Elizabeth Kiel, PhD
Ph.D. in Child Clinical and Developmental Psychology University of Missouri-Columbia: Department of Psychological Sciences
University of Mississippi Medical Center APA Accredited Predoctoral Internship
M. A. in Child Clinical and Developmental Psychology University of Missouri-Columbia: Department of Psychological Sciences
B. A. in Psychology, summa cum laude with distinction Boston University
My research focuses on understanding the etiology of childhood anxiety disorders within a developmental psychopathology framework. My work has aimed to clarify how early fearful/inhibited temperament predicts risk for anxiety-spectrum problems, with a particular focus on emotion processes (awareness, reactivity, regulation) involved in transactional influences occurring between anxiety-prone children and their parents. Much of this work has focused on early childhood, from toddlerhood to early school-age, which is a fascinating time for the emergence of children’s independent behavior and emotion regulation and an important developmental period for the influence of parents. I use multi-method assessments, including observation of temperament, parenting, and emotion processes; surveys; and psychophysiological techniques, such as analyzing both children’s and parents’ hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, as well as maternal cardiac and EEG activity, when children encounter novel, uncertain situations. This research has been funded by NIMH and NICHD, as well as a Miami University Committee on Faculty Research award. This basic research will inform the development of prevention efforts that consider anxiety development as occurring through transactional interactions between children and their environments.
My research focuses on identifying risk and resilience factors that may influence parenting practices associated with the development of internalizing disorders. Specifically, I am interested in how factors such as maternal anxiety, maternal RSA, and child temperament may interact to predict or protect against overcontrolling parenting. More recently, my research is focused on understanding factors that predict resilience in parents during COVID-19.
Broadly, my research employs a developmental psychopathology framework to elucidate child emotional development--both its psychological consequences and the ways in which it is shaped by interactions with family members and peers. I am particularly interested in how caregivers' and peers' emotion-related characteristics (e.g., emotion regulation) and behaviors (e.g., emotion socialization practices) influence children's own ways of managing and responding to emotions, especially as relevant to child psychopathology risk. I aim to assess these linkages through integrated, longitudinal models, with an emphasis on neurobiological mechanisms (e.g., brain hemodynamics) and contextual factors (e.g., social identities, type of emotion).
My research focuses on how maternal characteristics interact with child characteristics to impact anxiogenic parenting and child anxiety. Specifically, I am interested in how maternal cognitions, such as beliefs about child anxiety and parenting goals, relate to anxiogenic parenting behavior and both maternal and child characteristics (e.g. heart-rate variability and temperament).
I am broadly interested in how parenting relates to early childhood temperament and anxiety development. Currently, I am focusing on the way in which fathers' parenting behaviors relate to their children's inhibition levels over the course of infancy and toddlerhood. I am also interested in how maternal accuracy about children's inhibition levels informs how mothers behave around and respond to their children.
Ella Amaral Lavoie
My research interests include etiology and maintenance factors of childhood anxiety, as well as predictors of treatment-seeking and how to make treatment more accessible to families. Specifically, I am interested in how different parental traits (i.e. family accommodation and parental anxiety sensitivity) potentially interact with treatment-seeking on behalf of their children.
Broadly, I am interested in the development of heterogeneous symptom presentations in childhood anxiety disorders. This includes how temperament and parenting styles in toddlerhood may influence the development of these individual differences. I plan to pursue this research in graduate school and obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Under the greater umbrella of developmental psychology, I am most interested in pursuing research in cognitive development and the acquisition and development of language. Specifically, I am interested in infant directed communication (both verbal and non-verbal aspects) and how play facilitates learning in children. I plan to use my experience as a project coordinator in the BEAR Lab to strengthen my professional research skills and to pursue research on the aforementioned topics once I enter grad school to obtain a doctorate in psychology.