University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Undergraduate Student Research Profiles: 2006

Aya Inouye

Aya Inouye Aya has worked in the Developmental Psychopathology Research Lab with Dr. Tim Stickle studying gender differences in aggression for the past 2 years. Since the feminist movement in the 1960's, more focus has been given to studying females and their aggressor roles in society. Callous and unemotional (CU) traits (e.g., lack of guilt, lack of empathy) have been associated with conduct problems and persistent aggression in children and adolescents. Her study aimed to determine:

  1. whether typically observed differences in aggression levels between boys and girls persist when also including relational aggression, which appears to be more prevalent in girls, as an aspect of overall aggression
  2. whether the correlation between aggression and CU traits differs for female delinquents (in comparison to male delinquents)
  3. whether adult perceptions of youth differ for boys and girls as reflected in the overall agreement between youth and adult reports of CU traits
Results showed that although levels of physical aggression did not differ between boys and girls, the inclusion of relational aggression created a significant difference in levels of aggression between boys and girls. Results also indicated a unique relationship between CU traits and relational aggression moderated by gender, and a significant gender difference in youth agreement with staff and teacher reports.

Livia Shapiro

Livia Shapiro Livia is a senior Psychology major who will graduate in May 2006. She has spent the past 1½ years working with Dr. Sondra Solomon as an Independent Study student and Research Assistant on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) funded project Rural Ecology and Coping with HIV Stigma. Intrigued by the questions being investigated by the research team, Livia developed hypotheses regarding the ways in which individuals construct their day-to-day experience using mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of thinking and behaving that involves paying full attention to one's being, activity, and environment in the present moment. Livia developed and presented her research proposal to the Committee on College Honors titled "The Mindful Yogi: Examining the Qualities of Mindfulness in Yoga Instructors and College Students." Her proposal compares and contrasts behavior, personality constructs, and experience with mindfulness among yoga teachers and college students. Her proposal was approved, she has begun data collection, and she expects to defend her Honors Thesis during the Spring semester. Her results will help to further refine the discipline's knowledge about the benefits of mindful attention and awareness.

Rachel Vitale and Carolyn Sanchez

Carolyn Sanchez and Rachel Vitale Rachel and Carolyn are Psychology majors working in the UVM Baby Study Laboratory. Carolyn is a sophomore with experience assisting faculty with clinical research with IRB-related tasks and activities, budget preparation, sponsor negotiations, and facilitation of contract completion, while Rachel is a senior interested in the underlying biological aspects of children development. They have learned that toddlers use a variety of strategies to regulate their emotions when facing an unfamiliar setting and/or new situations. These include self-soothing, talking to themselves about the novel toy or unfamiliar person in an attempt to have the situation "under control", or distracting themselves by looking and approaching their mothers or by playing with familiar toys.

Undergraduate Student Research Profiles

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