News

Faculty hope to make virtual reality the next frontier in treating phobias

For a team of Notre Dame psychologists, virtual reality is more than a game — it is the next frontier in mental health treatment. Nathan Rose, Jennifer Hames, and Michael Villano are conducting research on the use of virtual reality environments in exposure therapy for participants with a fear of heights. The technology also holds promise for treating phobias like the fear of flying and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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New quantitative psychologist adds expertise in data mining to Notre Dame faculty

For Ross Jacobucci, quantitative psychology is a chance to invent, to improvise — and to create new tools to answer complex questions. As a new assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, he wants his students to see that side of it, too. Jacobucci, who joined Arts and Letters in the fall after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, specializes in structural equation modeling and data mining.

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Notre Dame psychologist Jessica Payne named a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow

Jessica Payne, the Nancy O'Neill Collegiate Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, has been named a 2017 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. She was one of 12 scholars invited to present their research at the Kavli’s Japanese-American-German Symposium in Germany in September. Kavli Fellows are chosen from among young scholars who have received prestigious national fellowships and awards and who have been identified as future leaders in science. 

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Psychologist publishes major new paper examining methods of classifying mental disorders

Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, along with a small team of other experts, wants researchers and clinicians to revisit how mental illnesses are approached. In a new paper published in the invitation-only journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Clark and her team present the challenges in using three major diagnostic manuals from a scientific perspective and offer some recommendations for re-conceptualizing the mental disorders they describe.

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Healing Words, Healing Work: Supporting Recovery from Child Abuse and Neglect - Kristin Valentino

Child abuse and neglect leads to destructive behavioral and physical health problems among millions of children each year. This talk addresses how to support recovery from child abuse and neglect through the strengthening of parent-child relationships. You can view Kristin Valentino's Saturday Scholar lecture video here, and on the Arts and Letters YouTube channel:

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Lee Anna Clark wins 2017 Joseph Zubin Award

Lee Anna Clark, William J. & Dorothy K. O'Neill Professor of Psychology, co-director of the Center for Advanced Measurement of Personality & Psychopathology, and Psychology Department chair, has been awarded the 2017 Joseph Zubin Award by the Society for Research in Psychopathology. The Zubin Award is given for lifetime contributions to the understanding of psychopathology.

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Video: Notre Dame's pre-health study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico

In Notre Dame International's study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, students can enroll in a unique pre-medicine track, taking classes on health-related topics at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla. Participants in this track also shadow doctors twice per week in two Mexican public hospitals, learning about different specialties and gaining valuable clinical experience. They return with valuable language and cultural experience and a new perspective on health care, which they can apply to their future health professions at home or abroad.

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Corbett Family Hall: A dynamic mix of academics, community, and technology

Corbett Family Hall strikes a stunning silhouette rising above the east side of Notre Dame Stadium. But for the Departments of Anthropology and Psychology, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Below the club seating, terraces, and press box on the building’s top three levels, faculty and students from these two social science departments will come together in the new 289,000-square-foot structure, made possible by a leadership gift from Notre Dame alumnus Richard Corbett. With classrooms, laboratories, and offices all under one massive roof, research and teaching efforts are united in a way that will bring untold benefits.

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Mark Cummings receives lifetime achievement award from American Psychological Association

Cummings, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, recently won the 2017 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s developmental psychology section. Over the past 35 years, he has done extensive research to show that inter-parental relationships, father-child relationships, and other family relationships and processes are related to children’s short-term and long-term adjustment and well-being. With research projects in Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel, Croatia, and Iran, he is also examining how political violence affects children's emotional security and development.

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How focusing on parent-child relationships can prevent child maltreatment

Kristin Valentino’s research on evaluating the effectiveness of a brief relational intervention for maltreated preschool-aged children and their mothers is featured in a special section of Child Development. In order to help children facing maltreatment, researchers and clinicians first needed to address the heart of the problem. The relationship between the parent and child is key, she argues.

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Researchers propose new diagnostic model for psychiatric disorders

A consortium of 50 psychologists and psychiatrists — including Notre Dame professors Lee Anna Clark and David Watson — has outlined a new diagnostic model for mental illness, in what researchers hope will be a paradigm shift in how these illnesses are classified and diagnosed.

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NIH awards $3.5 million to Shaw Center for Children and Families for research on intellectual and developmental disabilities

The National Institutes of Health awarded a new $3.5 million grant to Notre Dame’s William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families in support of a project for families that include a child with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The new Supporting Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Communication (ND-SPARC) project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention program to support families that include an individual with intellectual or developmental disabilities. 

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Darcia Narvaez wins Expanded Reason Award for research on neurobiology and morality development

Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology in the Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and a fellow in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, has been named one of two winners of the first Expanded Reason Award for research. The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries. 

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