Further, this study examines the relation in a more nuanced way by including multidimensional measures of SNS use and moderators of Facebook activities and individual-level characteristics. These research questions have been framed within the developmental context of emerging adulthood. Data was collected from undergraduate students (N=296) who participated in two time points of a short-term longitudinal survey. The assessment included various measures of psychological and physical functioning, SNS use, and well-being. Two mediation analyses using bootstrapping methods were performed to examine whether the intensity of Facebook use predicts anxiety or depression, as mediated by FOMO. A longitudinal moderated multiple regression analysis examined whether specific Facebook activities moderates the relation between intensity of Facebook use and FOMO. Finally, a second set of longitudinal moderated multiple regression analyses examined whether the individual characteristics of social comparison and social connectedness moderate the relations between FOMO and negative mental health outcomes. Exploratory analyses varying the configuration of these variables were also examined post-hoc. Results indicated that time spent on SNSs, in combination with attachment to Facebook, does not predict anxiety or depression symptoms, and none of the examined moderators emerged as significant. Post-hoc analyses showed that social connectedness moderated the relation between FOMO and anxiety. Further, passive behaviors on social media indirectly predicted higher levels of anxiety and depression through increases in FOMO. This study gives pause in making sweeping negative conclusions about SNS use, finding that the manner in which one uses SNSs may be more important than duration of time spent online.

Masters Thesis Committee

Drs. Colleen Conley and Grayson Holmbeck 

Carol Hundert

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: IMPACT Lab  
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 308

Interests

I am interested in emerging adulthood, especially the transition to college and mental health stigma on college campuses. 

Master's Thesis Title

Evaluating Outcomes of the Honest, Open, Proud Intervention in College Students with Mental Illness

Ian Kahrilas

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: WELL Lab  
Advisor: Rebecca Silton, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL06B

Interests

Neural correlates of positive emotion regulation and mindfulness-based interventions. 

Lorri A. Kais

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: WELL Lab  
Advisor: Rebecca Silton, Ph.D.  
Office: Coffey Hall LL06B
Email: lkais@luc.edu 

Interests

Lorri is interested in research at the intersection of mental health and cognitive function utilizing psychophysiological and behavioral methods. She is also interested in genetic and developmental disorders and plans on pursuing a career in pediatric neuropsychology. 

Masters Thesis Title

Neural Correlates of Inhibitory Function Following the Implicit Processing of Emotional Faces 

Masters Thesis Committee

Rebecca Silton and Robert Morrison

Dissertation Title

Affect and Cognitive Control: The Influence of Naturalistic Mood on Interference Processing 

Dissertation Abstract

Every day planning and execution of goal-directed human performance is dependent upon cognitive and emotional processes which are inherently interlinked. However, the effect of naturalistic mood states on cognitive control remains relatively unexamined. The present study aims to build upon existing literature regarding affective and executive processes by investigating the relationship between naturally occurring positive and negative mood states and interference processing during the CW-Stroop Task. Based upon mood induction findings within the extant literature, the current study hypothesizes that high levels of self-reported positive state affect will hinder interference processing. In contrast, high levels of self-reported negative state affect are hypothesized to facilitate interference processing. 

Dissertation Committee

Rebecca Silton, Robert Morrison, Colleen Conley, and Jeff Huntsinger

Danielle Kellogg

Danielle Kellogg
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interaction Lab  
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL22
Email: dkellogg@luc.edu   

Interests

I am interested in the self and relationships, more specifically, how experiencing sexism relates to changes in romantic relationship functioning.  

Soyeon Kim

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Savoring Lab  
Advisor: Fred Bryant, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 242
Webpage: LinkedIn 

Interests

My primary research interests are savoring and happiness in the field of positive psychology. I am currently studying the influence of culture on how people regulate positive emotional experiences.  

Masters Thesis Title

The Impact of Gender and Cultural Values on Savoring and Happiness among Korean College Students 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Historically, Korea has been strongly influenced by Chinese Confucianism, which emphasizes gender-role differentiation and patriarchal norms. Through globalization, however, Western values, which accentuate achievement and independence, have influenced Korean society and its emphasis on traditional values and sex roles. In particular, Korean females, relative to males, may gain more empowerment by rejecting traditional cultural values. Literature has shown that Asian cultures traditionally emphasize dampening rather than amplifying of positive emotions—a style of positive emotional regulation (i.e., savoring) that predicts lower reported levels of happiness. The present study examined gender differences in cultural values, savoring responses to positive experience, and happiness by testing a hypothesized structural path model, in which, Korean females, relative to males, more strongly rejected traditional Asian values, which predicted lower levels of dampening positive affects, which in turn predicted greater happiness. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Fred Bryant and R. Scott Tindale 

Alexandra Kirsch

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: IMPACT Lab
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

My research interests include how different aspects of context can affect an individual’s growth, development, and adjustment. These contexts have included cultural aspects (e.g., gender and sexual orientation), psychological factors (e.g., coping and hardiness), and developmental changes (e.g., the transition to college) that can be related to the presentation of psychopathology.

Masters Thesis Title

Examining The Moderating Role of Specific Coping Strategies on the Relationship Between Body Image and Eating Disorders in College-Age Women

Masters Thesis Abstract

A sample of college age women assessed at three time points (Time 1: Baseline, assessed before college, Time 2: End of first semester, Time 3: End of first year of college) completed measures of disordered eating, coping, and body image. Results indicated that neither adaptive (problem-focused coping or social support seeking) nor maladaptive coping styles (active emotional coping or avoidant coping) as measured at Time 1 or Time 2 moderated the significant predictive relationship between body dissatisfaction at Time 1 and disordered eating attitudes at Time 3, when adjusting for disordered eating attitudes and BMI at Time 1. However, significant main effects of certain coping strategies indicate that while coping does not moderate the relationship between body image and disordered eating, coping may still be an important area for intervention. Future research needs to continue to examine the complex relationship between coping, body image, and disordered eating.

Masters Thesis Committee

Colleen Conley and Grayson Holmbeck

Dissertation Title

Disordered Eating Treatment Programs for Adolescents and Emerging Adults: A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment Effectiveness and Moderators of Treatment Success

Dissertation Abstract

This meta-analysis systematically reviewed interventions for disordered eating in the adolescent and young adult population. A systematic search identified 30 interventions that could be compared to controls and 88 specific interventions that could be compared to other specific interventions. An in-depth analysis of the current state of the literature is provided. Results indicated that eating disorder interventions were effective overall when compared to control for both eating disorder and non-eating disorder outcomes, with differential effects across diagnoses, outcome categories, and outcome source, as well as some maintenance of effects at follow-up. Additionally, multiple moderators of treatment effectiveness for eating disorder outcomes emerged including: duration of diagnosis, whether females were targeted, qualifications of administrator, type of control group, rationale for study size, modality, inclusion of psychoeducation, a social interaction component, and use of homework. Preliminary comparisons between specific types of treatment indicated are discussed with caution. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research on eating disorder intervention for adolescents and young adults are highlighted. 

Dissertation Committee

Colleen Conley, Catherine Santiago, Denise Davidson, and Joseph Durlak

Dorothy McLeod Loren

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Activity Matters Lab  
Advisor: Amy Bohnert, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 208
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

Cultural context of childhood obesity, obesity prevention interventions

Masters Thesis Title

Measures of Acculturation and Relations to Weight among Mexican-Origin Youth

Masters Thesis Abstract

Risk for obesity increases dramatically for Mexican-origin immigrants and their children among upon arrival in the United States. Many studies have shown that acculturative factors play a role in this process for adults, which suggests that this could also be the case for children and adolescents. The significance and directionality of this relation may differ based on many factors, including the multitude of methods currently used for the purpose of measuring acculturation. This study examines the relations between several measures of acculturation and child weight in a sample of 6 to 11 year old, Mexican-origin youth, cross-sectionally and longitudinally over the course of 18 months. Results indicated that two measures, greater preference for English and higher Anglo Orientation, were associated cross-sectionally with higher zBMI. Only one of these measures, English language preference, remained significant in predicting BMI in longitudinal analyses. Neither age nor gender was a significant moderator of the relation between acculturation and child weight. These findings support the theoretical hypothesis that cultural changes, such as the gradual and familial adoption of a high-calorie and low-physical activity lifestyle, may contribute to weight gain among Mexican children. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Amy Bohnert, PhD; Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD

Josh McMahan

Josh McMahan
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: The Group-Decision Making Lab  
Advisor: R. Scott Tindale, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL05

Interests

My research interests focus on the positive effects of video games (and games in general) on communication skills, cooperation, stress relief and more. 

Ieva Misiunaite

Ieva Misiunaite
Training Track: Development
Lab: Emotion, Language and Cognition in Neurotypical and Atypical Development Lab
Advisor: Denise Davidson, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 246

Interests

I am interested in emergent literacy skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, how they compare to emergent literacy skills of typically developing children, and how they are influenced by other skills such as theory of mind, executive functions, and joint attention.

Linas Mitchell

Linas Mitchell
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Behavioral Research on Acceptance and Diversity (BROAD)  
Advisor: Robyn Mallett, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 218

Interests

My research explores the roots of prejudice against transgender and gender-variant people. 

Caitlin Murray

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CHATS Lab  
Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D. 
Office: Off campus (on internship)
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

Caitlin's research interests focus on the interrelationships between sleep disturbances, pain, and psychological/behavioral factors in children and adolescents with chronic illnesses and neurological conditions.  

Masters Thesis Title

Social-environmental Predictors of Health-related Quality of Life Youth with Spina Bifida: A Cross-study Comparison 

Masters Thesis Committee

Grayson Holmbeck and Scott Leon 

Dissertation Title

Sleep disturbances in adolescents with spina bifida: Prevalence and associations with bio-neuropsychosocial functioning 

Dissertation Abstract

Sleep is a critical component of healthy developing during adolescence, and when disrupted, has been linked to difficulties with physical status, psychological health, family functioning, neuropsychological symptoms, and academic performance. The overarching goal of this project was to examine sleep-wake disturbances in association with bio-neuropsychosocial functioning in a vulnerable pediatric population of adolescents with spina bifida (SB). Specifically, this study aimed to 1) examine sleep-wake patterns in adolescents with SB using a multimodal sleep assessment, 2) identify daily temporal associations between sleep and pain as well as sleep and mood, and 3) identify the relationship between sleep-wake disturbances and bio-neuropsychosocial functioning in adolescents with SB. Sleep-wake patterns in adolescents ages 12 to 18 with SB (N = 37) were compared to a matched comparison group of typically developing (TD) peers (N = 37). A subjective and objective sleep assessment was conducted; ambulatory actigraphy recordings was completed over 10 days, and adolescents completed several sleep questionnaires (e.g., sleep quality, pre-sleep arousal) and a daily diary. In addition, adolescents and parents completed questionnaires to assess physical (pain, BMI), psychological (internalizing symptoms, health-related quality of life), family (conflict, cohesion), neuropsychological (attention, executive function), and academic functioning (school competence, grades).

Study findings revealed that adolescents with SB experienced higher rates of sleep-wake disturbances compared to their typically developing peers. Results of actigraphy and questionnaire report data found that adolescents were particularly at-risk for reduced sleep quantity (i.e., lower total sleep time) and poor sleep quality (i.e., difficulties with bedtime settling and staying asleep). Adolescents with SB also experienced higher levels of daytime fatigue compared to their peers. Sleep-wake disturbances were associated with every domain of adolescent functioning within the bio-neuropsychosocial model. In particular, there were consistent data to support the connection between nighttime sleep disturbances and psychological maladjustment (i.e., internalizing, quality of life). To a lesser extent, nighttime sleep disturbances were linked to worse physical health (pain, BMI) and family functioning (family conflict). Furthermore, daytime sleepiness and/or fatigue, but not nighttime sleep disturbances, predicted worse neuropsychological and academic functioning, including inattention/hyperactivity, executive dysfunction, and lower school grades. Ongoing evaluation and treatment of sleep disturbances will be critical to optimize health and functioning in this vulnerable pediatric population.
 

