Psychologist awarded $2.7 million grant to evaluate interventions to improve mental and physical health in maltreated children

Kristin Valentino is dedicated to understanding how adversity in early childhood — such as chronic poverty or maltreatment — can affect children’s mental and physical health later in life. And she wants to know how psychologists can best intervene and improve outcomes for those children. The William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue exploring these issues in her latest project, “Pathways Linking Early Adversity and Support to Behavior and Physical Health.”

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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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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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Arts and Letters Neuroscience Majors Find Array of Research, Career Opportunities

Neuroscience and behavior major

Notre Dame students in the College of Arts and Letters’ newest major see neuroscience and behavior as great preparation for any number of exciting careers. Whether they plan to pursue medical school or graduate school, clinical research or lab work, neuroscience majors can customize the curriculum to fit their needs. Students are also able to integrate research opportunities based on their individual interests.

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Psychology Graduate Student Examines Link Between Mental Health and Marriage Satisfaction

Judith Biesen

For married couples, the odds aren’t good when one partner has anxiety or depression. The presence of such a mental issue significantly increases the risk that the couple will get divorced. Notre Dame psychology Ph.D. student Judith Biesen wants to find a way to improve the outcomes for those couples. With an American Dream grant from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Biesen is completing a longitudinal study of mental health—specifically, anxiety disorders and depression—and how it relates to marital functioning and satisfaction with the relationship.

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New Burns Fellowship Program Supports Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Research

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A new interdisciplinary fellowship program launched by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives will train graduate students in state-of-the-art quantitative methods, allowing them to examine the impact of educational policies, programs, and practices. Beginning in fall 2016, the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship is open to prospective students applying to Ph.D. programs in economics, political science, psychology, and sociology who plan to pursue educational research.

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Psychologist Darcia Narvaez Receives William James Book Award

Darcia Narvaez

Notre Dame psychologist Darcia Narvaez has received the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association for her latest book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom. The award recognizes a recent book that attempts to bring together diverse subfields of psychology and related disciplines and demonstrates an essential underlying set of themes that serve to unify or integrate the field.

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