Undergraduate Research Assistants present at 2019 LPA Convention

This June, Joi Bryant and Sarah Guillaume, Child and Family Lab undergraduate research assistants, presented their research posters at the 2019 Louisiana Psychology Association convention. Joi’s poster, “Harsh Parenting among African-American Families: The Carrier of Family and Community Trauma,” examined the associations between maternal history of child sexual abuse, interpersonal violence exposure, community violence, and maternal use of harsh discipline among a predominantly low-income African American sample of 4-5 year olds and their families. Sarah’s Poster, “Racial Socialization of Black Children: The Influences of Child Sex and Maternal Arrest,” examined racial socialization of preschool aged children in the context of maternal arrest. Both of them did a fabulous job and Sarah won best undergraduate poster for original research!  Graduate student, Justin Carreras, has previously won this award in the graduate category. We are excited that we can continue to share our research at this conference.


Congratulations to Graduating Lab Members!

Spring 2019 was bittersweet here at the Gray Lab as we celebrated and then said goodbye to many important and wonderful members of our team!

Congratulations to Peter Balcke, Samantha Perry, Chloe Christian and Zoe Cebulash, our accomplished graduating seniors!  Each had an important role in keeping the Child and Family Lab running successfully. 

To highlight just some of their accomplishments during their time at Tulane, Zoe graduated with  Magna Cum Laude, Chloe Cristian graduated with a successful senior project “Maternal Arrest and Its Implications for Maternal-Child Mental Health,” and Sam Perry graduated Cum Laude as a Newcomb Scholar, successfully defending her Psychology and Neuroscience honors thesis: “The Association Between Maternal Adverse Childhood Experiences and Mother-Child Physiological Synchrony.” Sam also received the Newcomb College Institute Award for Exceptional Character, The Rosa Cahn Hartman Award in Psychology, The Neuroscience Faculty Award, an Oak Wreath Award, and the Newcomb Internship Grant Award. 

We are also proud to see Justin Carreras, fifth year doctoral student, heads off to Momentous Institute in Dallas for his internship year. 

Lastly, we congratulate our incredibly talented lab manager Hannah Swerbenski as she begins her PhD in Developmental Psychology at Rochester University. You will be missed! 

Undergraduate lab member and LAMP Scholar, Joi Bryant, presents at Science and Engineering Research Fair

The LAMP Scholars Program, a collaboration between the Louis-Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP) and Tulane’s Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT), seeks to increase minority STEM research engagement at Tulane University. Joi Bryant, a Gray lab senior and LAMP Scholar, has been working closely under the advising of Gray Lab graduate student Chloe Pickett on a research project examining childhood sexual abuse among African American mothers. 

Joi presented the culmination of her project, a poster entitled “Childhood Sexual Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence: It Harms More than the African American Mother,” at the 13th Annual School of Science and Engineering Research Day. 

We are happy to have had the opportunity to share Joi’s wonderful work with the Tulane community!

Gray Lab Members Present at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting

The Gray Lab was strongly represented at the 2019 Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting. Dr. Gray chaired a paper symposium entitled Early Adversity, Biology, and Behavior: Examining Biological Consequences and Contingencies of Early Life Stress.  In this symposium, Dr. Gray presented her paper, “Protective Effects of Parasympathetic Activity in Violence-exposed Preschoolers: Sex-specific Associations with Behavior Problems,” which was co-authored by current graduate students Erin Glackin and Ginny Hatch, and former Tulane Child and Family Lab Research Coordinator Rebecca Lipschutz.

Lab members Justin Carreras, Hannah Swerbenski, Erin Glackin, Ginny Hatch, and Elsa Obus also presented posters at the conference, including “Intergenerational Transmission of Self-Regulation: Mediation through Mothers’ Responses to Children’s Negative Emotionality,” “Emerging Verbal Ability in a Low-Income Sample: Examining Maternal Cognitive Stimulation and Cool Self-Regulation,” and “A Person-Centered Approach to Violence Exposure and Behavioral Outcomes Among Preschoolers.”

Dr. Gray was also honored with the prestigious Early Career Research Contributions Award at the SRCD Member Meeting and Awards Ceremony. More information on Dr. Gray’s Award can be found in our post here.

