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Research

Overview

Research comprises the core of our work in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology. At Rochester, psychology research covers four main areas:

  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Adolescence
  • Motivation

But our research often crosses disciplines and connects domains, and we maintain strong ties with biological and social disciplines across the University, including the Medical Center, the Warner School of Education, and the Mt. Hope Family Center, among others. As a result, our work is characterized by collaboration with faculty, researchers, and colleagues on campus and in the community. Undergraduate students also play active roles in departmental research, from research assistants to research study participants.

Locally and globally, our researchers are making discoveries that help lead to an improved understanding of how the world works in an effort to make the world ever better.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Faculty and graduate students of the department are frequently in search of individuals with an interest in social sciences research. These positions vary with regard to requirements, duties and compensation.

Many positions are volunteer positions, and offer an excellent opportunity to participate in the field of psychology first-hand. They also offer valuable experience for those continuing their careers in a research field.

Positions are posted on the research assistant opportunities and university's job board pages.

Faculty Research Interest

Loisa BennettoProfessor Bennetto’s research focuses on the neurocognitive bases of autism spectrum disorder.  Her work examines the role of multisensory processing in social-communication difficulties and in everyday behaviors.
Patrick DaviesProfessor Davies’ research interests lie in children's socioemotional adaptation and maladaptation within the context of close interpersonal relationships especially in family contexts.
David Dodell-FederProfessor Dodell-Feder's research aims to understand the processes that contribute to healthy and disordered social functioning, and their improvement, with a particular focus on schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
Laura ElenbaasProfessor Elenbaas studies how children think about people and the social world. Research in her lab examines children's perceptions of social inequalities, experiences of social exclusion, the development of stereotypes, and reasoning about rights.
Andrew ElliotProfessor Elliot’s research focuses on approach and avoidance motivation, achievement motivation, social motivation, and well-being.
Marie-Joelle EstradaProfessor Estrada's research focuses on interpersonal relationships – specifically romantic relationship initiation and progression over time. Additionally, she also studies how relationships interact with gender, marketing, and health-related concerns.
Catherine GlennProfessor Glenn’s research focuses on the development and prediction of suicidal and self-injurious behaviors.
Jeremy JamiesonProfessor Jamieson's research focuses on how stress influences emotions, decisions, and performance, and how emotions can be regulated to optimize stress responses.
Christopher NiemiecProfessor Niemiec is interested in human motivation, emotion, and personality in social contexts. His research uses self-determination theory to examine the nature and functional significance of autonomy in a variety of life's domains.
Harry ReisProfessor Reis’ research interests involve social interaction and close relationships.
Ronald RoggeProfessor Rogge’s research focuses on understanding romantic relationships, from the early stages of dating to marriage.
Judith SmetanaProfessor Smetana’s research examines adolescent-parent relationships and development in cultural contexts; children's moral and social reasoning; and development of parenting beliefs.
Lisa StarrProfessor Starr's research focuses on the origins and consequences of depression and anxiety in adolescents and adults. Particular emphases include understanding the interface between psychopathology and the social environment and delineating complex, reciprocal, and interactive relationships between interpersonal, cognitive, and biological risk factors and internalizing symptoms.
Melissa Sturge-AppleProfessor Sturge-Apple’s research focuses on family processes, parental functioning, and child development guided by theoretical conceptualizations derived from developmental psychopathology, self-regulation frameworks, evolutionary developmental theories, and parenting process models.
Sheree TothProfessor Toth is the Director of Mt. Hope Family Center. Her research interests are broadly focused in the field of developmental psychopathology. She is especially interested in the processes and mechanisms that contribute to the adaptation of children who are confronted by significant psychosocial adversity. In particular, her work addresses the development of children who have experienced maltreatment or who have been reared by a depressed caregiver. Dr. Toth is also committed to the evaluation of preventive interventions for high risk populations.
Miron ZuckermanProfessor Zuckerman's research concerns psychology of religion, economic and gender inequality, and topics related to well-being.