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Your Research Experience at Clark

Clark’s setting as a small, urban research university provides a wealth of opportunities to grow as an independent researcher. Below, learn more about research in our three doctoral programs in psychology: clinical, developmental, and social.

Our Research in Clinical Psychology

Clark’s setting as a small, urban research university provides a wealth of opportunities to grow as an independent researcher. Using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, our clinical psychology graduate program ensures students receive extensive research training that builds cumulatively from foundational and more heavily mentored experiences to more independent activities, including building a research portfolio and completing an independent dissertation study.

As teaching assistants and through lab work, graduate students collaborate with faculty, their cohorts, and undergraduates while managing and mentoring teams. Indeed, much research takes place with and among our partners in the greater Worcester community. Graduate students present their work at external conferences and at Clark’s Graduate Student Multidisciplinary Conference, and publish in leading journals like Journal of Consulting and Clinical PsychologyProfessional Psychology: Research and PracticeChild Development, the Journal of Early Adolescence, the Journal of Marriage and Family, the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

The small size of our program allows students to build close mentored relationships with their faculty advisers who are recognized experts in their fields.


Recent Dissertations and Publications in Clinical Psychology

2020-21 Academic Year

  • Alessandra Caruso (Advisor: Wendy Grolnick), Antecedents and Correlates of Health Mindsets in Pediatric Chronic Pain
  • Ethan Hoffman (Advisor: Michael Addis), An Investigation of Dualistic Thinking in Men’s Mental Health
  • Madeline Levitt (Advisor: Wendy Grolnick), Understanding Parental Control and Structure in Anxious and Non-Anxious Children: An Observational Study
  • Emily Maher (Advisor: James Cordova), Mindful mothering: A pilot study of a brief mindfulness-based intervention for postpartum women

2019-20 Academic Year

  • Lia Bishop (Advisor: Kathleen Palm Reed), Fear of Feeling: How Fear of Experiencing Emotions Relates to Post-trauma Functioning among Female Survivors of Interpersonal Violence
  • Taylor Dovala (Advisor: James Córdova), Turning Towards Inclusivity: An Adaptation of The Relationship Checkup for Same-Sex Couples
  • Jessica O’Leary (Advisor: Esteban Cardemil), The Role of Emotion Socialization and Emotion Regulation in Protecting Community Violence-Exposed Urban Youth

2018-19 Academic Year

  • Kristen Keefe (Adviser: Esteban Cardemil), Examining the Role of Causal Illness Beliefs in Predicting Aftercare Intention and Engagement

