Students

Would you like to assist in the research at the EEDP? If so, please review the information below. If you are interested, please email Gemma Baugh at gemmabaugh@wustl.edu.

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. 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 include a diagnostic psychiatric interview, cognitive measures, and task-based EEG and fMRI.

With these studies, research assistants gain hands-on experience using state of the art assessment techniques, are exposed to current trends in diagnostic assessment, and become familiar with diagnostic criteria for mental disorders in young children.  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.


Current undergraduate research assistants

 


Alyssa Hunt

Alyssa Hunt is a sophomore majoring in Psychology with a potential second major in Anthropology or Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At the EEDP, she is involved with the PCIT-ED study, and hopes to continue working with children and their families in the future. Her research interests broadly include childhood mental illness, trauma, and addiction. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a degree in clinical psychology and focus her career on working with children and adolescents.


Meghana Kunam

My name is Meghana Kunam and I am a Junior majoring in Psychological Brain Sciences with a minor in Children’s Studies and Biology. In the future I hope to attend medical school for neonatology. I am currently working on the Optimism Project with Laura Hennefield.

 


Nuala Spillane

Nuala Spillane is a junior majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences with a second major in Educational Studies. She is interested in research on the influence of socioeconomic status on brain development, mental health, and educational attainment. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and ultimately pursue a career in psychiatry working primarily with children and adolescents.

 

 

 


 Ella Sudit

Ella is a rising senior at Washington University, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Graphic Design. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical or Personality Psychology. Ella joined the lab to gain research experience and learn more about psychopathology, specifically in the context of developmental child psychiatry. Outside of the lab, she is an executive member of Design for America, a member of Psi Chi, and a volunteer at the art therapy program at Barnes Jewish hospital. 

 


Dawn Lum

 


Mia Shoshany

 


Sabrina Genovese