Helping children through psychology

This year APF gave $180,000 to students pursuing innovative work in child psychology

As the popular saying goes, "Children are our future." Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz knew this. She devoted her life’s work to understanding children. Her husband perpetuated that work through scholarships in her name. This year APF gave $180,000 to students pursuing innovative work in child psychology.

Six graduate students each received $25,000 Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Fellowships:

  • Kelly Lynn Mulvey, of the University of Maryland, will study how children respond to members of their gender group displaying relational or physical aggression.
  • Nadia Samad, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, is studying the influence of interparental conflict and parenting on children’s social skills.
  • Ha Yeon Kim, of New York University, is writing her dissertation on immigrant children’s academic engagement in classrooms and identifies supportive classroom contexts for their positive development.
  • Matt Johnson, of Princeton University, is conducting groundbreaking research on the ability of autistic children to generalize using language in order to learn novel phrases.
  • Natalie Brito, of Georgetown University, will study the differences in cognitive performance between bilingual and monolingual infants.
  • Taryn Allen, of Duke University, is developing a computerized cognitive training program for children with sickle cell disease.

Six additional graduate students received $5,000 scholarships:

Kate Ryan Kuhlman, of the University of Michigan, is interested in the impact of childhood trauma on developmental processes throughout the lifespan. Julia Hayden, of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, studies the development of children’s autobiographical memory and narrative skills, with an emphasis on how these skills are fostered during everyday conversations. Aparajita Kuriyan, of Florida International University, is working on longitudinal outcomes of ADHD and the dissemination and sustainability of treatments in community settings. Alexander Lupis, of Long Island University-Brooklyn, will travel to Croatia to research children of war veterans. Jacquelyn Raftery, of Clark University, is interested in how social contexts (e.g., homes, schools) facilitate or undermine students’ coping with academic obstacles and setbacks. Catherine Tsao, University of California, Los Angeles, is interested in the quality of infant and toddler care and differences in caregiver characteristics.