2017-18 Academic Year

  • Victoria Ameral (Adviser: Kathleen Palm Reed), Envisioning a future: Values clarification and delay discounting in early recovery from Opioid Use Disorder
  • Matthew Hawrilenko (Adviser: James Córdova), The center can only sort of hold: Heterogeneity in processes and outcomes of a relationship skills intervention
  • April Moyer (Adviser: Abbie Goldberg), School Experiences of Massachusetts Youth in Foster Care: Perspectives of Teachers, Foster Parents, and Former Foster Youth
  • Tamara Nelson (Adviser: Esteban Cardemil), Resilient and at risk? Exploring the relationships among strength, ethnic/self-pride and depression among Black women
  • Elizabeth Ollen (Adviser: James Córdova), Sexual Minority Women and Relationship Abuse: Perceptions, Help-Seeking, and Silencing
  • Bishop, L.S., Benz, M. B., Palm Reed, K. M. (accepted September 2017). The impact of trauma type on PTSD and SUD symptom severity in a treatment-seeking sample. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.
  • Benz, M. B., DiBello, A. M., Balestrieri, S. G., Miller, M. B., Merrill, J. E., Lowery, A. D., & Carey, K. B. (2017). Off-campus residence as a risk factor for alcohol misuse among college students. Substance Use and Misuse 52(9), 1133-1138. doi:10.1080/10826084.2017.1298620
  • Primack, J. M., Borsari, B., Benz, M. B., Reddy, M. K., & Shea, M. T. (2017). Mental health treatment utilization in OIF/OEF National Guard and Reserve troops with and without DSM diagnoses. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(2), 157-165. doi:10.1037/ort0000226
  • Cabrera, K. B., Palm Reed, K. M. (2019). Transitional Stress Influences Problem Alcohol Use and Emotion Regulation in Late Adolescence: A Mixed-Methods Study, Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 28(5), 343-354, DOI: 10.1080/1067828X.2020.1789527
  • Canby, N., Eichel, K., Peters, S., Rahrig, H., & Britton, W. (in press). Predictors of Out-of-Class Mindfulness Practice Adherence During and After a Mindfulness-Based Intervention. Psychosomatic Medicine.
  • Canby, N., Cameron, I., Calhoun, A., Buchanan, G. (2015). A brief mindfulness intervention for healthy college students and its effects on psychological distress, self-control, meta-mood, and subjective vitality. Mindfulness, 6(5), 1071-1081. doi: 10.1007/s12671-014-0356-5.
  • He, E., Yang, L.H., Link, B.G. (in press). The Importance of Symbolic Interaction in Mental Illness Stigma. In R. Alvarado & F. Mascayano (Eds,), Stigma towards mental illness: A public health challenge. Santiago, Chile: Editorial Universitaria.
  • Meyer, O. L., Geller, S., He, E., González, H. M., Hinton, L. (2014). Acculturation and depressive symptoms in Latino caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults. International Psychogeriatrics, 26(9), 1521-1530. doi: 10.1017/S1041610214000490.
  • Jampel, J. D., Gazarian, D., Addis, M. E., & Hoffman, E. (2020). Traditional masculinity ideology and diagnostic aversion predict symptom expression in a community sample of distressed men. Sex Roles, 82, 704-715.
  • Kline, N. K., Cabrera, K. B., & Reed, K. M. P. (2021). Predicting different types of intimate partner aggression perpetration: The roles of problem alcohol use and distress tolerance. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.
  • Kline, N. K., & Palm Reed, K. M. (2020). Betrayal vs. nonbetrayal trauma: Examining the different effects of social support and emotion regulation on PTSD symptom severity. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication.
  • Lerner, R. E., & Grolnick, W. S. (2020). Maternal involvement and children’s academic motivation and achievement: The roles of maternal autonomy support and children’s affect. Motivation and Emotion, 44(3), 373-388. doi: 10.1007/s11031-019-09813-6.
  • Lerner, R. E., Camerota, M., Tully, K. P., & Propper, C. (2020). Associations between mother-infant bed-sharing practices and infant affect and behavior during the still-face paradigm. Infant Behavior and Development. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2020.101464
  • Goldberg, A. E., Garcia, R. L., & Manley, M. H. (in press). Monosexual and nonmonosexual women in same-sex couples: Relationship quality and mental health during the first five years of parenthood. Sexual and Relationship Therapy.
  • Ross, L. E., Manley, M. H., Goldberg, A. E., Januwalla, A., Williams, K., & Flanders, C. E. (2017). Characterizing nonmonosexual women at risk for poor mental health outcomes: A mixed methods study. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 108, e296-e305.
  • Goldberg, A. E., Frost, R. L., Manley, M. H., & Black, K. A. (2017). Meeting other moms: lesbian adoptive mothers’ relationship with other parents at school and beyond. Journal of Lesbian Studies.
  • Goldberg, A. E., Black, K. A., Manley, M. H., & Frost, R. L. (2017). “We told them that we are both really involved parents”: Sexual minority and heterosexual adoptive parents’ engagement in school communities. Gender & Education, 29, 614-631.
  • Goldberg, A., Frost, R., Noyola, N. Evidence-based practice for LGBT parents. (To appear in The Handbook of Evidence-based Mental Health Practice with LGBT Clients.
  • Ramos, Z., Fortuna, L., Porche, M., Wang, Y., Shrout, P., Loder, S., McPeck, S., Noyola, N., Toro, M., Carmona, R. & Alegría, M. (2016). Posttraumatic Stress symptoms and their relationship to drug and alcohol use in an international sample of Latino immigrants. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 1-10.
  • Noyola, N., Sorgi, K., Alday, C. S., & Reidler, E. B. (2014). Clinical judgment at work: Predicting rehospitalization in an adolescent inpatient unit. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 30(6), 1-8.
  • Petrova, K., Nevarez, M.D., Rice, J., Waldinger, R.J., Preacher, K.J., & Schulz, M.S. (2021). Coherence Between Feelings and Heart Rate: Links to Early Adversity and Responses to Stress. Affective Science. 

