Would you like to assist in the research at the EEDP? If so, please review the information below. If you are interested, please email your resume to Teresa Perryman at tperryman@wustl.edu or contact her at (314) 286-0965.

General area of research

Developmental psychopathology and emotional development in early childhood—preschool children/ mood disorders

Prerequisites/Special Skills Required of Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Research Assistants must have completed 6 units of 300-level psychology courses or discuss course experience with Dr. Luby. Because of the extensive training required to work with this unique study sample, we ask students to make a minimum 2-semester commitment to the lab.  Learning our procedures is time consuming and students often take much of the first semester simply learning the procedures in the lab.  Thus, RAs gain better experience by spending at least two semesters in the lab.  Often, students are given more responsibility and have the opportunity to learn new skills after their second semester. We also ask RAs to work a minimum of 10 hours per week, for which they will receive Psych 333 credit.

Description of Research:

The EEDP has several ongoing, grant-funded studies. RAs may have the opportunity to assist with two new studies. One study is examining how the development of a characteristic of ‘over-control’ in 5-6 year old children relates to their social relationships, moods, behaviors and symptoms of anxiety.  After thorough training, RAs administer child assessments, such as the KBIT, and assist with EEGs. Additionally, a new study is starting up and will involve developmental testing, neuroimaging, and eye tracking of infants. The lab will follow these infants into early childhood with a goal of understanding the mechanisms of brain development when exposed to early life adversity and the subsequent cognitive and mental health outcomes. RAs may be asked to assist during behavioral assessments with these infants.

RAs may also be involved in a longitudinal study of mood disorders (depression and mania) in children, the PDS study. At the beginning of the study, children were preschool ages 3-6 from a large community-based sample.  Currently, many of the participants are now 18+ years old. Assessments performed by staff include a diagnostic psychiatric interview, cognitive measures, and task-based EEG and fMRI. Research assistants may have the opportunity to help with PDS EEGs.

With these studies, research assistants gain hands-on experience using state of the art assessment techniques, are exposed to current trends in diagnostic assessment.  Students will gain understanding of the logistics of conducting research and with the administration of study protocols in a research setting.

Duties of Research Assistant:

Research assistants have a very important role in our lab.  Students’ responsibilities include assisting in the collection, coding, and entry of data obtained from parent and child assessments.  Students have various administrative duties such as organizing research-related materials, assisting in the quarterly newsletter, and obtaining the most current published data. Students also take an active role interacting with subjects during assessments, in EEGs, and occasionally when assisting with childcare.

Tasks and time commitment expected of students in the EEDP:

  • Students must receive Psych 333 credit for their work in our lab, and are expected to commit to 3 credits of Psych independent study with the EEDP
    • 3 credits are earned via 150 hours of work for the semester required by the psych department, typically 10 hours a week for 15 weeks in spring or fall, or 15 hours a week for 10 weeks in summer
  • Students must commit to working in the lab for a minimum of 2 semesters (fall, spring, or summer)
  • Students commit to a schedule of weekly shifts which can take place any time between 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday, and each shift must be at least 2 hours long.
    • (Example: Monday & Friday 9am-2pm for a total of 10 hours)
  • Daily tasks include:
    • behavioral coding of videos showing parents and children doing tasks during a clinical trial of Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
    • data entry of records from the PCIT-ED study
    • opportunities to assist during EEGs of adolescent participants in a variety of studies or administer other measures such as cognitive testing with child participants –Note: these advanced tasks occur once the student has had 2-3 months of experience/training in the lab.
    • other support tasks related to the several different studies being conducted in the EEDP currently (preparing research session materials, posting study recruitment flyers, working on other participant recruitment ideas, etc.)

Current undergraduate research assistants

Cathy Shi

Kimberly Tan

Gabi Skilling

Anna Zhang