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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

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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.  |  Curriculum Vitae

Lab Members

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Elizabeth Aaron

Graduate Student

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).

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Nicole Baumgartner

Graduate Student

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.

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Ella Amaral Lavoie

Graduate Student

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.

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Allie Morra

Graduate Student

Broadly, I am interested in risk factors that contribute to the development of childhood anxiety disorders. This includes how child temperament and parenting (i.e., parent anxiety, attachment style) in toddlerhood are linked to later childhood anxiety. I am also interested in utilizing EEG to explore how error monitoring relates to later anxiety. Additionally, I want to explore how these factors contribute to heterogeneous symptom presentations developing.

Casey Pearce

Graduate Student 

I am interested in exploring maternal and child factors that may influence the development of social anxiety and adjustment problems in childhood. More specifically, I’m interested in studying how maternal motivations and behaviors (such as comforting and protective behaviors) and how children’s inhibited temperament may influence this development over time.



Grace Sullivan

Project Coordinator

My research interests involve how anxiety and stress impact parenting style and outcomes for children (e.g diagnosis rates, baselines, temperament...). After I complete my time in the BEAR lab, I hope to get my PhD in clinical psychology and research and practice. 


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