Our Research in Developmental Psychology

A core part of graduate training in developmental psychology involves participation in one of the active labs or areas of research described below. Students join one or more of these groups and remain active throughout their graduate studies. Click on the individual labs or research groups to learn more about the topical focus and students, postdocs, and visitors involved.

Note as well that the developmental forum provides an opportunity for all members of these groups (as well as other interested individuals) to regularly come together to discuss current research and salient issues pertaining to developmental psychology of interest to all in the program.


Recent Dissertations and Publications in Developmental Psychology

Ph.D. students in developmental psychology conduct research that examines a spectrum of human development ranging from analyzing the experiences of LGBTQ emerging adults to identity in and outside of ethnic, and beyond.

2020-21 Academic Year

  • Deeya Mitra (Advisor: Jeffrey Arnett), Emerging Adulthood in India

2019-20 Academic Year

  • Achu Alexander (Advisor: Jeffrey  Arnett), Parental Involvement and Phase-Adequate Career Engagement: Comparative Study of Indian and American College Seniors
  • Amanda Faherty (Advisor: Jeffrey Arnett), Stepping Outside of “the Box:” Everyday Parenting Practices as Cultural Practices in Emerging Adulthood

2018-19 Academic Year

  • Justin Laplante (Adviser: James Córdova), The couple that sits together stays together: The effects of meditation on romantic relationships

2017-18 Academic Year

  • Kaitlin Black (Adviser: Abbie Goldberg) The experiences of LGBTQ emerging adults from evangelical Christian backgrounds
  • Alexander, A. J., and Chauhan, V. (in press). Parenting practices in India. In B. Ashdown & A. Faherty (Eds.), Parenting as culture. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
  • Arnett, J. J. and Mitra, D. (2018). Are the features of emerging adulthood developmentally distinctive? Emerging Adulthood, 216769681881007. doi:10.1177/2167696818810073
  • Elsharnouby, E., Dost-Gözkan, A. Adolescents’ Well-Being with Respect to the Patterns of Disclosure to and Secrecy from Parents and the Best Friend: A Person-Centered Examination. J Youth Adolescence 49, 1687–1701 (2020).
  • Ashdown, B. K., and Faherty, A. N. (In press). Creating culture: Parenting and childcare practices. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
  • Ashdown, B. K., Faherty, A. N., Brown, C. M., Hanno, O., Belden, A., and Weeks, P.(2018). Fathers and perceptions of God play an important role in psychological adjustment among emerging adults in Guatemala and the United States. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 179(5), 270-285.  doi: 10.1080/00221325.2018.1502148
  • Faherty, A. N., Eagan, A. E., Ashdown, B. K., Brown, C. M., and Hanno, O. (2016). Examining the reliability and convergent validity of IPARTheory measures and their relation to ethnic attitudes in Guatemala. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 21(4), 276- 288.  doi: 10.24839/2164-8204.jn21.4.276
  • Melita, N. A., Diaz-Linhart, Y., Kavanagh, P., Sabota, A. (2019, May). Developing a problem-solving Intervention to address methods of self-management and transition challenges in adolescents with sickle cell disease: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 46, 26-32.
  • Melita, N. A. (2017, January). Investigating Trends in Poly-victimization among CPS Involved Children and Families: A Study of Allegations. Master’s Theses. 1049.
  • Mitra, D., and Arnett, J. J. (2019). Life choices of emerging adults in India. Emerging Adulthood, 216769681985189. doi:10.1177/2167696819851891
  • Mitra, D. (2019, March 25). Navigating Decisions During Emerging Adulthood in India. Retrieved from
  • Wolontis, F., and Hoff, E. (2018). Two sides of the same coin: The experiences of high-achieving women in the Swedish workplace. High Ability Studies, 29(2), 191–211. doi:10.1080/13598139.2018.1498324