Dr. Gray Honored with Early Career Research Contributions Award

The Society for Research in Child Development’s Early Career Award Committee selected Dr. Gray to receive the 2019 Early Career Research Contributions Award. This prestigious award honors strongly distinguished researchers and scholars based on their research, publications, and scholarly activities. In particular, Dr. Gray was recognized for using diverse methodologies to understand how contextual factors are associated with mother-child relationships, psychophysiology, and violence exposure in child development and for employing strengths-based and person-centered approaches in studying sensitive parenting and physiological self-regulation in mother-child dyads among vulnerable populations. Dr. Gray was honored at the 2019 SRCD Biennial meeting and received an honorarium for her contributions. More information on 2019 SRCD Biennial Awardees can be found here: https://www.srcd.org/meetings/biennial-meeting/2019-srcd-biennial-awardees

Dr. Gray Receives Funding from NIH for Randomized Controlled Trial of Parenting Intervention

The Tulane Child and Family Lab is happy to announce that Dr. Gray’s new study, A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Biobehavioral Regulation Among High-Adversity Mothers and Young Children, has been funded by the NIH Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23). This new project will determine whether Mom Power, an evidence-based two generation intervention for mothers, enhances physiological and behavioral self-regulation in mothers and young children, testing mechanisms and examining bidirectional effects. We are so excited to start piloting this project soon!

Lab Members Erin Glackin, Chloe Pickett, and Chloe Cristian present at International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Meeting

Gray Lab members are regular attendees at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Meetings. This year, at the 34th annual meeting in Washington DC, Gray Lab PhD students Erin Glackin and Chloe Pickett, as well as undergraduate Research Assistant Chloe Cristian represented the lab at the conference. Glackin presented a symposium entitled “Mothers’ Adverse Childhood Experiences Predict Dysregulated Autonomic Activity in their Preschoolers,” a piece of our ongoing work on physiological stress regulation in mothers and their preschool children. Pickett and Cristian presented their poster “Maternal Attitudes towards Aggression Moderate Associations between Maternal Experiences of Early Adversity and Behavioral Problems in Preschoolers.” We are always very excited for opportunities to share our research, and very proud of Erin, Chloe, and Chloe for their hard work! 


Undergraduate Research Assistant, Chloe Cristian, Receives Presentation Grant

Chloe Cristian, a current senior and member of the Tulane Child and Family Lab, has been awarded the Conference Presentation Grant from Newcomb Tulane College. This grant will fund her travel costs to attend the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Annual Meeting this November in Washington D.C.  She will be attending along with Erin Glackin and Chloe Pickett, doctoral students in the Tulane Child and Family Lab. Glackin will be presenting a symposium titled “Mothers’ Adverse Childhood Experiences Predict Dysregulated Autonomic Activity in their Preschoolers,” and Pickett and Cristian will be presenting their poster, “Maternal Attitudes Towards Aggression Moderate Associations Between Maternal Violence Exposure and Behavior Problems in Preschoolers.”  

We are proud to have such strong representation at the ISTSS Annual Meeting, and especially proud of Chloe Cristian for earning this special funding opportunity. 

Lab Members Dr. Gray and Erin Glackin Co-Author Award Winning Paper with Dr. Drury

CFL collaborator Dr. Stacy Drury has been selected by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to receive the 2018 Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, which recognizes the most significant paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by a child and adolescent psychiatrist in the past year. The award winning paper, “Thinking Across Generations: Unique Contributions of Maternal Early Life and Prenatal Stress to Infant Physiology,” was co-authored by Dr. Sarah Gray and Gray Lab doctoral student Erin Glackin, as well as Dr. Kat Theall at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Christopher Jones, a doctoral student in Tulane’s Neuroscience program.  We are proud of our interdisciplinary work on the impact of trauma across generations being recognized by such an honor! 

Read more here: http://news.tulane.edu/pr/tulane-psychiatrist-wins-national-award-research-shows-how-trauma-seeps-across-generations

Graduate Student, Ginny Hatch, Wins Best Poster

Ginny Hatch, one of the graduate research assistants in the Tulane Child and Family Lab, recently received the Outstanding Poster Award in her division at the 2018 American Psychological Association conference. Her poster, “Social Support Buffers the Impact of Maternal Exposure to Violence on Children’s Externalizing Behaviors,” included findings that speak to the importance of relationships and their protective role following exposure to trauma. Congratulations Ginny, we are so proud of you!