Dissertation Committee

Grayson Holmbeck, Tonya Palermo, Cate Santiago, and Catherine Haden

Laura Nicholson

Laura Nicholson
Training Track: Clinical 
Lab: Activity Matters Lab
Advisor: Amy Bohnert, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 207

Interests

childhood obesity prevention; health benefits associated with routines/structure

Masters Thesis Title

Consistency of health behaviors as it relates to BMI in college students (likely to change this title)

Masters Thesis Committee

Amy Bohnert, Grayson Holmbeck

Diana Ohanian

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CHATS Lab  
Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall
Email: dohanian@luc.edu   

Interests

I am interested in pediatric chronic pain, coping with chronic illness and resilience in the face of illness. 

Cynthia Onyeka

Cynthia Onyeka
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 442

Karen Osowski

Karen Osowski
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Savoring Lab  
Advisor: Fred Bryant, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 242
Email: kosowski@luc.edu  

Interests

The effects of savoring and Gerontology

Chad Osteen

Chad Osteen
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Social Cognition and Attitudes Lab   
Advisor: Victor Ottati, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL27
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

Collective Action, Open-mindedness, & ideology

Masters Thesis Title

The Dogmatism of Decent: How dogmatism affects willingness to protest

Masters Thesis Abstract

The present research examines how dogmatic cognition, as the antithesis to open-minded cognition, mediates the relationship between system justification and an individual’s willingness to become politically active (either disruptive or non-disruptive protest). Anger towards the government is expected to moderate the relationship between dogmatic cognition and willingness to protest. Individuals in the low system justification condition that self-report high dogmatism and anger are expected to be at the highest likelihood of engaging in any kind of protest.

Masters Thesis Committee

Dr. Victor Ottati & Dr. Scott Tindale

Lauren Pagano

Lauren Pagano
Training Track: Developmental
Lab: Children's Memory and Learning Lab  
Advisor: Catherine Haden, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 116

Interests

parent-child interactions, joint narrative reflection, informal learning, STEM learning

Jaclyn Lennon Papadakis

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Chicago Health Adolescent Transition Study (CHATS) Lab  
Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D. 
Office: N/A
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

Psychosocial functioning and family functioning in families of children with chronic illnesses; the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors on child health

Masters Thesis Title

Latino Youth with Spina Bifida: Psychosocial Functioning, Family Functioning, and Acculturation

Masters Thesis Abstract

Objective: Research on Latino youth with spina bifida (SB) is sparse.  However, SB rates are highest in this ethnic group, and typically-developing (TD) Latino youth are at risk for poor psychosocial functioning. The aims of this study were to examine: (1) differences in psychosocial and family functioning between Latino and non-Latino Caucasian youth with SB; (2) family functioning as a predictor of youth psychosocial functioning as moderated by ethnicity; (3) the impact of acculturation on youth psychosocial and family functioning in Latino youth with SB. Methods: Participants were recruited as part of a larger, longitudinal study (Devine et al., 2012).  The study’s sample included 74 non-Latino Caucasian youth with SB and 39 Latino youth with SB (M age= 11.53, 52.2% female). This study included parent-, teacher-, and youth- report on internalizing and externalizing symptoms, social competence and acceptance, friendship quality, and family cohesion, conflict, and stress. Observational data of family interaction tasks were also included. All data were available at Time 1 and two years later at Time 2. Analyses controlled for SES and youth IQ. Results: Latino youth demonstrated fewer externalizing symptoms and less social competence, and Latino families demonstrated less family conflict. For non-Latino Caucasian youth, greater family cohesion predicted greater youth social competence and greater family stress predicted greater youth internalizing symptoms. For Latino youth, higher levels of mother acculturation predicted greater youth externalizing symptoms and less family cohesion. Conclusions: Compared to non-Latino Caucasian youth with SB, Latino youth with SB demonstrate similar or better levels of psychosocial functioning, their families demonstrate less family conflict, and family functioning is less predictive of psychosocial functioning overtime. Levels of mother acculturation impact aspects of psychosocial and family functioning for Latino youth. Results have implications for how family-based interventions may be adapted for Latino families of youth with SB.

Masters Thesis Committee

Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD

Dissertation Title

The Impact of Sociodemographic Factors on Health-Related, Neuropsychological, and Psychosocial Functioning in Youth with Spina Bifida

Dissertation Abstract

(NOTE: Dissertation research is on-going.) Research has shown that youth with spina bifida (SB) are at risk for experiencing poor health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning, especially when compared to typically-developing youth (e.g., Liptak et al., 2015). However, few studies have considered the impact of sociodemographic factors on outcomes among this population. A more comprehensive examination of how youth are impacted by sociodemographic factors is needed given the pervasive health disparities that exist in the United States and around the world (Braveman & Gottlieb, 2014), and because pediatric populations, such as SB, may be particularly vulnerable. (AAP, 2010).  The current study seeks to expand upon the limited understanding of how sociodemographic factors are associated with health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning among youth with SB. The first objective is to examine differences in health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning between youth who are and are not characterized by risk across multiple sociodemographic factors. The second objective is to examine the cumulative effect of sociodemographic risk as a predictor of youth health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning, as moderated by age. The third objective is to examine family stress as a mediator of the association between sociodemographic factors and youth health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning over time. Participants are from a larger longitudinal study and include 140 families of youth with SB ages 8-15 (53.6% female; M age = 11.43). Data were collected every two years at three time points. Data were collected during home visits that lasted approximately three hours. The current study includes youth-, parent-, and teacher -reported questionnaire data, youth neuropsychological testing data, and medical chart. Planned data analyses include: multivariate analyses of covariance with univariate follow-up analyses (Objective 1); hierarchical multiple regression analyses testing moderation effects (Objective 2); bootstrapping methods using Hayes’ PROCESS v2.16 statistical software (Objective 3).

Dissertation Committee

Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD, Christine P. Li-Grining, PhD, Kathy Zebracki, PhD
 
 

Jamie Patrianakos

Jamie Patrianakos
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Behavioral Research on Acceptance and Diversity (BROAD)   
Advisor: Robyn Mallett, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 218

Interests

I am interested in confronting prejudice and discrimination. Specifically, I research the effectiveness of different strategies for confronting racial bias.

Dakari Quimby

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab  
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 443
Email: dquimby@luc.edu   

Masters Thesis Title

Positive Peer Pressure among African American Youth and the Roles of Ethnic Identity and Gender

Masters Thesis Abstract

Objective: The current study examined whether peer pressure, can promote positive youth development among Black American adolescents living in high-risk neighborhoods. Method: In this study, data were collected during a three-year longitudinal study from a sample of 316 Black American adolescents (M = 11.65 years). Variables were assessed using both questionnaires and the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a time sampling technique. Results: Findings indicated the more positive peer association youth experienced over time, the better outcomes they reported over time. Additionally, a low sense of ethnic identity appeared to account for why some youth experienced a sharper increase in outcomes as positive peer association increased.Conclusions: Future interventions should consider harnessing the ability of prosocial peers to
foster healthy development.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse H. Richards and Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

The Experience of Mentors in a Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program: Exploring the Helper Therapy Principle

Masters Thesis Abstract

Mentoring programs are becoming increasingly prevalent interventions for promoting positive development in youth. This success has led mentoring to become a popular option for fostering wellbeing among youth from high risk environments. Although effective when their relationships last, adult mentors have had difficulties maintaining their mentoring relationships due to other responsibilities and cultural disconnect. Due to their increased availability and the significant influence of peers among youth, older adolescents serving as cross age peer mentors have been recognized as available option to circumvent the issues of adult mentoring relationships. Cross age peer mentoring refers to an older high school aged youth serving as a mentor for a younger, middle school aged mentee. Although not as widely studied as adult mentoring, this relationship has been found to have a beneficial effect for both the mentor and mentee. The current study seeks to better illuminate this bidirectional benefit by focusing on one half of the relationship; the experience of cross age peer mentoring by mentors. Despite the established reciprocal effects, mentors have received little attention within the peer mentoring literature. This is an important untapped area of study as peer mentoring interventions have the potential to have an expansive impact affecting both older and younger youth. More information is now needed regarding the process of mentoring as it relates to mentors. The current study will examine how the helper therapy principle, a theory explaining the positive development experienced by individuals who take on a helping role, relates to mentors’ perception of the mentor-mentee bond. As the connection between mentor and mentee is considered the foundational component of a mentoring relationship that facilitates growth in key outcome areas, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to or result from this bond can help interventions maximize the benefit for participating peer mentors.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse H. Richards

Cara Ray

Cara Ray
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Emotion and Social Cognition Lab
Advisor: Jeffery Huntsinger, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 306

Interests

I study the effects of emotion and mood states on information processing.

Masters Thesis Title

The impact of mood on adjustment from self-generated anchors

Masters Thesis Abstract

Although they are typically thought to be separate, emotion and reason are closely linked. Affective feelings are thought to determine which cognitive processing styles are in place at a given time. Happy moods were previously thought to lead to fast, automatic, unconscious, global, and superficial processing styles, whereas sad moods lead to slow, deliberative, conscious, local, and analytic processing styles. More recent research shows that this link is relatively flexible, so that moods may signal the value of currently accessible processing styles, or any accessible thoughts. These findings have important implications for susceptibility to cognitive biases, such as certain types of anchoring effects. In the proposed project, happy and sad moods will be induced using either music or stories. Stop rules will be used to manipulate whether mood signals performance– in this case, adjustment away from self-generated anchoring effects – or task enjoyment. Happy moods should lead to decreased adjustment compared to sad moods in the former case, and increased adjustment in the latter.

Masters Thesis Committee

Jeffrey Huntsinger and Victor Ottati

Catherine Rice

Catherine Rice
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 201

Interests

Catherine is interested in how family processes can promote healthy development for children within high-risk contexts. Her current work examines patterns of violence exposure and family-level protective factors for children in Chicago's low-income, high-violence neighborhoods, with the goal of informing intervention and prevention efforts. 

Masters Thesis Title

Children’s exposure to violence across contexts: Profiles of family, school, and community witnessing and victimization

Masters Thesis Abstract

Children residing in low-income, urban neighborhoods are at a disproportionately higher risk of exposure to violence (ETV) across multiple contexts compared to their peers, including witnessing violence and direct victimization. The many negative effects of ETV are compounded when youth experience ETV across multiple settings and when these experiences are chronic. Despite this, much of the research on ETV during childhood focuses on a single form of violence (e.g., family victimization or witnessing community violence). The current study examines patterns of frequency of ETV, including witnessing and victimization, across family, school, and community contexts, using person-centered methods to elucidate the patterns of ETV across multiple ecologies. In addition, the current study examines demographic variables and cohesion across family, school, and community settings in relation to profiles to better understand how patterns of violence can differentially affect low-income, urban youth. 
Results of a latent profile analysis showed three distinct profiles. The largest profile (N = 130, 54.4% of the sample) was comprised of individuals reporting almost no ETV, witnessing or victimization, across settings (Low Exposure group). The next largest group, N = 87; 36.4% of the sample) was comprised of individuals who experienced relatively low to moderate rates of all forms of ETV, with moderate to high rates of witnessing community violence (Moderate Exposure group). The third and smallest group (N = 22; 9.2% of the sample) was characterized by high levels of both community witnessing and victimization, as well as moderate levels of school witnessing and family victimization (High Exposure group). This group showed low rates of school victimization and family witnessing, comparable to the other two groups. Examination of demographic and protective factors associated with each profile showed differences in indicators of socio-economic status (SES) and levels of family cohesion. Notably, profiles with higher ETV showed indications of lower SES, and, counter to expectations, the Moderate Exposure group showed the highest level of family cohesion. Profiles showed no differences in gender, parent education, or cohesion in school and neighborhood settings. Implications for clinical intervention and future research are discussed.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse Richards, Ph.D. and Fred Bryant, Ph.D.

Anna Maria Ros

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CASA Lab  
Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 406
Email: aros@luc.edu 
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

I am interested in parent factors involved in child psychopathology, as well as interventions for PTSD and depression among children who have suffered trauma. Additionally, I am interested in the effects of neighborhood disadvantage and maternal depression on mental health outcomes for low-income Mexican origin children. 

Masters Thesis Title

The Effects of Parental Functioning and Socioeconomic Status on Initial Child Psychopathology Symptoms and Treatment Outcomes Following a Brief Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group.

