This experience is best suited for highly motivated individuals who are capable of taking initiative, accepting feedback, and working as a member of a team. Depending on the nature of the project, the work may entail either laboratory or field-based work. The grade will be a function of completing research tasks on time, as well as the quality of the work accomplished. Students will be expected to produce a final product in order to receive a passing grade, the format of which will be determined in conjunction with the supervising faculty member (see Directed Study Requirements below).
The course provides undergraduate students majoring in health sciences, psychology and related disciplines with an opportunity to learn about research methods in applied and professional psychology by means of participating on a research team. The directed study is particularly appropriate for undergraduates who are considering careers in professional psychology, behavioral health, academia or applied psychological research. In this regard, the Directed Study may help them clarify their career objectives and obtain important skills that would prepare them for graduate school. This type of mentoring experience can complement and enhance the students’ other coursework by providing them with an opportunity to intensively explore one research topic.
Prior to registering for the course, students are required to contact, meet with and obtain approval from the faculty member who will be supervising their work. A list of CAEP faculty members offering Directed Study Research (CAEP4991) during each academic year will be posted on the department’s website. Faculty approval may depend upon many factors, including available openings on the research team, the needs of the research project, and the student’s relevant skills.
In addition to submitting the Undergraduate Directed Study Registration Form prior to the end of the second week of the term, the supervising faculty member and student are required to complete and sign an Undergraduate Directed Study Agreement that specifies:
During a fall or spring semester, students are expected to devote 3 hours per week for each semester hour of credit. This time may be spent engaged in activities such as conducting literature searches, engaging in independent reading, collecting or analyzing data, and preparing publications or presentations. Students must produce a final report in order to receive a passing grade. In some cases, a submitted manuscript or presentation proposal at a scientific meeting may be considered in lieu of a final report.
Dr. Jessica B. Edwards George, Dr. Debra L. Franko, & Dr. Rachel F Rodgers
Nike Balogun, Alexandra Convertino, Alyssa Iannuccilli, Megahn Lovering, Stephanie Luk, Atsushi Matsumoto, Pamela Naab, Wendy Pernal, Kayla Yates, Kristine Zhang.
The main objective of our research lab is to develop and evaluate evidence-based interventions that successfully promote positive body image and healthy eating patters. As such, our work focuses on the identification of risk factors for body image and eating that may serve as targets in interventions. In addition, we aim to develop and evaluate the efficacy of interventions aiming to improve body image and support healthy eating patterns, in particular through Internet and mobile technology. Our overall approach emphasized the importance of health as opposed to weight, and our work aims to be translational in that its focus ranges from the individual to the social and policy level.
Dr. Mariya Shiyko
The overall goal of this research is to understand the role of mindfulness in the context of daily living and develop mindfulness-based training that can be integrated into everyday life and benefit physical and mental health. Mindfulness is generally defined as a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. The state of clear awareness can be developed through daily formal and informal practices. We are interested in understanding:
We make use of modern approaches to assessment and intervention that involves technology(e.g., mobile phones, and other portable electronic devices).
Ongoing research projects include a) ecological momentary assessment of mindfulness in a sample of cancer patients; b) Facebook-based survey of general interest in technology-based mindfulness training programs; c) development of a technology-based mindfulness training program for stress reduction in younger adults; d)meta-analysis of mindfulness-based training programs to alleviate stress and work burnout in physical and occupational therapists.
Mariya Shiyko [email protected]
Dr. Christina Lee
Tonya Tavares, Julissa Ayala, Elian Roberts, Janelle Alabiso
Reduce risky health behaviors among under-served urban, immigrant populations; co-morbidity poor mental health and drug use; social determinants of mental health, acculturation stress, ways of coping, HIV and treatment engagement; measuring behavioral outcomes of integrated care
We have an active study research site at the South End Community Health Center, where Dr. Lee directs the Integrated Behavioral Health Program
Drs Amy Briesch & Robert Volpe
Jacquelyn Briesch, Ruth Chaffee, Brian Daniels, Alysa Dempsey, Matt Dubois, Josefine Eriksson, Marissa Goyden, Betsy Hemphill, Genevieve Krebs, Petrina Provenzano, Megan Roth, Beth Rutman, Christina Sakelarakis, Victoria Summerlin, Mary Varner, Arielle Wezdenko
To design and evaluate sustainable procedures to prevent and treat emotional and behavior disorders in school settings; To provide members of our research team with opportunities to provide service to children, families, and school systems; To provide team members with an understanding of applied psychological research in school settings. At present our research team is involved in evaluating academic and behavioral interventions, evaluating the psychometric properties of assessment tools, and designing efficient and psychometrically adequate assessment tools to inform intervention.
Dr. Christie J. Rizzo
The goals of this research are to 1) better understand the intrapersonal and interpersonal factors that contribute to the development of violent dating relationships during the adolescent years, 2) to develop evidence-based intervention programs that offset dating violence and other relationship risk behaviors; 3) effectively disseminate prevention programs through school, juvenile justice, and child welfare organizations; and 4) harness technology to disseminate prevention strategies in a way that reaches youth most at risk (e.g., juvenile justice, DCF involved).
Ongoing research projects include:
Christie J. Rizzo [email protected]
Drs. Karin Lifter, Emanuel Mason, and Amanda Cannarella
Ashley Cameron; Kristin Concannon; Summer Klug; Genevieve Krebs; Kate Vertucci; Brianne Fitzpatrick; Minh Nguyen; Michelle Berton; Alexandra Colpack; Brittany Morley; and Christine Chao.
