Hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment against Asian Americans in the United States have risen rapidly in recent years, and Notre Dame psychologist Lijuan (Peggy) Wang wants to know how that has impacted adolescents’ mental health and what factors can be leveraged to protect and promote their mental health. To lay the groundwork for building evidence-based and urgently needed interventions, Wang is part of a research team developing the first longitudinal study to fill research gaps and learn about how racial discrimination affects adolescent Asian Americans’ mental health.
Notre Dame psychologists Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino have received the Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health to research two promising new interventions to reduce the risk of suicide among vulnerable youth. Part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports individuals or teams proposing transformative projects that are inherently untested but have the potential to create major scientific breakthroughs by challenging existing paradigms.
Intellectual humility — being free to think and listen without being concerned with the need to “be right” — could be an antidote for some pressing personal and societal problems. An interdisciplinary group of philosophers and psychologists, led by Laura Callahan and supported by a John Templeton Foundation grant, are hoping to identify how the characteristic can be used by individuals to improve their lives and how it can be more inclusive.
Darcia Narvaez, a Notre Dame professor emerita in the Department of Psychology, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest international body of professional scientists in the world and publisher of the prestigious journal Science. Narvaez is being honored for her distinguished contributions illuminating typical and atypical development in terms of well-being, morality and sustainable wisdom. A total of 39 Notre Dame faculty members are now AAAS fellows.
Researchers know that experiencing a high number of adverse events in childhood correlates with worse health outcomes in adulthood. These studies have led to an emphasis on trauma-informed practice in schools and workplaces in an attempt to mitigate the harm of early adversity. At the other end of the spectrum, focusing on wellness, Darcia Narvaez, emerita professor of psychology, has helped identify humanity’s baseline for childhood care. In a first-of-its-kind study conducted by Narvaez and doctoral student Mary Tarsha and published in the journal Anxiety, Stress and Coping, results show that positive childhood experiences can help buffer the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on physiological health in adult women.
Theodore Beauchaine, the William K. Warren Foundation Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, is co-director of the Suicide Prevention Initiative—Research, Intervention, & Training (SPIRIT), located off campus at the Department of Psychology Clinical Studies Building. Along with co-director Brooke Ammerman, Beauchaine is helping to teach children and adolescents in the South Bend community to better regulate their emotions, with the goal of reducing risk factors for suicide. One promising tool he is researching is a pocket-sized music player with earbuds that stimulate the vagus nerve with a low amplitude electrical current. “If one has heart disease, you don't wait until they have a first heart attack to intervene. It turns out that suicide prevention is similar to that,” he said.
An interdisciplinary team of Notre Dame faculty is leading an effort with institutions in Ohio and Kentucky to replicate an experiential learning model for attracting and retaining diverse STEM workforces in Rust Belt cities through university-community partnerships that strengthen quality of life. The three-year project, Replication of a Community-Engaged Educational Ecosystem Model in Rust Belt Cities, is supported by more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program, $1.1 million of which is directed to Notre Dame. Led by the Center for Civic Innovation — which uses technology and methods to address pressing issues in the South Bend/Elkhart area — the project also involves College of Engineering and Department of Psychology faculty in the effort to understand how CCI’s model for community improvement projects functions in other cities under varying circumstances.
Mark Cummings, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Professor of Psychology, is the 2021 recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Award, bestowed by the New York Attachment Consortium. The citation reads: “For innovative research on the effects of early exposure to family violence and for conceptualizing and measuring the continuum of Emotional Security.”…
Morgan Widhalm Munsen knows that effective communication is key for scientific research to have real life implications. So, in addition to conducting significant research of her own as a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology, Munsen also pursues community-based projects that make science more accessible and understandable to the general public. “It’s not like you can do research and then suddenly expect it to be meaningful to people,” Munsen said. “Which is why I think it’s so important for scientists and researchers to tell stories about their research and help to make it as relevant as possible to people.”
In less than six minutes, the new film “Breaking the Cycle” invites caregivers, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned with child development to adopt more collaborative and peace-inducing strategies for child rearing. The new film, a companion to the website EvolvedNest.org, grew out of groundbreaking research by Darcia Narvaez, Kroc Institute faculty fellow and professor emerita of psychology, with support from current peace studies and psychology Ph.D. student Mary Tarsha.
Senior Dain Kim had never been to Notre Dame before she arrived on campus for orientation. As a student at an international high school in Seoul, Korea, she knew she wanted to go to college in the U.S. — in a city, preferably, like one in New York or California. Instead, she ended up in South Bend. Now a psychology and statistics major with a minor in computing and digital technologies, Kim plans to pursue a career working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion programs — helping others like herself who need to adapt quickly to entirely new cultures or circumstances.
Claire Scott-Bacon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology’s clinical program and was recently awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Her research focuses on issues related to the structure and assessment of criminal personality in clinical, forensic, and legal settings. In this interview, she discusses her work and its impact on the high rate of wrongful convictions and criminalization of mental health-related crimes in the United States.
Psychologist Jessica Payne is passionate about helping the world better understand the value of sleep — and the many ways it impacts our cognition, health, and longevity. She dreams of a society where people no longer take pride in how little sleep they need to get by, but how much they sleep in order to thrive. Her groundbreaking research on sleep, stress, and psychological function has led to her being selected as the National Academy of Sciences 2021 Seymour Benzer/Sydney Brenner Lecturer — and to being awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
Sociologist Erin McDonnell and psychologist Nathan Rose have received National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards for 2020. They are among nine University of Notre Dame faculty members to receive the awards this year. “This is the most prestigious award granted by the NSF to early-career faculty and reflects the quality of Erin McDonnell’s and Nathan Rose’s research,” said Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “I am thrilled that they are continuing the College’s strong record of success with these awards.”
Nathan Rose, the William P. and Hazel B. White Collegiate Chair in psychology, is one of nine University of Notre Dame faculty members to receive a National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for 2020. He received the award for his project, “Targeted Memory Reactivation with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation,” which seeks to identify the mechanisms that enable the reactivation of information passively retained in working memory.
As of August 19, the Psychology Department has voted to NOT ACCEPT THE GRE OR GRE SUBJECT TEST for the 2020-21 admission cycle (meaning, for students who are applying to begin in Fall 2021). …
The University of Notre Dame plans to begin the 2021 spring semester with in-person classes Feb. 3, forgo spring break and end classes May 11, the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today in a letter to students, faculty and staff.
Women in the academic field of psychology are overrepresented at the undergraduate level but, ultimately, underrepresented at senior levels. No gender parity reviews of the discipline had been conducted until a group of scholars, including Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, decided to take on the task. Clark and the other researchers found that women are less likely to apply for tenure-track positions; however, those who do apply are equally if not more likely to be hired than men.