Masters Thesis Abstract

The present study investigates the impact of parental psychopathology and socioeconomic status on the severity of child PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline, in addition to the impact on treatment effectiveness. First, the study examines how the presence of parental PTSD, depression and hostility act as proximal risk factors for the baseline severity of child PTSD and depression symptoms. Further, the study investigates how these proximal parental factors affect symptom reduction following intervention for these children. Additionally, the current study will examine how low socioeconomic status affects baseline severity of child PTSD and depression symptoms as well as how income-to-needs influences symptom reduction following treatment. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago and Maryse Richards 

Rebecca Shaiber

Rebecca Shaiber
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: The Group Decision-Making Lab  
Advisor: R. Scott Tindale, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL05

Interests

Some favorite research interests include evolutionary psychology, moral decision-making, ovulatory cycle effects, and reproductive and sexual health. 

Masters Thesis Title

Women on Hormonal Contraception: A Behavioral Biopsychosocial Perspective 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Normally cycling females experience natural cyclic shifts in their physical appearance and in various psychological traits (Haselton & Gildersleeve, 2011; Alvergne & Lummaa, 2009). When women use hormonal contraception (HC), these natural cyclical changes are no longer present (Welling et al., 2012; Miller, Tybur, & Jordan, 2007). Many physical differences between hormonal contraception users and non-users have been examined (Shulman, 2011). However, far fewer psychological and behavioral traits that are likely associated with hormonal contraceptive use have been studied. My goal was to examine relevant dispositional and behavioral traits that differ in hormonal contraceptive users and non-users. The variables examined include life history strategy, sociosexuality, intrasexual competition, social support, and risk-taking behavior. One’s life history strategy is indicative of one’s mating pattern among other attitudes and behavior relevant to reproductive success. Sociosexuality is an individual’s tendency to engage in promiscuous behavior. Intrasexual competition is the competition among members of the same sex over mates and status. I included these variables based on the broad prediction that a lack of ovulation leads women to spend a higher proportion of time in a state of long-term mating (with the idea that these women do not experience the ovulatory state so well-noted for leading to various short-term mating tactics). Thus, women on HC were predicted to show markers of a relatively slow life history and a relatively restricted sociosexuality, coupled with low levels of both intrasexual competition and risky behavior. HC users reported to engage in between-group competition risk-taking more heavily compared to non-users in their ovulatory phase. HC users reported a more restricted sociosexuality in terms of the desire facet compared to non-users. HC users reported to receive higher levels of social support compared to normally viii cycling women. Lastly, HC users reported to be more intrasexually competitive compared to normally cycling women in their ovulatory phase. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Glenn Geher, Justin Garcia, and Tabitha Holmes 

Jenna Shapiro

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: IMPACT Lab  
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 3008

Interests

Jenna is interested in studying mental health interventions for improving coping and adherence among adolescents and emerging adults with chronic illness. As part of the IMPACT lab, she has investigated emerging adult psychosocial functioning and psychological intervention programs. Her thesis examines trajectories of adult identity development among college students and the relationship with positive and negative mental health outcomes. Her dissertation examines subgroups of adolescents with type 1 diabetes based on resilience-supporting skills and the differential efficacy of a resilience promotion program.

Masters Thesis Title

Becoming adults: Trajectories of adult identity development among undergraduate students with implications for mental health

Masters Thesis Abstract

One of the defining developmental processes that occur during the unique stage of emerging adulthood is the emergence of adult identity, or the subjective sense of adulthood. Adult identity has been hypothesized to grow gradually, linearly, and at different rates for subgroups of individuals over the course of this stage (Arnett, 2006; Côté, 2006). Differences have also been suggested to predict wellbeing and distress (Côté, 2006; Kroger, 1996; Kroger, Martinussen, & Marcia, 2010). The goals of the current study were to examine heterogeneity in adult identity development over four years in college and to examine differences in self-esteem and negative emotional symptoms, namely depression, anxiety, and stress, after four years. Findings revealed that adult identity develops linearly on average, but there is heterogeneity in this development. Specifically, the majority of students increase in adult identity over four years and a smaller portion of students decline over time. Differences between developmental subgroups on self-esteem and negative emotional symptoms are explained by adult identity ratings at the end of the fourth year. The importance of studying heterogeneity of development among emerging adults and the mental health implications of adult identity development are reviewed.

Masters Thesis Committee

Colleen Conley, Ph.D., Fred Bryant, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

Resilience process profiles of adolescents with type 1 diabetes as moderators of associations between resilience program efficacy and health-related outcomes

Dissertation Abstract

Adolescence is a challenging period for effective diabetes self-management, maintaining adherence, and achieving optimal glycemic control among youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D; Miller et al., 2015). The diabetes resilience model suggests that the protective processes that promote behavioral and health-related resilience for youth with type 1 diabetes are multi-faceted (Hilliard, Harris, & Weissberg-Benchell, 2012). Resilience processes hypothesized to buffer the adverse effects of diabetes-specific distress and improve adherence behaviors include coping skills, self-efficacy, problem-solving, parental support, and social competence (Hilliard et al., 2012). Person-centered analyses that identify unique profiles of resilience processes may identify those with the most versus least adaptive resilience-supporting processes, and thus, those adolescents who may differentially benefit from targeted intervention. This study analyzes data from the Supporting Teen Problem Solving (STePS) study, a randomized controlled study assessing a resilience promotion program compared to a diabetes education program. The present project aims to identify subgroups of adolescents with T1D (N=264) who are at-risk for diabetes-specific distress, difficulty with adherence, and suboptimal glycemic control. Specifically, at-risk subgroups will be identified based on levels of modifiable resilience processes, including coping self-efficacy, problem-solving, negative automatic thoughts, hopelessness, and diabetes-related family conflict. Subgroups are hypothesized to be differentially associated with diabetes-specific distress, adherence, and glycemic control. Demographic variables will be investigated as predictors. Finally, resilience process subgroups will be investigated as moderators of the relation between resilience program participation and health-related outcomes. At-risk adolescents are hypothesized to show significantly greater improvement when participating in the resilience program compared to a diabetes education program; adolescents with greater resilience processes at baseline are expected to benefit less. Identifying individuals at risk for difficulty with adherence and worsening glycemic control and assessing the differential efficacy of a resilience program would provide an additional step toward a targeted approach to care.

Dissertation Committee 

Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D., Colleen Conley, Ph.D., Fred Bryant, Ph.D., Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D.

Suzanna So

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PACCT Lab  
Advisor: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 248

Interests

Suzanna is interested in the effect of community violence exposure on the mental health needs of low-income, urban minority youth. Within the PACCT Lab, she is examining different protective factors that can be targeted in intervention and policy research in order to better aid these populations.

Masters Thesis Title

Examining the effects of coping strategies specific to community violence exposure among African American adolescents

Masters Thesis Abstract

Variability in exposure to community violence (ECV) and aggressive behaviors in African American youth from urban communities can be attributed to general coping, but these studies have been inconclusive. Recent qualitative research identified four types of coping that are specific to ECV; however, quantitative research is needed to understand the adaptiveness of these strategies. The current study examined the factor structure of a measure for ECV-specific coping strategies. The current study also assessed how ECV-specific coping was associated with ECV and externalizing behaviors. Data from the current study were derived from an archival dataset comprised of 594 African American adolescents. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis revealed that each subscale demonstrated a good fit with the data. Moderation analyses demonstrated that certain types of ECV-specific coping may interact with ECV and gender to protect against outcomes. Thus, one must consider their unique contexts when working with youth affected by ECV.

Masters Thesis Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden and Maryse Richards 

Dissertation Title

The longitudinal relationships among exposure to community violence, trauma, delinquency, and future orientation from childhood to late adolescence

Dissertation Abstract

From a developmental psychopathology (Rutter & Sroufe, 2000) and ecological-transactional perspective (Cicchetti & Lynch, 1993), different reciprocal relationships occur throughout one’s lifespan and lead to a complex interplay of factors that influence adult outcomes.  For African American youth, violence continues to be one of the most pressing public health concerns (Sleet et al., 2011). Exposure to community violence (ECV) is linked with a higher occurrence of psychosocial problems, including delinquency and trauma symptoms, which may greatly hinder youths’ chances for success later in life (Romeo, 2013). However, there are differing trajectories for ECV over time, and there is variability in ECV, protective factors, and externalizing behaviors among African American youth (Copeland-Linder, Lambert, & Ialongo, 2010). Further, less is known about the long-term longitudinal and transactional relationships among these variables across critical developmental periods in African American youths’ lives. While future orientation has been examined as a possible buffer against the negative effects of ECV (e.g., So, Gaylord-Harden, Voisin, & Scott, 2015), there is limited knowledge about prospective life course domains of future orientation and factors that may help promote those domains. Thus, the aims of the current study are to examine 1) the longitudinal, reciprocal relationships of ECV, delinquency, and trauma from middle childhood to late adolescence, 2) how future orientation during mid-adolescence may interact with ECV to predict late adolescence delinquency and trauma, and 3) factors that may promote future orientation by buffering against the negative effects of ECV. Data from the current study will be derived from a publicly available archival dataset (i.e., Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect) that originally followed 1354 youth and their families from 4 to 18 years of age.  With a focus on 721 African American youth, proposed analyses will include autoregressive cross-lagged modeling and comparisons of moderation and mediation models.  

Dissertation Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden, Catherine Santiago, Scott Leon, & James Garbarino

Alexa Stern

Training Track: Clinical
Lab:  CHATS Lab
Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey 302
 

Research Interests

neuropsychological and psychosocial functioning in youth with medical conditions, helping youth with chronic medical conditions transition to adult healthcare 

Masters Thesis Title

Depressive Symptoms, Neuropsychological Functioning, and Self-Management in Youth with Spina Bifida: Direct, Mediating, and Reciprocal Pathways

Masters Thesis Abstract

Although successful self-management of health care responsibilities is critical to meeting the developmental demands associated with the transition to adulthood in youth with spina bifida (SB), research on individual factors impacting self-management in this population is sparse. Given the increased risk for cognitive deficits and development of depressive symptoms in this population, this study aimed to examine two pathways through which depressive symptoms and neuropsychological dysfunction may be associated with self-management in youth with SB. First, it was hypothesized that neuropsychological functioning would mediate the relationship between depression and self-management. Second, an alternative model was tested whereby it was expected that depressive symptoms would mediate the relationship between neuropsychological dysfunction and self-management. Participants included 114 youth with SB (M age = 10.96 at Time 1). Data were collected at three time points, each spaced approximately two years apart. Youth, their parents, and their teachers completed questionnaires on child depressive symptoms, child neuropsychological functioning, and child self-management behaviors. Youth also completed a brief test battery assessing executive functioning. Greater deficits in attention and working memory, and more severe depressive symptoms predicted lower levels of medical responsibility over time. Unique relationships were found among depressive symptoms and individual cognitive deficits. Bootstrapped mediation analyses revealed that teacher-reported depressive symptoms significantly mediated the respective relationships between attention and working memory, and medical responsibility (all p’s < .05), but that neuropsychological dysfunction did not mediate the relationship between depressive symptoms and medical responsibility. It is hoped that this research will inform the development of evidence-based interventions aimed at improving and fostering the development of self-management in youth with SB.

Masters Thesis Committee

Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D., Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D.

Stephanie Torres

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CASA Lab  
Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 406
Email: storres@luc.edu  

Interests

Stephanie is interested in the role that cultural and contextual factors have on the mental health of Latino youth and families and how this knowledge can inform the tailoring of evidence-based and culturally appropriate community interventions. Further, she is interested in the role of immigration policy and immigration-related stress among Latino communities and social justice implications for mitigating the impact of this stress.  

Masters Thesis Title

Risk and Resilience Factors among Low-Income Latino Adolescents: The Impact on Daily Ratings of Mood 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Given that Latino adolescents endorse more negative mood when compared to their counterparts of other backgrounds (CDC, 2012), it is especially advantageous to evaluate the impact of risk and resilience factors on mood among this population. The current study uses daily diary methodology to examine the impact that daily economic stress, daily family stress, familism, and ethnic identity commitment and exploration have on daily ratings of mood among 58 (M =13.31, 47% female) low-income Latino adolescents. Results show that daily family stress was strongly linked to daily mood while familism emerged as a salient resilience factor. Contrary to predictions, ethnic identity commitment appeared to be detrimental for youth; furthermore, ethnic identity exploration was found to exacerbate the effect of high economic stress. Context plays an important role in the impact of ethnic identity on mental health and efforts to promote familism and ethnic identity while reducing contextual stressors are necessary.  