To adapt the research version of the Developmental Play Assessment (DPA-R: Lifter, 2000) into a user-friendly version for practitioners (DPA-P); scale and validate the new instrument; and test an online training program for practitioners to use the DPA-P. The DPA-R is used to determine a child’s progress in play (i.e., provide a profile of play) in order to identify instructional goals centered on play. Children with delays in cognition, language, and social interaction show delays in play. We think instructional goals for such children should include attention to developments in play, too, which is why we developed the DPA-R.
The study’s participants include young children, their parents/caregivers, and their service providers/teachers. A total of 500 children with and without delays, from the ages 8 months to 5 years, are being recruited for calibrating and scaling the DPA-P. A subset of these children (n = 200) is being followed every 6 months to verify the longitudinal sequence of the categories and predict readiness for school from the play and other measures. The children’s parents/caregivers play with their children during the play observations in their homes. Service providers and teachers (i.e., practitioners) are being recruited to learn about and administer the DPA-P. Their training includes participation in an on-line training package and the administration of the DPA-P. The participants will receive toys, gift cards, and payments for their participation.
Project Play is focused on observational, descriptive research at this point. These studies are in preparation for future intervention work. The current projects are: a. Data collection in the field; b. Data coding of the videotaped play observations; c. analyses of the descriptive data on play to determine the developmental sequence of play from 8 months to 60 months in children with and without disabilities; and d. analyses of practitioners online training; and e. analyses of the comparisons between the DPA-R and the DPA-P.
Dr. Emanuel Mason
Ashley Cameron, Caley Arzamarsky
To utilize population representative data sets from private and governmental agency sources to analyze relationships and test hypotheses about effects of ecological and environmental factors related to poverty and their effects on academic performance, aspirations, social adjustment, parenting, careers, and other aspects of life,development and adjustment. Such research permits the practical assessment of theory,the development of new theory, and can be the source of new research investigations in the field.
This is a new research team, with two current projects, the effects of the degree to which services are available in the schools on the services for children with autism, and the effects of poverty on parenting practices.
E. Mason [email protected]
Drs. Louis Kruger & Chieh LiTeam Members: Kalyani Krishnan, Ashley Cameron, Rachel Ruah, Edward Kimble, Diana Stoianov, Kristin Holborn
The purpose of our research is to unravel the mystery of why some individuals give up after a failure and others persevere and eventually succeed. More specifically, we are investigating the internal and external risk and protective factors that lead to either success or failure in academics among youth from low-income urban communities and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Our current study is exploring former high school students’ perspectives on (a) why they failed their state’s mandated high stakes test, (b) the psychological effects of failing a high stakes test, (c) the psychological and ecological factors that contributed to their resilience after this failure, and (d) culturally responsive intervention strategies.
(Collaboration between UMass, Northeastern University and Tufts University) Based at Northeastern University: Project 2: Social Indicators of Psychosocial Stress Among Puerto Rican Elders in the Boston Area
Drs. Katherine Tucker; Luis Falcon (UMass Lowell); Dr. Irina Todorova (Co-Investigator for Project 2)
Irina Todorova; Wallis Adams; Mariana Guzzardo; Zlatina Kostova
Project 2: Social Indicators of Psychosocial Stress Among Puerto Rican Elders in the Boston Area – The long term goal of this work is to contribute to understanding psychological, social and environmental contexts of health disparities of older Puerto Ricans. The objective of this proposal is to examine, in our study population, how stressors, personal resources, social networks, and perceptions and characteristics of the local environment relate to physical and mental health outcomes over time. We draw on the large scale longitudinal data set (N=1200) being collected at three time points; as well as on in-depth interviews conducted with a sub-sample of the larger cohort. The use of mixed methods and the multi-level examination of individual, social, and environmental factors will contribute to a fuller approach in answering the research questions. Our results will further the understanding of the complex processes leading to health disparities, and provide evidence for policy changes, the development of successful interventions, and more efficient use of resources for lowering health disparities.
These interviews focus on the social domains of migration, family, stress, social support, meanings of aging, health and illness and cultural identity.
Irina Todorova, PhD [email protected]
Dr Tracy Robinson-Wood
Nike Balogun, Isabelle Biennestin, Noreen Boadi, Shelly Collins-Rawle, Atsushi Matsumoto, Bianca Poindexter, Ami-Popat, Amanda Weber, Elda Zeko-Underwood
To investigate the prevalence and nature of microaggressions among highly educated racial, gender, and sexual minorities and to chronicle coping strategies. In addition, our team is exploring the presence and type of racial socializations messages that white mothers and black mothers give to their black/white biracial children.
In an effort to provide members of our research team with an understanding of applied psychological research, we engage in the following activities
Understanding the psychological and physiological impact of microaggressions on staff, students, and faculty, our research team is a safe space for sharing and telling of microaggressions and is comprised of members who are diverse across ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, and sexuality. We are working on the development of an instrument to measure multiple, distinct, and simultaneous microaggressions.
Tracy Robinson-Wood: [email protected]
Dr Oscar Gonçalves
Sandra Carvalho, Jorge Leite[JL1] , Ana Gonçalves, Carmen Armengol, Brandon Frank, Silvia Carvalho, Leonor Garcia-Gomez
The main objective of our lab is to combine neuroimaging, neurophysiology and neurotherapheutics to study the interface between brain and behavior, in both healthy and clinical populations. Our mission is a twofold: to conduct basic research on neurocognitive and neuroemotional processes relevant to the understanding of clinical phenomena; and to do applied research, assessing the effectiveness of novel treatment interventions combining neuromodulation, psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions
Oscar F. Gonçalves [email protected] 617-373-8120;