Research Area: Clinical Science
My research interests focus on the role of parents’ coping and emotion regulation processes in parent-child interactions in families under significant stress. Specifically, I have pursued these interests in families where a child has been diagnosed with cancer. As part of this work I have drawn on previous research on: parents’ PTSD symptoms, how parents’ ideas about emotions, or meta-emotion processes, affect their interactions with their child, and the connection between parenting behaviors and parents’ psychological distress. My dissertation study, funded by a National Research Service Award from NIMH, aimed to identify points of intervention for parents of children with cancer to improve parents’ psychological well-being and their communication with their child with the long-term goal of making this tremendously difficult experience easier for families.
My long term goals include continuing this program of research in families under significant stress, including developing and testing interventions to improve parent, child, and family functioning in families where parents or children are faced with significant hardship like chronic illness and/or traumatic events.