Masters Thesis Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago and Maryse Richards 

Milan Tvardek

Training Track: Applied Social
Advisor: Loretta Stalans, Ph.D.
Office: N/A

Interests

My research interests focus on how the relationship between personal sense of short term and long term power and sexual misconduct is moderated by motivation for engaging in hookup culture among college students. 

LaNette Urbin

LaNette Urbin
Training Track: Developmental
Lab: Bilingual Language Development Lab
Advisor: Denise Davidson, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 101

Interests

I am interested in the cognitive and linguistic benefits of bilingualism and the role of gesture in language learning.

Chase Wilson

Chase Wilson
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Attitudes and Social Cognition Lab
Advisor: Victor Ottati, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL27
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

I am interested in political attitudes, and the lay theories and cognitive styles that contribute to forming these attitudes.

Masters Thesis Title

The perceived threat of secularism and militancy among religious fundamentalists

Masters Thesis Abstract

Religious fundamentalism has been found to predict endorsement of aggressive counterterrorism techniques, such as the use of severe interrogations and pre-emptive military attacks (e.g. Barnes, Brown & Osterman, 2012). The present study tested whether a perceived increase in secularism constitutes a psychological threat to American religious fundamentalists, and thus increases endorsement of such counterterrorism tactics. Replicating previous research, religious fundamentalism was found to positively predict endorsement of aggressive counterterrorism techniques, even when controlling for ideology and party identification. Contrary to hypothesis, the secularism prime had no effect. An unpredicted finding of this study was that religious fundamentalism only related to the counterterrorism attitudes of political experts, not political novices. This moderation via expertise suggests that, rather than having a direct psychological effect (such as out-group aggression), fundamentalism's relationship to such attitudes emerges through the application of political knowledge.

Masters Thesis Committee

Victor C. Ottati and R. Scott Tindale

Jeremy Winget

Jeremy Winget
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: The Group-Decision Making Lab
Advisor: R. Scott Tindale, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL05

Interests

My research primarily focuses on issues of information processing, social influence, and morality in individual and group decision making. For example, some of my research has focused on how group members share certain representations of a task (or certain cognitive processes/heuristics activated by the task) and how these shared representations impact group decisions, performance, and intragroup processes, particularly in terms of ethical decision-making and moral reasoning. In another line of research, I am investigating the mediational role of group norms on cognitive processing styles. Specifically, I am interested in how norms that enhance or protect a particular group may lead to more dogmatic (versus open-minded) cognition and how this may influence subsequent cooperation.

Masters Thesis Title

Group-level differences of moral foundations

Masters Thesis Abstract

Previous research has started to map the moral domain for individual actors. In particular, Haidt and colleagues (Haidt, 2007, 2008; Haidt & Graham, 2007; Haidt & Joseph, 2004) have extended the moral domain beyond the traditional notions of justice and rights concerns. From this line of research, moral foundations theory emerged, which holds moral intuitions derive from innate psychological mechanisms that co-evolved with cultural institutions and practices. However, to date, there has not been a systematic demonstration of how these moral foundations operate within intergroup settings. Janoff-Bulman and Carnes (2013) have proposed a comprehensive model of the moral landscape that includes a group component; however, this model has received some criticism (e.g., Graham, 2013). The current study examined how moral foundations operate from a group perspective. Moreover, potential outgroup moderators of moral foundations were examined. Participants were placed into one of two conditions in which they rated the extent to which various concerns were relevant when making moral judgments about their ingroup and various outgroups. Two sets of three different outgroups conforming to the various quadrants of the stereotype content model were used. Results showed significant differences for the harm, fairness, and loyalty foundations between ingroups and outgroups. Moreover, the type of outgroup significantly influenced moral foundations scores. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the importance of considering moral foundations at the group level.

Masters Thesis Committee

R. Scott Tindale & Jeffrey Huntsinger

Young-Jae Yoon

Training Track: Applied Social
Advisor: James Larson, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 104

Interests

I am particularly interested in the problem-solving and decision-making performance of small groups, and agent-based modeling. 

Masters Thesis Title

The Effects of Individualistic-Collectivistic Value Orientation and Individualistic-Collectivistic Self Representation on Group Creativity 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Cognitive fixation is detrimental to creativity of groups as well as individuals (Smith, 2003). In the present study, we explored under what conditions groups would be able to overcome this obstacle and achieve high levels of ideational creativity. Based on the notion that collective creativity requires key components of both individualism and collectivism (Choi, Cho, & Seo, 2015), we hypothesized that the combination of collectivistic value orientation and independent self-representation would lead to high levels of group creativity in terms of both quantity and quality of ideas generated. We conducted a laboratory experiment involving 56 triads of Korean undergraduates and found, as expected, that ideas were more creative when group members combined collectivistic values with independent self-representation. 

Evan Zahniser

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PIER Lab  
Advisor: Patricia Rupert, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 344

Interests

Emotional adjustment and neuropsychological functioning; emotion regulation

Masters Thesis Title

The Moderating Role of Emotion Regulation on Longitudinal Associations Between Stress and Mental Health in College Students

Masters Thesis Abstract

Emotion regulation is consistently linked to subsequent wellbeing, but little research has examined the moderating role of emotion regulation in associations between mental health and other relevant factors.  Patterns of gender differences in emotion regulation also remain somewhat unclear.  The present study targets these gaps by examining two specific emotion regulation strategies in interaction with stress and gender in predicting internalizing symptoms among college students, a population for whom emotion regulation may be particularly important given the high-stress nature of the college transition.  A large sample of students (N = 1,130) provided self-report data at three time points over their first year of college.  Results indicated that cognitive reappraisal functioned as a buffer against the negative effects of stress, whereas expressive suppression did not interact with stress in predicting subsequent symptoms but instead functioned as an independent risk factor for internalizing symptoms.  Finally, assessments of gender differences indicated that men may engage in expressive suppression more often and cognitive reappraisal less often than do women.  These findings underscore the importance of emotion regulation, both by identifying cognitive reappraisal as a protective factor against stress and highlighting the direct negative impacts of expressive suppression.  Results also suggest that men tend to regulate their emotions in less healthy ways than do women, in turn suggesting that men may be a group for whom emotion regulation is an area of particular concern.

Masters Thesis Committee

Colleen Conley, PhD; Grayson Holmbeck, PhD

Dissertation Title

Person-Profiles of Emotion Regulation: Implications for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dissertation Abstract

(Proposal Version Only) Emotion regulation refers to the range of ways in which people manage their emotional responses, and represents an area of study that has rapidly grown in the field of psychology over the past two decades. The concept of emotion regulation, which grew out of foundational psychological theories such as psychoanalysis and coping, is often understood through models that focus on emotion regulation strategies, which are tools for modifying emotions. Two such strategy-focused models are the process model of emotion regulation and its more recent version, the extended process model, both of which have been influential in the field.
However, as the field of emotion regulation research has grown, a more recent development has been to develop and utilize models that emphasize a broader range of emotion regulation skills—such as emotional awareness, understanding the meaning of emotions, and accepting emotions—that are involved in effective emotion regulation. These models conceptualize the use of strategies to modify emotions as only one of a range of skills that are necessary for effective emotion regulation. Two examples of these broader, more skills-focused models include the difficulties in emotion regulation model and the adaptive coping with emotions (ACE) model, the latter of which provides the conceptual framework for understanding emotion regulation in the present study.
Research has long identified effective emotion regulation as a key aspect of wellbeing, predicting positive outcomes across a range of domains such as emotional adjustment, mental health, and social functioning. At the same time, deficits in emotion regulation are conceptualized as central to many types of psychopathology, and several forms of psychotherapy explicitly target emotion regulation skills in order to improve wellbeing. Empirical research focused specifically on emotion regulation skills have linked these abilities both to subsequent emotional adjustment and psychological functioning. Along similar lines, research has demonstrated that improvements in emotion regulation skills over the course of psychotherapy are closely linked to treatment outcomes, and that adding emotion regulation skills-training to traditional psychotherapy improves mental health outcomes. These findings further highlight the importance of emotion regulation skills for emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Though the study of individual differences in emotion regulation is one area in which the field must continue to grow, two aspects of this topic have received attention in the emotion regulation literature are those of gender differences in emotion regulation and emotion regulation across human development. Research focused on emotion regulation strategies has consistently demonstrated gender differences in typical approaches to emotion regulation, though the impacts of emotion regulation seem to be consistent regardless of gender. Emotion regulation has also been shown to vary across human development, and to perhaps be of particular importance during developmental stages that feature major life transitions. Emerging adulthood, the developmental stage spanning the late teens and early twenties, is one such developmental period in which effective emotion regulation is especially important to study.
 
Across all of this research, significant strides have been made in illuminating the positive impacts of emotion regulation, with research that identifies ways in which particular emotion regulation skills relate to wellbeing. However, the field of emotion regulation research must continue to grow in its study of the ways in which different aspects of emotion regulation work together to affect outcomes, and in exploring individual differences in configurations of emotion regulation skills that may differ across people. Research using person-centered approaches—which can be used to identify personal configurations of emotion regulation skills and ways in which these may differ across people—is largely lacking. The present study targets this gap in the emotion regulation literature, focusing on emotion regulation among emerging adults approaching the transition out of college, with two goals in mind: (a) to identify groups of people with similar patterns of emotion regulation skills, and (b) to explore the emotional adjustment, mental health, social functioning, future planning, and overall wellbeing outcomes that may differ across these groups.

Dissertation Committee

Patricia Rupert, PhD; Fred Bryant, PhD; Colleen Conley, PhD; Noni Gaylord-Harden, PhD

Zahra F. Naqi

Zahra F. Naqi

Training Track: Developmental 

Lab: Self-Regulation, Early Development, and Settings (SEEDS) Lab

Advisor: Christine Li-Grining, Ph.D.

Office: Coffey Hall 106

Emailznaqi@luc.edu

Webpagehttp://www.cpligrining.org/meet-the-team.html

Interests: socioemotional development in immigrant and refugee children

Adrien Winning

Adrien Winning

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: CHATS Lab

Advisors: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D.

Office: Coffey Hall 345

Email: awinning@luc.edu


Interests

Adrien is broadly interested in risk and resilience factors that contribute to family adjustment to pediatric chronic health conditions. In the CHATS lab, she plans to examine neurocognitive and family processes that influence adjustment outcomes in youth and adolescents with spina bifida. 

 

Nathan Lutz

Nathan Lutz

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: PACE Lab

Advisors: Scott Leon, Ph.D.

Office: Coffey Hall 202

Email: nlutz@luc.edu


Interests

Child Welfare, Child Maltreatment Interventions

Carolyn Bates

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: Activity Matters Lab

Advisor: Amy Bohnert, Ph.D. 

Office: Coffey Hall 207

Email: cbates3@luc.edu

Webpage: activitymatterslab.org


Interests

contextual influences on health behaviors in pediatric populations

Masters Thesis Title

Summertime Sleep and BMI in Urban Minority Girls: Relations to Physical Activity and Executive Functions

Masters Thesis Abstract

Urban minority youth, particularly females, are at high risk for increased weight gain during the summertime months, and may also experience insufficient sleep at this time.   Few studies have objectively measured summertime sleep in this population or related sleep to weight gain during this season.  The current study draws on a sample of 66 urban minority girls aged 10-to-14 who participated in a community-based summer day camp program promoting physical activity (PA).   The study objectively characterizes sleep in this sample, both in unstructured and structured contexts. Additionally, the study examines potential pathways underlying summertime relations between sleep and weight, including PA and executive functions (EFs).  Data were collected at a community-based summer day camp program at two time points: prior to beginning programming (T1; unstructured context) and during the final week of programming (T2; structured context).  At both time points, participants experienced shorter nighttime sleep than is recommended for their age, and African American girls recorded significantly less sleep than Latina girls only when not engaged in programming.  Furthermore, findings suggest that wake times may play a particularly influential role in youths’ abilities to obtain adequate sleep.  Mediation models were not significant, however, research with a larger sample is needed to adequately address mechanisms underlying relations between sleep and BMI.  Overall, summertime sleep is an understudied health behavior that may be important to consider among minority youth. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Amy Bohnert, PhD (chair), & Grayson Holmbeck, PhD

Dissertation Title

Family Entropy: Definition and Influence on Health Behaviors and Weight in School-Aged Children

Dissertation Abstract

High rates of child overweight and obesity place youth at risk for a multitude of short- and long-term health consequences. To inform effective prevention and intervention, it is imperative to identify risk and protective factors in children’s primary environments, including the home. The level of organization/disorganization within the home environment may influence child health behaviors and weight, but the literature to-date has suffered from the lack of a strong overarching conceptualization. Family entropy is a novel construct that fills this gap by representing the overall level of organization/disorganization across the home environment. The current study is the first to define and assess family entropy in a longitudinal sample of 989 children measured yearly from grades 3-6 as part of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. The study will examine the direct influence of family entropy on child weight and two health behaviors as mediators of this link (i.e., sleep and physical activity). The study will account for the influence of socioeconomic factors, and will and consider differential influence of the family entropy on health behaviors and weight among lower- and higher-SES subgroups. Variables were measured by means of observation and semi-structured parent interviews, parent-reported questionnaires, and accelerometry. Analyses will be conducted using a primarily Structural Equation Modeling approach.

