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PROTECT Lab

News

Winter 2018

RESEARCH

Congratulations to second-year PROTECT Lab doctoral student, Jill Merrick, on her 'in press' paper titled, "Benevolent childhood experiences (BCEs) in homeless parents: A validation and replication study." This is the second empirical study on the Benevolent Childhood Experiences (BCEs) scale and finds that higher levels of BCEs predict lower odds of psychological distress in parents experiencing homelessness. This article is forthcoming in the Journal of Family Psychology

RESEARCH

Dr. Narayan's work was recently featured by APA Div 56: Trauma Psychology. Check out the Spotlight here!

RESEARCH

The PROTECT Lab has been extremely productive in 2018, with two grants awarded, four talks delivered, six posters presented, and eight manuscripts submitted! (And a partridge in a pear tree, happy holidays!)

RESEARCH

Congrats to PROTECT Lab doctoral student, Vicky Atzl, on publishing her masters paper titled, "Adverse childhood experiences and prenatal mental health: ACEs type and age of maltreatment onset," in press at the Journal of Family Psychology. This study finds that adverse childhood experiences characterized by childhood maltreatment, as opposed to family dysfunction, predict PTSD, but not depression symptoms during pregnancy, and that maltreatment that onsets in early childhood is a particularly potent predictor of prenatal PTSD symptoms.

Fall 2018

RESEARCH

Protect LabDr. Narayan gave a talk titled "Empirically and Culturally Informed Clinical Tools to Assess Pregnancy Wantedness and Relationship Dynamics as Predictors of Perinatal Depression and PTSD" at the annual Zero to Three conference in Denver as part of the Infant and Perinatal Mental Health Preconference that also featured speakers Joy Osofsky, Catherine Monk, Arietta Slade, and Alicia Lieberman.

Protect LabAt the annual Zero to Three conference in Denver, current PROTECT Lab doctoral students had the opportunity to meet with the BE SAFE Pregnancy-San Francisco study PI and funder, Alicia Lieberman and Bill Harris, son of infant mental health philanthropist, Irving Harris.

GRANTS

Dr. Narayan received a research grant from the Guardian of Angels Foundation for a new study titled, "Pathways from Toxic Stress and Benevolent Childhood Experiences to Risky Behavior and Resilience."

RESEARCH

Congrats to PROTECT Lab alum, Maddie Schmidt, on leading the 'in press' paper titled, "Childhood Maltreatment on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Scale versus the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) in a Perinatal Sample" forthcoming in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma. This study elucidates the nuanced construct validity of five maltreatment subtypes across two of the most-commonly used instruments that assess childhood maltreatment. Way to go, Maddie!

Summer 2018

AWARDS

Dr. Narayan is the 2018 recipient of the Early Career Award for Ethnic Minority Psychologist in Trauma Psychology from APA Div 56: Trauma Psychology.

RESEARCH

Protect LabPROTECT Lab second-year doctoral student, Laura River, gave a talk titled, "Assessing Romantic Partner Support during Pregnancy with the Five-Minute Speech Sample: Validity and Concordance with Self-Reported Partner Support" at the International Association of Relationship Research (IARR) in Fort Collins, CO.

Spring 2018

AWARDS

Several members of the PROTECT Lab were honored at the annual DU Psychology Department Awards Ceremony. Second-year doctoral student, Vicky Atzl, received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA) award, and third-year doctoral student, Thania Galvan, received the Outstanding Service to the Department award. Additionally, senior undergraduate student, Maddie Schmidt, was recognized for her outstanding research in the Psychology Honors Program.

GRANTS

Dr. Narayan received a 2018 Early Career Grant from the Society in Research in Child Development (SRCD) for an upcoming study entitled, "Child Adversity and Benevolent Childhood Experiences as Predictors of Mental Health Problems in Ethnically-Diverse, Low-Income Fathers Expecting a Baby."

AWARDS

Vicky Atzl and Laura River, both doctoral students in the PROTECT Lab, received the 2018-2019 Doctoral Fellowships for Inclusive Engagement (IE) from DU for their diversity-related research, teaching/mentorship, and service to the department and the community.

RESEARCH

Protect LabSenior honors student in the PROTECT Lab, Maddie Schmidt, presented two posters at the annual DU Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium. The first poster reflected her honors thesis, “Pregnant Women with Histories of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Stress, and Trauma, and Attributions about their Unborn Child.” The second reflected her recently submitted manuscript, “Childhood Maltreatment among Low-Income Women across the Perinatal Period: Convergent Validity of the Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaires.