Our Research in Social Psychology

From studying the psychology of activism to politically motivated intergroup conflict and violence, Clark’s social psychology graduate students analyze some of the day’s most pertinent issues using quantitative and qualitative research methods. Our graduate program ensures students receive extensive research training that builds cumulatively from foundational and more heavily mentored experiences to more independent activities, like building a research portfolio and dissertation research. Much of our faculty and student research takes place within community settings, locally or internationally.

Through lab work, graduate students collaborate among faculty, their cohorts, and undergraduates. Graduate students present their work at external conferences such as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Society of Political Psychology, or the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and at Clark’s Graduate Student Multidisciplinary Conference, and publish in journals like Feminism and Psychology, the Journal of Social Issues, and Psychology of Men and Masculinity.  Graduate students’ scholarship, along with our faculty’s research, is diverse both in theory and method, which is a mark of distinction and strength across our department’s three programs.

Our faculty has guest-edited special issues in the Journal of Social Issues as well as the European Journal of Social Psychology and founded the Journal of Social and Political Psychology. Their research and expertise have been recognized with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Psychological Association, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others.

At the heart of our research are the program and department’s research groups, forums, and lab meetings where faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students discuss common theoretical concerns and research interests. In fact, graduate students are encouraged to work closely with one another, with advanced undergraduate students, and with faculty colleagues in developing their program of research with the goal of growing as an independent researcher.


Recent Dissertations and Publications in Social Psychology

2020-21 Academic Year

  • Michelle Twali (Advisor: Johanna Vollhardt), The role of group-based power in collective victimization experiences

2019-20 Academic Year

  • Julia Tran (Advisor: Andrew Stewart), What Makes an African American Activist? Integrating Respectability Politics into the Dynamic Dual Pathway Model of Collective Action
  • Mukadder Okuyan (Advisor: Johanna Vollhardt) Reacting to a Changing World: A Social Psychological Analysis of Perceived Discrimination among Advantaged Groups

2016-17 Academic Year

  • Rashmi Nair (Adviser: Johanna Vollhardt), Minority-Minority Relations: An Intersectional Investigation of Dalit-Muslim Relations in India

2015-16 Academic Year

  • Luke Mazur (Adviser: Johanna Vollhardt), Polish-Ukrainian Relations in the Shadow of Soviet Victimization: The Role of Similarity Judgements and Acknowledgement of Victimhood
  • Maggie Campbell-Obaid (Adviser: Johanna Vollhardt), The complex role of religious beliefs in supporting peaceful or violent policies: A multi-method study in the U.S. Christian context
  • Davis, G. E., Hines, D. A., & Reed, K. M. P. (2021). Routine activities and stalking victimization in sexual minority college students. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260521991879
  • Gambardella, G., Benz, M., Hines, D. A., & Palm Reed, K. M. (2020). A Descriptive Analysis of College Students’ Experiences of Female-Perpetrated Sexual Assault. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.
  • Vollhardt, J. R., & Twali, M. S. (in press). The aftermath of genocide: Divergent social psychological processes among victim and perpetrator groups. In L. Newman (Ed.), “Why are they doing this to us?” The social psychology of genocide and extreme intergroup violence. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Vollhardt, J. R., & Twali, M. S. (2016). Emotion-based reconciliation requires attention to power differences, critical consciousness and structural change. Psychological Inquiry, 27, 136 – 143.
  • Kerig, P. K., Wainryb, C., Twali, M. S., & Chaplo, S. (2013). America’s child soldiers: Developing a research paradigm for the study of gang-involved youth in the United States. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 22(7) 1 – 23.
  • Ünal, H., Uluğ, Ö. M., & Blaylock, D. (2020, June 11). Understanding the Kurdish Conflict Through the Perspectives of the Kurdish-Turkish Diaspora in Germany. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. Advance online publication.
Contact Information

Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology

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