Dissertation Committee

Amy Bohnert, PhD (chair), Joanna Buscemi, PhD, Fred Bryant, PhD, & Elizabeth Wakefield, PhD

 

 

Jenny Phan

Jenny Phan

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: Parents and Children Coping Together (PACCT) Lab, Risk and Resilience Lab

Advisors: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D., Maryse Richards, Ph.D.

Office: Coffey Hall 248

Email: jphan4@luc.edu


Interests

community violence exposure, risk and resilient processes, identity development, culturally-sensitive treatment interventions

 

Elizabeth Sargent

Elizabeth Sargent

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: PACCT Lab

Advisor: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D.

Office: Coffey Hall 248

Email: esargent1@luc.edu


Interests

Youth mental health, coping with traumatic events and stress, involvement in the juvenile justice system, and the implementation of evidence based services for underserved children and families. 

 

Elicia Wartman

Elicia Wartman

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: CHATS Lab

Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D

Office: Coffey Hall 

Email: ewartman@luc.edu


Interests

Yvita Bustos

Yvita Bustos

Training Track: Clinical

Lab: Children Adapting to Stress and Adversity (CASA) Lab  

Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D. 

Office: Coffey Hall 406

Email: ybustos@luc.edu

Website: http://casalabluc.weebly.com/meet-the-research-team.html 


Interests

I am interested in underserved populations, particularly low-income Latino youth and families. I am interested in community-based and school based interventions for children with a history of trauma exposure. My interests also include risk, resilience, stress, coping, cultural factors and community-based participatory research. 

 

Samantha de Souza

Samantha de Souza
Training Track: Applied Social, MA
Advisor: James Larson, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 104
Website: LinkedIn

Interests

Leadership style and its effect on group cohesion/performance.

Grace Jhe Bai

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PACE Lab  
Advisor: Scott Leon, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 202

Interests

Resilience factors that promote adaptive adjustment among youth exposed to traumatic stressors, such as child maltreatment and exposure to community violence 

Masters Thesis Title

The protective effect of kinship support on the adjustment of youth in foster care 

Masters Thesis Committee

Scott Leon and James Garbarino

Dissertation Title

Child Maltreatment and Psychosocial Functioning among Foster Care Youth: Self-Concept as a Mediator and a Moderator 

Dissertation Committee

Scott Leon, James Garbarino, Noni Gaylord-Harden, and Maryse Richards, Ph.D.

Emma-Lorraine Bart-Plange

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Parents and Children Coping Together (PACCT) Lab  
Advisor: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 248

Interests

Currently, I study stress and coping with African American youth and families. Other research interests include acculturative stress, coping behaviors of immigrant and refugee youth and families, and public mental health concerns in low and middle income countries (LMICs).  

Masters Thesis Title

The effects of acculturative stress on mental health outcomes of African immigrant and refugee youth: Coping as a moderator 

Masters Thesis Abstract

For immigrant and refugee adolescents, acculturative stress such as social and family conflict may be experienced as a result of the acculturation process (Berry, 2006; Mena, Padilla, &amp; Maldonado, 1987). While research documents that these adolescents demonstrate patterns of associations between acculturative stress and internalizing symptoms, development of coping strategies may help youth to address adverse stressors (Oppedal, Roysamb, &amp; Heyerdahl, 2005; Zimmer-Gembeck &amp; Skinner, 2011). In addition to mainstream coping strategies, culturally-relevant coping strategies may be used by ethnic minorities, particularly those of African descent (Utsey, Brown, &amp; Bolden, 2004). The purpose of the current study was to determine if mainstream and culturally-relevant coping strategies are successful in moderating the deleterious effects of acculturative stress on the mental health of African immigrant and refugee youth.

The current study was comprised of 14 African immigrant and refugee adolescents between the ages of 11-18 (mean age = 14.65; 35.7% female). Participants were recruited from a church and a community-based organization serving immigrants and refugees. Data assessing levels of objective and perceived acculturative stress, use of mainstream and culturally-relevant coping strategies, externalizing and internalizing symptoms was collected. Regression analyses were used to determine whether coping higher acculturative stress levels were related to higher levels of culturally-relevant coping use and if coping moderated the stress outcomes relationship.
Consistent with hypothesis, higher levels of objective acculturative stress were related to higher levels of Maintaining Harmony coping use. Further, status (immigrant vs. refugee) appeared to influence this relationship. No other culturally-relevant strategies were related to acculturative stress. Inconsistent with hypothesis, active and avoidant coping strategies did not moderate the stress-outcomes relationship; however, support seeking coping affected this relationship in a direction different than predicted. Consistent with hypotheses, Maintaining Harmony coping moderated the relationship between objective stress and internalizing/externalizing symptoms. Inconsistent with hypotheses, no other culturally-relevant strategies affected this relationship. Results are discussed with regard to objective and perceived stress and implications of status on these outcomes.
 

Masters Thesis Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden and James Garbarino 

Dissertation Title

Cultural Assets and Racial Discrimination: A Person-based Exploration of Culturally Relevant Coping with African American Male Adolescents

Dissertation Abstract

African-American youth from economically-disadvantaged, urban families and communities are disproportionately exposed to stressful life conditions, placing them at increased risk for mental health problems (Gonzales & Kim, 1997; Grant et al., 2000). A subset of a broader domain of the ways children and adolescents adapt to stress is coping (Compas, 1998). Especially within the domain of adolescence, the general pattern of strategies youth use to cope with stress impacts their current and future emotional adjustment (Compas et al., 2001). Coping research with African American youth has found evidence for racial discrimination predicting use of culturally-relevant coping strategies (Gaylord-Harden & Cunningham, 2009) and suggests that low-income African American youths may draw upon other unique and culturally-relevant coping strategies that are not captured on existing measures of universal coping strategies. Culturally-relevant coping strategies attempt to take into account cultural and contextual factors that may affect the manifestation and utilization of coping strategies. Culturally-relevant coping strategies are derived from a particular cultural worldview or orientation (Noh & Kaspar, 2003; Beru, 2002). For African American youth, culturally-relevant coping strategies may be based in an Afrocentric worldview that is rooted in African philosophies and cultural traditions (Utsey, Adams, & Bolden, 2000; Chambers et al., 1998). African American youth possess varying levels of identity with this Africultural orientation (Jagers & Mock, 1993). These coping strategies are reflected in a 34-item measure called the Youth Africultural Coping System Inventory (Y-ACSI; Gaylord-Harden & Utsey, 2007). The four factors of the Y-ACSI include: Emotional Debriefing (managing stress by expressing oneself emotionally and creatively); Spiritual-Centered Coping, (spiritually-based attempts to manage a situation); Maintaining Harmony, (creating a harmonious balance with environmental stimuli and others); and Communalistic/Collectivistic Coping, (coping through relationships with others; Utsey at al., 2000). Given the unique coping patterns of African-American boys, the current study sought to validate the Y-ACSI measure in a sample of African American adolescent males, determine if racial discrimination exposure predicts use of culturally relevant coping strategies, and create latent groups based on coping strategy use and racial discrimination exposure to compare groups on various psychosocial outcomes.

Dissertation Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden, Helena Dagadu, James Garbarino, and Catherine Santiago

Stephanie Brewer

Training Track: Clinical, child subspecialty
Lab: CASA Lab  
Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D. 
Office: N/A
Email: sbrewer@luc.edu   
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

I am particularly interested in promoting equitable mental health services for historically underserved youth. To achieve this long-term goal, my program of research focuses on: (1) understanding the contextually relevant stressors and culturally salient strengths that impact psychosocial wellbeing, (2) identifying evidence-based, culturally responsive interventions for children and adolescents, and (3) improving the implementation of contextually relevant and culturally responsive evidence-based interventions.

Masters Thesis Title

The impacts of family environment and stress reactivity on daily mood for low-income Latino adolescents 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Low-income Latino adolescents are at an increased risk for developing psychopathology, as the chronic stressors faced by those who grow up in poverty have an adverse cumulative effect, and the relationship between exposure to poverty and negative mental health outcomes is intensified for ethnic minority youth. One of the most impactful ways in which poverty causes deteriorations in adolescent mental health is through heightened levels of parent-child conflict. Another harmful result of the multiple stressors faced by poor youth is the dysregulation of the stress reactivity system. For Latino adolescents, problems with mood are a particular concern, as Latino adolescents have higher rates of mood problems than any other ethnic group. Fortunately, these youth may be able to benefit from the buffering effect of the cultural value of familism. Higher levels of familism may buffer against the harmful effects of parent-child conflict and inflated stress reactivity on mood. The present study utilizes a daily diary methodology to examine these processes in a nuanced way for low-income Latino middle school students. This research examines whether greater dysregulation of the stress reactivity system exacerbates the impact of high parent-child conflict on mood problems, while greater levels of familism buffer against mood problems, using hierarchical linear models that incorporate all daily ratings for each adolescent.

Masters Thesis Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD; Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD

Dissertation Title

The roles of HPA axis activity and attentional bias in the development of anxiety symptoms in low-income Mexican-origin children

Dissertation Abstract

The overarching goal of this research is to increase understanding of the development of anxiety in children of low-income Mexican-origin immigrants. Mexican-origin children display disproportionately high rates of mental disorders such as anxiety, as they face many chronic stressors related to poverty and immigration. A likely mediator of this process is HPA axis activity, causing a buildup of cortisol in the body in response to chronic stress. There is a large amount of evidence indicating that HPA axis activity is a mechanism through which accumulated poverty-related stress causes mental illness, but this mediator has not been examined in relation to culturally relevant immigration-related stress. Although chronic stress related to poverty and immigration likely causes chronic HPA axis activity, which can lead to problems with anxiety, not all highly stressed children develop anxiety, so there may be a moderator implicated in anxiety development. Neurocognitive processes such as attentional bias to threat have been shown to determine the trajectory of children’s anxious behavior later in life. Attentional bias to threat is a key component of the development and maintenance of anxiety, yet it has not been examined as a potential moderator distinguishing the highly stressed children who develop anxiety from those who do not. The present research focuses on HPA axis activity and attentional bias to threat in order to explain why some low-income Mexican-origin children develop anxiety symptoms and some do not. This study uses a culturally relevant measure of immigration-related stress and examines chronic HPA axis activity as a causal mechanism in the development of anxiety. Further, this research examines attentional bias to threat as a moderator of the association between chronic HPA axis activity and anxiety symptoms. The present study addresses these questions with a longitudinal research design in a community sample of low-income Mexican-origin children.

