Prof. Wendy Grolnick earns prestigious APA fellowship

May 16, 2014
Psychology professor Wendy Grolnick

Psychology professor
Wendy Grolnick

Clark University professor of psychology Wendy Grolnick has been named the 2014-2015 Executive Branch Science Fellow by the American Psychological Association (APA). Through a partnership between the APA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), she will also be a member of the incoming AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows during that time.

The American Psychological Association was founded at Clark University in 1892 by Clark's first president, psychologist G. Stanley Hall.

Grolnick said the yearlong fellowship will allow her to work on developing priorities for governmental funding, and on using and disseminating research findings to develop policies affecting families and children.

"I am extremely honored to have been awarded this fellowship," she said. "As a researcher for many years, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see and contribute to putting research into action. I plan to bring the knowledge and experience I obtain during the year back to my department and students at Clark. I hope the experience will allow me to teach policy courses, as well as help my colleagues and students develop successful funding requests."

Grolnick is interested in children and adolescents' development in a variety of social contexts like homes and schools and the ways in which parenting predicts children's motivation, competence, and adjustment. She also examines factors like parent attitudes and beliefs, stress and support, and environments that help or hinder parenting. Grolnick is interested in children's emotion regulation, and is studying how parents and teachers help their children to modulate distress.

On April 21, Grolnick put her knowledge into action in a more informal setting. As team leader for Disaster Mental Health for the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, she headed a group of six mental-health volunteers stationed at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. There they provided support and assistance to both new and returning runners who, as she told news, "were worried about each other, given the events of last year."

Grolnick's publications include "Pressured Parents, Stressed-out Kids: Dealing with the Competition While Raising a Successful Child" (with Katherine Seal), 2008; and "The Psychology of Parental Control: How Well-meant Parenting Backfires," 2003. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.