GRANTS

Miriam Castillo, a junior undergraduate student in the PROTECT Lab, received the DU Summer Research Grant for her project titled, "Pregnant Women's Narrative Coherence about their Babies' Fathers in a Low-Income, Diverse Sample." This project will advance understanding of Spanish- and English-speaking women's relationship representations about the fathers of their babies. Congrats, Miriam!

RESEARCH

Protect LabFirst-year PROTECT Lab doctoral student, Laura River, presented her research at the biennial Developmental Psychobiology Research Group (DPRG) retreat. Her project was titled, "Social Support from the Baby's Father during Pregnancy: The Discrepancy between Mothers' Self-Reported and Observed Support as a Risk Factor for Antenatal Psychopathology and Stress." This study contributes to the PROTECT Lab's core emphasis on methodological development in family systems and traumatic stress research. 

EVENTS

Protect LabDr. Ann Masten of the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development visited the PROTECT Lab to hear about our ongoing longitudinal study on intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience in pregnant women and fathers-to-be. She shared wisdom on how to assess competence, resilience, and age-salient developmental tasks gained from her expertise in conducting the 20-year Project Competence longitudinal study in Minneapolis, MN. Thank you for joining us, Ann!

AWARDS

Dr. Narayan's doctoral alma mater, the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development, has recognized her with the 2018 Rising Star Alumni Award. Check out the Institute of Child Development's blog post!

GRANTS

Congratulations to PROTECT Lab doctoral students Laura River and Vicky Atzl for each receiving the Lawrence Miller Fellowship from the DU Department of Psychology!

AWARDS

Dr. Narayan was named a University of Denver Public Impact Fellow, to be part of a two-year fellowship program on community-engaged scholarship.

Winter 2018

RESEARCH

The PROTECT Lab's clinical research is featured in the Department of Psychology newsletter. Read about what the team of graduate and undergraduate interviewers is learning as they interview pregnant women and fathers-to-be!

Fall 2017

EVENTS

Protect LabThe PROTECT Lab presented the first preliminary findings from the BE SAFE Denver Pregnancy Study at the "Psychology and the Public Good" event, co-hosted by the Stress, Early Experiences, and Development (SEED) Center and the MotherWise project.

RESEARCH

Dr. Narayan is featured in the DU Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) "Newsroom." Check out this faculty profile on resilience!

Summer 2017

RESEARCH

Protect LabSecond-year PROTECT Lab doctoral student, Vicky Atzl, presented findings from the BE SAFE San Francisco Pregnancy Study at the Developmental Neurotoxicology Society, held in Denver. Her poster was titled, "Identifying Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence during Pregnancy to Deter Intergenerational Transmission of Maternal and Fetal Risk.

Spring 2017

GRANTS

Congratulations to PROTECT undergrad, Maddie Schmidt, who received a Summer Research Grant from the DU Undergraduate Research Committee for her upcoming senior honors project, "Maternal Trauma History and Mental Health as Predictors of Prenatal Affect and Attributions about the Baby."

Incoming first-year doctoral students in the PROTECT Lab, Jill Merrick and Laura River, were both awarded the Graduate Studies Doctoral Fellowship from DU. This award recognizes their outstanding research and academic achievements leading up to their matriculation in the DU clinical child psychology PhD program. Congrats, Laura and Jill!

RESEARCH

Dr. Narayan gave a talk on PROTECT Lab research at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) biennial meeting in Austin, TX. The talk was titled "Benevolent Childhood Experiences as Deterrents of Prenatal Programming of Maternal and Infant Stress" and it was part of the symposium, "Prenatal Origins of Developmental Health in High-Risk Contexts: From Intergenerational Transmission to Early Intervention."

Winter 2017

AWARDS

Vicky Atzl, a first-year doctoral student in the PROTECT Lab, was awarded the Doctoral Fellowship for Inclusive Engagement from DU. This award recognizes her contributions towards enhancing the university's mission of inclusive excellence. Congrats, Vicky!

Fall 2016

GRANTS

Dr. Narayan received a small grant from DU for multicultural and methodological developments in the BE SAFE Pregnancy Study. This grant will enable Spanish-speaking pregnant women's transcripts of positive childhood memories to be coded by a Spanish-speaking research assistant.

Spring 2016

AWARDS

Vicky Atzl, a first-year doctoral student in the PROTECT Lab, was awarded the Graduate Studies Doctoral Fellowship from DU. This award recognizes her outstanding research and academic achievement as an incoming first-year student to the clinical child PhD program. Congrats, Vicky!