Dissertation Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD; Rebecca L. Silton, PhD; Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD; Christine P. Li-Grining, PhD

Kyle Deane

Kyle Deane
Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab  
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 442

Interests

trauma, posttraumatic stress, exposure to community violence, gang violence, risk and resilience, family functioning, childhood and adolescent development, pediatric health psychology, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychological assessment

Masters Thesis Title

Posttraumatic Stress, Family Functioning, and Adjustment in Urban African American Youth Exposed to Violence: A Moderated Mediation Model

Masters Thesis Abstract

Exposure to community violence is a pressing public health issue that disproportionately impacts poor, urban, and ethnic minority youth. It has been associated with a multitude of negative externalizing and internalizing symptoms, most frequently with posttraumatic stress. This study investigates the role that posttraumatic stress has in mediating the relation between exposure to community violence and other adjustment difficulties. Moreover, because not all adolescents experience these difficulties in the face of significant violence exposure, the study examines the moderating role of family cohesion and support in buffering the effect of violence and posttraumatic stress on later adjustment. A sample of 268 low-income, urban, African American sixth graders living in high crime neighborhoods participated in a three-year longitudinal study measuring the effects of community violence exposure. Family cohesion and daily family support exhibited a protective-stabilizing or buffering effect for several of the proposed outcomes. Posttraumatic stress was shown to mediate the effect of witnessing community violence on subsequent internalizing symptoms and aggression. However, the strength of these indirect effects was dependent on level of family cohesion. The findings provide evidence in support for interventions provided at both individual and family levels. Mental health providers working with this population should be aware of the intertwined nature of chronic exposure to community violence, posttraumatic stress, and subsequent maladaptive outcomes

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse Richards, Ph.D. and James Garbarino, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

Examining Exposure to Community Violence, Trauma, Adjustment, and Family Functioning in Youth Living in Low-Income Urban Environments: Differing Methods of Measurement

Dissertation Abstract

The three studies presented in the current proposal seek to address the interlocking nature of exposure to community violence, adjustment difficulties, such as posttraumatic stress, and family functioning among ethnic minority adolescents living in economically disadvantaged and socially toxic neighborhoods. Understanding the nexus and complex interactions between these variables is critical to more effectively address intervention efforts and policy issues in this area. Furthermore, each study in this collection utilizes various methodologies and measurements of violence exposure, its consequences, and familial protective factors, providing a more nuanced understanding of these relationships. These differing approaches address the aforementioned methodological limitations present in the current literature, including inconsistent definitions of violence exposure, overreliance on retrospective questionnaires, cross-sectional designs, and atheoretical foundations, which inhibit a cohesive understanding of the nature and effects of violence. 

Dissertation Committee

Maryse Richards, James Garbarino, Cate Santiago, and David Treering

Dakari Quimby

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Risk and Resilience Lab  
Advisor: Maryse Richards, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 443
Email: dquimby@luc.edu   

Masters Thesis Title

Positive Peer Pressure among African American Youth and the Roles of Ethnic Identity and Gender

Masters Thesis Abstract

Objective: The current study examined whether peer pressure, can promote positive youth development among Black American adolescents living in high-risk neighborhoods. Method: In this study, data were collected during a three-year longitudinal study from a sample of 316 Black American adolescents (M = 11.65 years). Variables were assessed using both questionnaires and the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a time sampling technique. Results: Findings indicated the more positive peer association youth experienced over time, the better outcomes they reported over time. Additionally, a low sense of ethnic identity appeared to account for why some youth experienced a sharper increase in outcomes as positive peer association increased.Conclusions: Future interventions should consider harnessing the ability of prosocial peers to
foster healthy development.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse H. Richards and Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

The Experience of Mentors in a Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program: Exploring the Helper Therapy Principle

Masters Thesis Abstract

Mentoring programs are becoming increasingly prevalent interventions for promoting positive development in youth. This success has led mentoring to become a popular option for fostering wellbeing among youth from high risk environments. Although effective when their relationships last, adult mentors have had difficulties maintaining their mentoring relationships due to other responsibilities and cultural disconnect. Due to their increased availability and the significant influence of peers among youth, older adolescents serving as cross age peer mentors have been recognized as available option to circumvent the issues of adult mentoring relationships. Cross age peer mentoring refers to an older high school aged youth serving as a mentor for a younger, middle school aged mentee. Although not as widely studied as adult mentoring, this relationship has been found to have a beneficial effect for both the mentor and mentee. The current study seeks to better illuminate this bidirectional benefit by focusing on one half of the relationship; the experience of cross age peer mentoring by mentors. Despite the established reciprocal effects, mentors have received little attention within the peer mentoring literature. This is an important untapped area of study as peer mentoring interventions have the potential to have an expansive impact affecting both older and younger youth. More information is now needed regarding the process of mentoring as it relates to mentors. The current study will examine how the helper therapy principle, a theory explaining the positive development experienced by individuals who take on a helping role, relates to mentors’ perception of the mentor-mentee bond. As the connection between mentor and mentee is considered the foundational component of a mentoring relationship that facilitates growth in key outcome areas, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to or result from this bond can help interventions maximize the benefit for participating peer mentors.

Masters Thesis Committee

Maryse H. Richards

Lorri A. Kais

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Well-being and Emotion Lab at Loyola (WELL)
Advisor: Rebecca Silton, Ph.D.  
Office: Coffey Hall LL06B
Email: lkais@luc.edu 

Interests

Lorri is interested in research at the intersection of mental health and cognitive function utilizing psychophysiological and behavioral methods. She is also interested in genetic and developmental disorders and plans on pursuing a career in pediatric neuropsychology. 

Masters Thesis Title

Neural Correlates of Inhibitory Function Following the Implicit Processing of Emotional Faces 

Masters Thesis Committee

Rebecca Silton and Robert Morrison

Dissertation Title

Affect and Cognitive Control: The Influence of Naturalistic Mood on Interference Processing 

Dissertation Abstract

Every day planning and execution of goal-directed human performance is dependent upon cognitive and emotional processes which are inherently interlinked. However, the effect of naturalistic mood states on cognitive control remains relatively unexamined. The present study aims to build upon existing literature regarding affective and executive processes by investigating the relationship between naturally occurring positive and negative mood states and interference processing during the CW-Stroop Task. Based upon mood induction findings within the extant literature, the current study hypothesizes that high levels of self-reported positive state affect will hinder interference processing. In contrast, high levels of self-reported negative state affect are hypothesized to facilitate interference processing. 

Dissertation Committee

Rebecca Silton, Robert Morrison, Colleen Conley, and Jeff Huntsinger

Jaclyn Lennon Papadakis

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Chicago Health Adolescent Transition Study (CHATS) Lab  
Advisor: Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D. 
Office: N/A
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

Psychosocial functioning and family functioning in families of children with chronic illnesses; the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors on child health

Masters Thesis Title

Latino Youth with Spina Bifida: Psychosocial Functioning, Family Functioning, and Acculturation

Masters Thesis Abstract

Objective: Research on Latino youth with spina bifida (SB) is sparse.  However, SB rates are highest in this ethnic group, and typically-developing (TD) Latino youth are at risk for poor psychosocial functioning. The aims of this study were to examine: (1) differences in psychosocial and family functioning between Latino and non-Latino Caucasian youth with SB; (2) family functioning as a predictor of youth psychosocial functioning as moderated by ethnicity; (3) the impact of acculturation on youth psychosocial and family functioning in Latino youth with SB. Methods: Participants were recruited as part of a larger, longitudinal study (Devine et al., 2012).  The study’s sample included 74 non-Latino Caucasian youth with SB and 39 Latino youth with SB (M age= 11.53, 52.2% female). This study included parent-, teacher-, and youth- report on internalizing and externalizing symptoms, social competence and acceptance, friendship quality, and family cohesion, conflict, and stress. Observational data of family interaction tasks were also included. All data were available at Time 1 and two years later at Time 2. Analyses controlled for SES and youth IQ. Results: Latino youth demonstrated fewer externalizing symptoms and less social competence, and Latino families demonstrated less family conflict. For non-Latino Caucasian youth, greater family cohesion predicted greater youth social competence and greater family stress predicted greater youth internalizing symptoms. For Latino youth, higher levels of mother acculturation predicted greater youth externalizing symptoms and less family cohesion. Conclusions: Compared to non-Latino Caucasian youth with SB, Latino youth with SB demonstrate similar or better levels of psychosocial functioning, their families demonstrate less family conflict, and family functioning is less predictive of psychosocial functioning overtime. Levels of mother acculturation impact aspects of psychosocial and family functioning for Latino youth. Results have implications for how family-based interventions may be adapted for Latino families of youth with SB.

Masters Thesis Committee

Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD

Dissertation Title

The Impact of Sociodemographic Factors on Health-Related, Neuropsychological, and Psychosocial Functioning in Youth with Spina Bifida

Dissertation Abstract

(NOTE: Dissertation research is on-going.) Research has shown that youth with spina bifida (SB) are at risk for experiencing poor health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning, especially when compared to typically-developing youth (e.g., Liptak et al., 2015). However, few studies have considered the impact of sociodemographic factors on outcomes among this population. A more comprehensive examination of how youth are impacted by sociodemographic factors is needed given the pervasive health disparities that exist in the United States and around the world (Braveman & Gottlieb, 2014), and because pediatric populations, such as SB, may be particularly vulnerable. (AAP, 2010).  The current study seeks to expand upon the limited understanding of how sociodemographic factors are associated with health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning among youth with SB. The first objective is to examine differences in health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning between youth who are and are not characterized by risk across multiple sociodemographic factors. The second objective is to examine the cumulative effect of sociodemographic risk as a predictor of youth health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning, as moderated by age. The third objective is to examine family stress as a mediator of the association between sociodemographic factors and youth health-related, neuropsychological, and psychosocial functioning over time. Participants are from a larger longitudinal study and include 140 families of youth with SB ages 8-15 (53.6% female; M age = 11.43). Data were collected every two years at three time points. Data were collected during home visits that lasted approximately three hours. The current study includes youth-, parent-, and teacher -reported questionnaire data, youth neuropsychological testing data, and medical chart. Planned data analyses include: multivariate analyses of covariance with univariate follow-up analyses (Objective 1); hierarchical multiple regression analyses testing moderation effects (Objective 2); bootstrapping methods using Hayes’ PROCESS v2.16 statistical software (Objective 3).

Dissertation Committee

Grayson N. Holmbeck, PhD, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD, Christine P. Li-Grining, PhD, Kathy Zebracki, PhD
 
 

Michelle Adzido

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Behavioral Research on Acceptance and Diversity Laboratory (BROAD) Lab
Advisor: Robyn Mallett, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 218
Email: madzido@luc.edu
Webpage: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-adzido-690b24101

Interests
Research interests include prejudice, discrimination, stigma, stereotyping intergroup relations & contact, as well as target responses to sexist and racist remarks and/or disparaging humor.

Rayne Bozeman

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Behavioral Research on Acceptance and Diversity Laboratory (BROAD) Lab
Advisor: Robyn Mallett, Ph.D.  
Office: Coffey Hall 306

Interests

My research focuses on ways to reduce intergroup prejudice. Confronting prejudice can change others' biased behavior and attitudes. However, individuals face many barriers in the decision to confront. This is in part due to the social costs associated with confrontational responses - you may be disliked or rejected for speaking up. Additionally, individuals may simply not know the best way to respond.  My research investigates ways that people can overcome these barriers and confront bias. Specifically, I train individuals to use confrontation strategies and reduce their fears of rejection. These simple interventions have the power to help people to dynamically respond to everyday instances of prejudice - both online and in face-to-face interactions. 

Masters Thesis Title

Bystander Confronting of Anti-Black Racism: Effects of Belonging Affirmation and Confrontation Training

Masters Thesis Abstract

Confronting has the potential to reduce prejudice, especially when implemented by a non-target group member. Not knowing how to respond and fearing social rejection have been identified as barriers to confronting in previous studies. The current study tests whether providing training to confront prejudice and affirming the need to belong helps individuals overcome these barriers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three training conditions: prejudice confrontation training (PCT), rude comment training (RCT), or no training control group (NT). Participants were also randomly assigned to one of two belonging conditions: belonging affirmation or control. Participants were then asked to imagine that a friend posted a racist Facebook comment on their page, and were asked to respond to the comment. Responses were coded for whether participants labeled the comment as racist, number of confrontation responses and strategy use. Training, belonging, and race interacted to predict participants’ confronting behavior. PCT increased confrontations for participants of color, whereas RCT did so for Whites. Whites confronted more when belonging was affirmed, whereas participants of color did so when belonging was not affirmed.

