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Current Projects:

Regulating Emotions in Parenting Scale

Development of a self-report measure of emotion regulation that is specific to the parenting context. Mturk data collection to support Rodriguez master’s thesis project (see below); This project is currently collecting national data & co-parent data collection.

Emotion Coaching Skills as Augmentation to FBT 

In collaboration with Dr. Claire Aarnio-Peterson of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, we are testing an emotion coaching parenting intervention to enhance the efficacy of Family Based Therapy for adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa. This project has been funding by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Current Graduate Student Projects:

Violeta Rodriguez, Dissertation 

Revision and Validation of the Multidimensional Assessment of Parenting Scale (MAPS) in a Racially and Ethnically Diverse National Sample 

Project Narrative for R36 proposal: Parenting is a primary target in effective child mental health interventions, and implementing such interventions requires valid, reliable, and equitable assessment of parenting practices. However, the limited inclusion of racial and ethnic diversity in measure development hamper validity, reliability, and equity of parenting assessment in diverse populations. This proposal addresses this unmet need by revising and validating the Multidimensional Assessment of Parenting Scale (MAPS) to yield a psychometrically sound measure of parenting for use in racially and ethnically diverse families. (Collaboration with Dr. Justin Parent) 

Dominique La Barrie, Masters Thesis  

Bidirectional relations in ethnic socialization among Latinx parents and youth 

Much is known about how parents socialize their children around being prepared for the real world as they mature, but how do children socialize their parents on similar topics? I will be looking at Latinx mother-child dyads as they discuss a vignette about an encounter of racism/discrimination and how the dyad might talk about the vignette, and also (maybe) how this might relate to kids’ cultural pride. (Collaboration with Dr. Margaret Caughy)

Miriam Zegarac, Masters Thesis  

Taylor Brumbaugh, First Year Paper

Jenna Terry, First Year Paper

Exploring parental responses to anger, fear, and sadness with consideration for gender and racial identity

This study aims to address if there are emotion-specific differences in emotion socialization practices. Extant empirical evidence supports the notion that emotional expressions are likely to elicit different types of responses from parents, therefore, it is beneficial to focus on specific emotions instead of reducing emotions into broad categories when examining parental emotion socialization responses. The literature on emotion-specific responses is largely limited to examining anger and sadness, whereas discrete emotions such as fear have been under-researched. Emotion socialization is influenced by various characteristics of the family system, such as gender role attitudes and behavior. In addition, emotion-related parenting behaviors vary by numerous sociocultural factors (e.g., wealth, education, race/ethnicity, geographic location), as culture influences values, practices, and beliefs. As such, another aim of this study is to investigate if emotion-specific socialization practices vary by gender or racial identity.


Recent Completed Projects: 

Transition to Parenthood

In collaboration with Dr. Geoffrey Brown in HDFS, we are collecting data on couples in the transition to parenthood, examining factors that predict parent mental health, marital satisfaction, coparenting, and maternal gatekeeping. This project has been funded by the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research and the Clinical and Translational Research Unit at UGA.

A feasibility study to pilot the implementation of an emotion-focused parenting intervention

The FRESH Lab engaged in pilot testing of Let's Connect, a family intervention program that is designed to improve parents' emotional communication with their school-age children. Building emotion-focused parenting skills targets an area that has been previously overlooked in parenting interventions, yet increasing research points to the importance of these skills in fostering healthy families. The study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Shipman and Dr. Monica Fitzgerald of the University of Colorado, and focused on a group-based format for parents and their children, ages 6-12. Funding was provided by the University of Georgia Research Foundation. 

Mutual Reactivity in Mother-Child Dyads: Links to Preschoolers' Socioemotional Functioning

In collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Suveg's research team, the FRESH Lab conducted a study that examines parents and young children react to emotionally arousing situations and interactions, and how this might relate to other ways aspects of psychosocial functioning. We were also interested in how physical and biological factors, such as genetics, stress hormones, and heart rate, relate to these outcomes. This project was funded by the Institute for Behavioral Research and the Center for Contextual Genetics and Prevention Science.