Childhood Adversity, Neurocognitive Functioning, and Developmental Outcomes

"This directed research opportunity promises a direct mentorship with one of our graduate students or project coordinators. They can help you to meet your personal career and research goals, from getting better acquainted with your field of interest to applying for graduate school programs (if desired)."

Supervising Faculty: Jamie L. Hanson, Ph.D.
Contact: Dorthea Adkins,

Area of Research:  Clinical psychology, Developmental psychology

Description of Research: We are looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated undergraduate students who are interested in actively participating in ongoing research projects. Our research projects primarily explore the connections between exposure to early life stress/adversity, alterations in neurocognitive functioning (e.g., reward processing; cognitive control or other “executive functions”), and developmental outcomes.

Some of the work has an explicit focus on the development of depression and other mental health conditions. Other work examines associations between adversity and changes in decision-making, affect regulation, or socioemotional development. Undergraduates may be asked to work with youth (during adolescence; in middle and high school) with varying levels of stress exposure, and/or their parents or caregivers.

Duties of Students: Tasks include creating surveys; conducting data cleaning and analyses; and writing research articles. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct literature reviews and synthesize past research studies into written work. A minimum of a two-semester commitment to lab work is required. Students who can also commit to at least 9 hours of lab work each week (3 credits) are strongly preferred.


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • Meet departmental criteria for eligibility for directed research
  • Register for 3 units of directed research (9 hours per week)
  • Two-semester commitment required
  • Competitive applicants will have prior experience with research including running participants in study sessions and statistical or programming experience.

Terms offered: Fall, Spring

Number of students: 10-15

Application: Please email a copy of your CV or resume to