Masters Thesis Committee

Robyn K. Mallett, PhD; Tracy DeHart, PhD

Dissertation Title

The Impact of Regulatory Fit on Confrontations of Bias

Dissertation Abstract

(IN PROGRESS) Anti-Black racism remains a major problem in contemporary American life, with deleterious consequences for Blacks. Whites possess social power to change the status quo, and can be allies in the movement for social justice. Confrontation has the potential to reduce biased behavior and prejudiced attitudes, yet many people refrain from spontaneously confronting. Persuasive appeals may encourage ally confronting. The present studies test whether experiencing regulatory fit enhances the persuasiveness of a pro-confrontation message.  When individuals adopt goal pursuit strategies that match their regulatory orientation, they experience a sense of fit. This fit makes individuals feel better about the tasks they are engaged in. A pro-confrontation message could be framed in terms of approaching egalitarianism or avoiding prejudice. By matching allies’ regulatory focus with the message frame, I posit that that the resulting regulatory fit will increase confronting behavior and feeling right about the message relative to regulatory misfit. These studies are unique in examining the role of persuasion, message frame, and regulatory fit in confrontation. The results could inform anti-racism interventions and impact prejudice-reduction.

Dissertation Committee

Robyn Mallett, Tracy DeHart, Victor Ottati, Noni Gaylord-Harden

Darian Farrell

Darian Farrell
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interaction Lab  
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL22
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

My research interests focus on the self and social identity and how that impacts interpersonal relationships.  

Natalie Hallinger

Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interaction Lab  
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall LL22
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

I investigate intrinsic motivation and decision-making processes. My research looks at how the ideal self (the best version of yourself that you'd like to be) influences interpersonal attraction, relationships, and other generalized choices. 

Masters Thesis Title

The Influence of Ideal Similarity on the Relation Between Self-discrepancy and Attraction 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Some research indicates that individuals with high self-discrepancy (distance between the actual self and the ideal self) are more prone to interpersonal attraction than those with low self-discrepancy and that perceived ideal similarity (how closely a target individual resembles your own ideal self) strongly influences attraction. To test the hypothesis that ideal similarity moderates the relationship between self-discrepancy and attraction, manufactured Facebook profiles were used to manipulate perceived ideal similarity of target before having participants rate the target on measures of liking and respect. This study surveyed 232 college students; 111 from a mid-sized, private Midwestern university and 121 from other US universities recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (M-Turk). The experimental manipulation of ideal similarity was marginally significant for the private university sample, but was not significant for the M-Turk sample. Despite controlling for sample source, the main regression analysis of the effect of ideal similarity on the influence of self-discrepancy on ratings of liking and respect was not significant either. However, post-hoc regression analyses revealed that though self-discrepancy did not appear to directly influence liking or respect, ideal similarity did have a significant, positive influence on both liking and respect. 

Masters Thesis Committee

Tracy DeHart, Victor Ottati, and R. Scott Tindale 

Hannah Hamilton

Hannah Hamilton
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Self and Social Interactions (SASI) Lab
Advisor: Tracy DeHart, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL22

Interests

Self, interactions, relationships, health behaviors, need to belong

Masters Thesis Title

Drinking to belong: The effects of friendship interactions on college student drinking

Masters Thesis Committee

Tracy DeHart and Robyn Mallett

Dissertation Title

Not all fun and games: Sexism and college women’s alcohol consumption

Dissertation Committee

Tracy DeHart, Robyn Mallett, Victor Ottati, Grayson Holmbeck

Chase Wilson

Chase Wilson
Training Track: Applied Social
Lab: Attitudes and Social Cognition Lab
Advisor: Victor Ottati, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall LL27
Webpage: LinkedIn

Interests

I am interested in political attitudes, and the lay theories and cognitive styles that contribute to forming these attitudes.

Masters Thesis Title

The perceived threat of secularism and militancy among religious fundamentalists

Masters Thesis Abstract

Religious fundamentalism has been found to predict endorsement of aggressive counterterrorism techniques, such as the use of severe interrogations and pre-emptive military attacks (e.g. Barnes, Brown & Osterman, 2012). The present study tested whether a perceived increase in secularism constitutes a psychological threat to American religious fundamentalists, and thus increases endorsement of such counterterrorism tactics. Replicating previous research, religious fundamentalism was found to positively predict endorsement of aggressive counterterrorism techniques, even when controlling for ideology and party identification. Contrary to hypothesis, the secularism prime had no effect. An unpredicted finding of this study was that religious fundamentalism only related to the counterterrorism attitudes of political experts, not political novices. This moderation via expertise suggests that, rather than having a direct psychological effect (such as out-group aggression), fundamentalism's relationship to such attitudes emerges through the application of political knowledge.

Masters Thesis Committee

Victor C. Ottati and R. Scott Tindale

Amy Governale

Amy Governale
Training Track: Developmental
Advisor: James Garbarino, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 106
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

My research interests include community resources that promote positive youth development among low-income, ethnically diverse adolescents. Specifically, my research focuses on the relation between participation in community-based afterschool programs and youth outcomes both during the summer months.

Masters Thesis Title

The Influence of Community-Based Summer Programs on Ethnically Diverse, Low-Income, Chicago Youth

Masters Thesis Abstract

How youth spend their time has become an increasingly important factor in studying adolescent development. During the summer months, longer periods of unsupervised time have been associated with a loss of academic skills and lower social-emotional skills. One support for at-risk youth and adolescents might be summer programs housed in community-based organizations. Using a pre-post test design over an 11-week period, the present study examines the linkages among participation in summer programs, individual characteristics, and youth outcomes among ethnically diverse, low-income Chicago youth. Analyses revealed ethnicity was related to math skills at the end of the summer, although the strongest predictor of mathematic ability at the end of the summer was academic skills at the beginning of the summer. Higher participation in summer programs was associated with more empathetic feelings on a self-report measure. Future directions and implications for studying community-based summer programs are discussed.

Masters Thesis Committee

James Garbarino and Christine Li-Grining

Elizabeth Hilvert

Elizabeth Hilvert
Training Track: Developmental
Lab: Emotion, Language, and Cognition in Neurotypical and Atypical Development Research Lab
Advisor: Denise Davidson, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 246

Interests

language and literacy development in typical and atypical development (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Masters Thesis Title

Script and Non-script Based Narrative Retellings in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Masters Thesis Abstract

Narrative production is challenging for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), particularly in terms of creating coherent and cohesive stories.  However, differences between the narratives of children with and without ASD may be minimized when the cognitive and linguistic demands are reduced. Therefore, the present study examined whether incorporating a script-framework, that structures the story around common events, reduced difficulties with narratives. This study compared the narrative abilities of 19 children with ASD and 26 neurotypical (NT) children on a script-based and a non-script based retelling task.  Narratives were coded for microstructure macrostructure, and the types of events included in the script-based story (script, non-script). The relation between narrative and theory of mind (ToM) was also assessed. Unexpectedly, the narration of both stories was equally difficult for children with ASD for the majority of variables, including grammar, references, adverbials, connectivity, structure, and content, which resulted in narratives that were less cohesive and coherent than the NT group. Examination of the script-based story revealed that children with ASD included the same number of script details as the NT children, but were less likely to include non-script details. ToM ability was a strong predictor of coherence and cohesion in children with ASD. The difficulties with the script-based story appear to reflect general narrative impairments, instead of abnormalities in the representation of script knowledge. These findings provide evidence that narrative impairments may be pervasive across narrative type, and that ToM ability predicts these difficulties in children with ASD.

Masters Thesis Committee

Denise Davidson, Ph.D., Perla Gamez, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

Characterization of Writing Development in Children with ASD: The Role of Language, Handwriting, and Cognitive Processing Ability

Dissertation Abstract

Despite the importance of writing for academic, social, and vocational outcomes, and evidence from standardized assessments that writing is often impaired in children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), there is a paucity of research that has comprehensively investigated specific writing impairments across a variety of text genres, especially non-fictional writing, in this population. Even less empirical research has assessed the nature of written expression difficulties in children with ASD. This is important to understand considering that ASD is a heterogeneous disorder, where many children have impairments in handwriting, language, executive functioning, and theory of mind – skills which are essential for writing effectively. Therefore, the goal of my Dissertation is to bridge critical gaps in knowledge by: (1) comprehensively assessing writing skills in children with ASD (9-14 years) across text genres in comparison to their neurotypical (NT) peers, and (2) exploring the potential underlying mechanisms (i.e., handwriting, language, executive functioning, theory of mind) contributing to specific writing skills in children with ASD, taking into account age, language, handwriting, and cognitive processing abilities.

Dissertation Committee

Denise Davidson, Ph.D., Perla Gamez, Ph.D., Molly Losh, Ph.D., Cheryl Scott, Ph.D.

Katherine Dorociak

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PIER Lab  
Advisor: Patricia Rupert, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 344
Email: kdorociak@luc.edu   
Webpage: Research Gate

Interests

professional well-functioning, burnout, self-care, clinical neuropsychology

Masters Thesis Title

Development of the Personal and Professional Self-Care Scale

Masters Thesis Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of self-care for psychologists and other mental health professionals. However, the research on self-care is limited because of the lack of an empirically based, psychometrically sound measure of this construct. Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop a measure of personal and professional self-care. The preliminary phase involved the development of a self-care definition and a two-factor framework that divided self-care into personal and professional activities. Based on this definition and framework, self-care items were generated for expert evaluation. After incorporating the expert feedback, 52 potential self-care sale items were selected for use in the initial validation study. A total of 422 licensed psychologists in Illinois completed the Self-Care and Professional Well-Being Survey. This survey contained the 52 self-care items as well as other measures of personal and professional well-being. Contrary to expectations, a two-factor structure for self-care was not supported.  Factor analysis reduced the self-care scale to 34-items representing eight factors: Life Balance, Professional Development, Cognitive Strategies, Daily Balance, Professional Support, Exercise, Diet, and Sleep. The validity analyses provided strong initial support for the validity of the first five factors listed above. However, the validity support for the physical self-care factors was not as strong. Based on factor analysis and validity data, a five-factor, 28-item “Professional Self-Care Scale” was established for validation and use in future research.

Masters Thesis Committee

Dr. Patricia Rupert & Dr. Fred Bryant

Dissertation Title

Pain and Neuropsychological Performance following Electrical Injury

Dissertation Abstract

Electrical injury (EI), a relatively rare, yet significant medical trauma, is associated with numerous short- and long-term medical, psychological, and social consequences. Cognitive consequences of EI are particularly important to understand as they may impact survivors’ abilities to adjust to injury and return to work. Research has demonstrated cognitive impairment in several domains following EI, including memory, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning. However, it remains to be determined whether the cognitive sequelae following EI is due to the direct effects of the electrical injury itself or other injury-related factors, such as emotional distress and chronic pain. In addition to cognitive impairments, EI patients often endorse significant psychiatric comorbidity. There is also some research indicating that greater depressive symptomatology is associated with poorer cognitive performance, which suggests a possible link between emotional distress and cognitive functioning in this population. Another factor that may be critical in understanding and explaining cognitive deficits following EI is chronic pain. Pain is a common and significant physical symptom following EI and is often multifactorial and disproportionate to measurable neuropathy in this population. Research with chronic pain patients demonstrates that pain may influence cognitive functioning, either directly or indirectly by influencing emotional distress which then impacts cognitive functioning. However, to date, no research has examined the relationship of pain to cognitive functioning following EI. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between pain and cognitive performance after electrical injury. More specifically, the present research has three primary aims: a) to examine the relationship between pain and neuropsychological performance in EI patients; b) to examine whether depression mediates the relationship between pain and cognitive performance; and c) to examine whether the relationship between pain and cognition is unique to this population or consistent with the relationship observed in a chronic pain population.

Dissertation Committee

Dr. Patricia Rupert, Dr. Grayson Holmbeck, Dr. Fred Bryant, & Dr. Neil Pliskin

Jenna Shapiro

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: IMPACT Lab  
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 3008

Interests

Jenna is interested in studying mental health interventions for improving coping and adherence among adolescents and emerging adults with chronic illness. As part of the IMPACT lab, she has investigated emerging adult psychosocial functioning and psychological intervention programs. Her thesis examines trajectories of adult identity development among college students and the relationship with positive and negative mental health outcomes. Her dissertation examines subgroups of adolescents with type 1 diabetes based on resilience-supporting skills and the differential efficacy of a resilience promotion program.

