The Kids and Adults Together (KAT) study

Parents play an important role in helping their children learn how to navigate a complex world. Behavioral attunement, including matching affect, eye gaze, and vocalizations during discreet events, is associated with maternal sensitivity and quick repair of ruptures between mother and child, which in turn are associated with increased self-regulation, attachment security, and fewer behavioral problems in children. Previous research, however, has only begun to investigate how physiological attunement is related to behavioral attunement and child outcomes more broadly.

With funding from the American Psychological Foundation, we are conducting a study to measure both behavioral and physiological attunement in parent-child pairs. Furthermore, we are interested in how attunement may differ in mother-child and father-child relationships. We seek to understand how the parent-child relationship can influence children’s success and difficulties throughout childhood and adolescence.

We are seeking 8-10 year old children and their biological parents to participate in our study. Please see the “Interested Participants” tab if you or someone you know may be interested in participating!

Psychological Effects of Living in COVID-19 Affected NOLA (PELICAN)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on youth and their families, and families in Southeastern Louisiana may be at particular risk due to their prior exposure to devastating hurricanes such as Katrina, Gustav, and Isaac. In response to this emergency, researchers in the BE-RAD Lab have begun collecting data on the psychological impact of COVID-19 related quarantine, disruption of routines, and financial hardships on Louisiana families. Wave 1 of the study, which took place in April 2020, is now complete. Waves 2 and 3, which will take place in July 2020 and April 2021, are designed to understand the long-term effects of these disruptions. We are also working with colleagues at Iowa State University to investigate how these disruptions may get "under the skin" and impact stress hormone levels in both children and their parents.

Alongside the KAT and PELICAN studies, researchers in the BE-RAD lab are working on projects in collaboration with colleagues both within and outside of UNO:

· Longitudinal patterns of hormone coupling in middle childhood and early adolescence (Black)

· Characterizing patterns of pubertal development in youth at risk for bipolar disorder (Black)

· Longitudinal associations between parenting consistency and child behavior (Brabham)

· The role of temperament in predicting psychopathology following peer victimization (Evans)

· Irritability in the context of childhood stress reactivity and later psychopathology (Kaplan)

· The person-centered approach to modeling poverty and risk in families (Aaron)

· Environmental antecedents to biological attunement in low-income families (Aaron)