Masters Thesis Title

Becoming adults: Trajectories of adult identity development among undergraduate students with implications for mental health

Masters Thesis Abstract

One of the defining developmental processes that occur during the unique stage of emerging adulthood is the emergence of adult identity, or the subjective sense of adulthood. Adult identity has been hypothesized to grow gradually, linearly, and at different rates for subgroups of individuals over the course of this stage (Arnett, 2006; Côté, 2006). Differences have also been suggested to predict wellbeing and distress (Côté, 2006; Kroger, 1996; Kroger, Martinussen, & Marcia, 2010). The goals of the current study were to examine heterogeneity in adult identity development over four years in college and to examine differences in self-esteem and negative emotional symptoms, namely depression, anxiety, and stress, after four years. Findings revealed that adult identity develops linearly on average, but there is heterogeneity in this development. Specifically, the majority of students increase in adult identity over four years and a smaller portion of students decline over time. Differences between developmental subgroups on self-esteem and negative emotional symptoms are explained by adult identity ratings at the end of the fourth year. The importance of studying heterogeneity of development among emerging adults and the mental health implications of adult identity development are reviewed.

Masters Thesis Committee

Colleen Conley, Ph.D., Fred Bryant, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title

Resilience process profiles of adolescents with type 1 diabetes as moderators of associations between resilience program efficacy and health-related outcomes

Dissertation Abstract

Adolescence is a challenging period for effective diabetes self-management, maintaining adherence, and achieving optimal glycemic control among youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D; Miller et al., 2015). The diabetes resilience model suggests that the protective processes that promote behavioral and health-related resilience for youth with type 1 diabetes are multi-faceted (Hilliard, Harris, & Weissberg-Benchell, 2012). Resilience processes hypothesized to buffer the adverse effects of diabetes-specific distress and improve adherence behaviors include coping skills, self-efficacy, problem-solving, parental support, and social competence (Hilliard et al., 2012). Person-centered analyses that identify unique profiles of resilience processes may identify those with the most versus least adaptive resilience-supporting processes, and thus, those adolescents who may differentially benefit from targeted intervention. This study analyzes data from the Supporting Teen Problem Solving (STePS) study, a randomized controlled study assessing a resilience promotion program compared to a diabetes education program. The present project aims to identify subgroups of adolescents with T1D (N=264) who are at-risk for diabetes-specific distress, difficulty with adherence, and suboptimal glycemic control. Specifically, at-risk subgroups will be identified based on levels of modifiable resilience processes, including coping self-efficacy, problem-solving, negative automatic thoughts, hopelessness, and diabetes-related family conflict. Subgroups are hypothesized to be differentially associated with diabetes-specific distress, adherence, and glycemic control. Demographic variables will be investigated as predictors. Finally, resilience process subgroups will be investigated as moderators of the relation between resilience program participation and health-related outcomes. At-risk adolescents are hypothesized to show significantly greater improvement when participating in the resilience program compared to a diabetes education program; adolescents with greater resilience processes at baseline are expected to benefit less. Identifying individuals at risk for difficulty with adherence and worsening glycemic control and assessing the differential efficacy of a resilience program would provide an additional step toward a targeted approach to care.

Dissertation Committee 

Grayson Holmbeck, Ph.D., Colleen Conley, Ph.D., Fred Bryant, Ph.D., Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D.

Suzanna So

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PACCT Lab  
Advisor: Noni Gaylord-Harden, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 248

Interests

Suzanna is interested in the effect of community violence exposure on the mental health needs of low-income, urban minority youth. Within the PACCT Lab, she is examining different protective factors that can be targeted in intervention and policy research in order to better aid these populations.

Masters Thesis Title

Examining the effects of coping strategies specific to community violence exposure among African American adolescents

Masters Thesis Abstract

Variability in exposure to community violence (ECV) and aggressive behaviors in African American youth from urban communities can be attributed to general coping, but these studies have been inconclusive. Recent qualitative research identified four types of coping that are specific to ECV; however, quantitative research is needed to understand the adaptiveness of these strategies. The current study examined the factor structure of a measure for ECV-specific coping strategies. The current study also assessed how ECV-specific coping was associated with ECV and externalizing behaviors. Data from the current study were derived from an archival dataset comprised of 594 African American adolescents. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis revealed that each subscale demonstrated a good fit with the data. Moderation analyses demonstrated that certain types of ECV-specific coping may interact with ECV and gender to protect against outcomes. Thus, one must consider their unique contexts when working with youth affected by ECV.

Masters Thesis Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden and Maryse Richards 

Dissertation Title

The longitudinal relationships among exposure to community violence, trauma, delinquency, and future orientation from childhood to late adolescence

Dissertation Abstract

From a developmental psychopathology and ecological-transactional perspective, different reciprocal relationships occur throughout childhood and lead to a complex interplay of factors that influence adolescent outcomes.  For African American youth, exposure to community violence (ECV) continues to be one of the most pressing public health concerns, leading to a range of maladaptive outcomes.  However, little is known about the reciprocal associations between ECV and outcomes throughout childhood and adolescence.  The aims of the current study were to examine 1) the longitudinal, reciprocal relationships of ECV, delinquency, and trauma symptoms from middle childhood to late adolescence, 2) how future orientation during mid-adolescence may mediate or moderate the relationship between early adolescent ECV and late adolescent outcomes, and 3) parental factors that may promote future orientation by buffering against the negative effects of ECV.  Data from the current study focused on a subset of 721 African American youth from a publicly available archival dataset (i.e., Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect).  Results from autoregressive cross-lagged modeling suggested some reciprocal effects among the study variables over time, and longitudinal patterns slightly differed for males and females.  Results from moderation analyses also indicated that family future orientation was a significant moderator for ECV and delinquent behaviors, while education and career future orientation was a significant moderator for ECV and defensive avoidance.  However, mediation analyses were not found to be significant, and parental involvement did not significantly impact the effects of future orientation on outcomes.  The current study highlights the importance of examining youth functioning and outcomes by taking their unique ecological context and developmental period into account.

Dissertation Committee

Noni Gaylord-Harden, Catherine Santiago, Scott Leon, & James Garbarino

Stephanie Torres

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: CASA Lab  
Advisor: Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 406
Email: storres@luc.edu  

Interests

Stephanie is interested in the role that cultural and contextual factors have on the mental health of Latino youth and families and how this knowledge can inform the tailoring of evidence-based and culturally appropriate community interventions. Further, she is interested in the role of immigration policy and immigration-related stress among Latino communities and social justice implications for mitigating the impact of this stress.  

Masters Thesis Title

Risk and Resilience Factors among Low-Income Latino Adolescents: The Impact on Daily Ratings of Mood 

Masters Thesis Abstract

Given that Latino adolescents endorse more negative mood when compared to their counterparts of other backgrounds (CDC, 2012), it is especially advantageous to evaluate the impact of risk and resilience factors on mood among this population. The current study uses daily diary methodology to examine the impact that daily economic stress, daily family stress, familism, and ethnic identity commitment and exploration have on daily ratings of mood among 58 (M =13.31, 47% female) low-income Latino adolescents. Results show that daily family stress was strongly linked to daily mood while familism emerged as a salient resilience factor. Contrary to predictions, ethnic identity commitment appeared to be detrimental for youth; furthermore, ethnic identity exploration was found to exacerbate the effect of high economic stress. Context plays an important role in the impact of ethnic identity on mental health and efforts to promote familism and ethnic identity while reducing contextual stressors are necessary.  

Masters Thesis Committee

Catherine DeCarlo Santiago and Maryse Richards 

Evan Zahniser

Training Track: Clinical
Lab: PIER Lab  
Advisor: Patricia Rupert, Ph.D. 
Office: Coffey Hall 344

Interests

Emotional adjustment and neuropsychological functioning; emotion regulation

Masters Thesis Title

The Moderating Role of Emotion Regulation on Longitudinal Associations Between Stress and Mental Health in College Students

Masters Thesis Abstract

Emotion regulation is consistently linked to subsequent wellbeing, but little research has examined the moderating role of emotion regulation in associations between mental health and other relevant factors.  Patterns of gender differences in emotion regulation also remain somewhat unclear.  The present study targets these gaps by examining two specific emotion regulation strategies in interaction with stress and gender in predicting internalizing symptoms among college students, a population for whom emotion regulation may be particularly important given the high-stress nature of the college transition.  A large sample of students (N = 1,130) provided self-report data at three time points over their first year of college.  Results indicated that cognitive reappraisal functioned as a buffer against the negative effects of stress, whereas expressive suppression did not interact with stress in predicting subsequent symptoms but instead functioned as an independent risk factor for internalizing symptoms.  Finally, assessments of gender differences indicated that men may engage in expressive suppression more often and cognitive reappraisal less often than do women.  These findings underscore the importance of emotion regulation, both by identifying cognitive reappraisal as a protective factor against stress and highlighting the direct negative impacts of expressive suppression.  Results also suggest that men tend to regulate their emotions in less healthy ways than do women, in turn suggesting that men may be a group for whom emotion regulation is an area of particular concern.

Masters Thesis Committee

Colleen Conley, PhD; Grayson Holmbeck, PhD

Dissertation Title

Person-Profiles of Emotion Regulation: Implications for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dissertation Abstract

(Proposal Version Only) Emotion regulation refers to the range of ways in which people manage their emotional responses, and represents an area of study that has rapidly grown in the field of psychology over the past two decades. The concept of emotion regulation, which grew out of foundational psychological theories such as psychoanalysis and coping, is often understood through models that focus on emotion regulation strategies, which are tools for modifying emotions. Two such strategy-focused models are the process model of emotion regulation and its more recent version, the extended process model, both of which have been influential in the field.
However, as the field of emotion regulation research has grown, a more recent development has been to develop and utilize models that emphasize a broader range of emotion regulation skills—such as emotional awareness, understanding the meaning of emotions, and accepting emotions—that are involved in effective emotion regulation. These models conceptualize the use of strategies to modify emotions as only one of a range of skills that are necessary for effective emotion regulation. Two examples of these broader, more skills-focused models include the difficulties in emotion regulation model and the adaptive coping with emotions (ACE) model, the latter of which provides the conceptual framework for understanding emotion regulation in the present study.
Research has long identified effective emotion regulation as a key aspect of wellbeing, predicting positive outcomes across a range of domains such as emotional adjustment, mental health, and social functioning. At the same time, deficits in emotion regulation are conceptualized as central to many types of psychopathology, and several forms of psychotherapy explicitly target emotion regulation skills in order to improve wellbeing. Empirical research focused specifically on emotion regulation skills have linked these abilities both to subsequent emotional adjustment and psychological functioning. Along similar lines, research has demonstrated that improvements in emotion regulation skills over the course of psychotherapy are closely linked to treatment outcomes, and that adding emotion regulation skills-training to traditional psychotherapy improves mental health outcomes. These findings further highlight the importance of emotion regulation skills for emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Though the study of individual differences in emotion regulation is one area in which the field must continue to grow, two aspects of this topic have received attention in the emotion regulation literature are those of gender differences in emotion regulation and emotion regulation across human development. Research focused on emotion regulation strategies has consistently demonstrated gender differences in typical approaches to emotion regulation, though the impacts of emotion regulation seem to be consistent regardless of gender. Emotion regulation has also been shown to vary across human development, and to perhaps be of particular importance during developmental stages that feature major life transitions. Emerging adulthood, the developmental stage spanning the late teens and early twenties, is one such developmental period in which effective emotion regulation is especially important to study.
 
Across all of this research, significant strides have been made in illuminating the positive impacts of emotion regulation, with research that identifies ways in which particular emotion regulation skills relate to wellbeing. However, the field of emotion regulation research must continue to grow in its study of the ways in which different aspects of emotion regulation work together to affect outcomes, and in exploring individual differences in configurations of emotion regulation skills that may differ across people. Research using person-centered approaches—which can be used to identify personal configurations of emotion regulation skills and ways in which these may differ across people—is largely lacking. The present study targets this gap in the emotion regulation literature, focusing on emotion regulation among emerging adults approaching the transition out of college, with two goals in mind: (a) to identify groups of people with similar patterns of emotion regulation skills, and (b) to explore the emotional adjustment, mental health, social functioning, future planning, and overall wellbeing outcomes that may differ across these groups.

Dissertation Committee

Patricia Rupert, PhD; Fred Bryant, PhD; Colleen Conley, PhD; Noni Gaylord-Harden, PhD