APF Visionary Grants: investing in innovation

In 2013, APF's Visionary Fund supported several noteworthy projects.

The Visionary Grants support innovative research, education and intervention efforts that advance psychological knowledge and application in:

  • Understanding the connection between behavior and health.
  • Reducing stigma and prejudice.
  • Understanding and preventing all forms of violence.
  • Addressing long-term psychological needs in the aftermath of disaster.

In 2013, APF’s Visionary Fund supported seven noteworthy projects:

Understanding sleep and psychopathology in youth with significant mental health problems

Timothy Nelson, PhD, a pediatric psychologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, received a Visionary Grant for his research on the intersection between behavior and a child’s physical and mental health. His research will examine the relationship between sleep and psychopathology in youth with significant mental health problems, and will develop a brief sleep intervention to improve both sleep and mental health functioning.

Relating the psychological recovery from recent disasters to climate change

Laura Kati Corlew, PhD, in collaboration with the East-West Center, received a Visionary Grant to address the psychological recovery from natural disasters as it relates to the increasing risk of disaster from climate change in Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated pacific islands. Corlew’s work on the psychology of climate change has been widely recognized.

Understanding stress and resilience in vulnerable youth

Farrah Jacquez, PhD, is using her Visionary Grant to conduct a pilot study to identify and measure mental and physical aspects of stress and resilience in vulnerable youth from three diverse communities. Jacquez hopes to better understand the context of stress and resilience in vulnerable youth by studying their personal experiences with stress, resilience and health. 

Examining discrimination-related stress in families

Kymberlee O’Brien, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at HORIZON Center for Health Equity at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, received a Visionary Grant for her work. She will be testing whether a mother’s stress from perceived discrimination is physiologically, behaviorally and affectively transmitted to her infant, thus putting the child at greater risk for stress-related health disparities. This research will also look at whether emotion regulation instructions to the mother will be effective strategies to curtail the influence of social stressors on the infant’s early stress systems development.

Resilience and psychological growth in LGBTQ populations

Nadav Antebi, a PhD student at Columbia University, will seek to identify the processes and mechanisms through which the stress of being part of a minority group may be linked to the development of coping strategies, positive attributes and psychological growth among LGBTQ population with his Visionary Grant. Antebi hopes his research will contribute to future strength-based interventions designed to reduce the elevated disease burden among LGBTQ populations.

Helping children in war zones

Jodi Quas, PhD, of the University of California, Irvine, received a $20,000 Visionary Grant to determine what empathy, emotional understanding and altruism mean to children living in highly volatile, war-torn environments and to evaluate how exposure to violence affects these children’s empathy, altruistic tendencies and aggressiveness. She plans to use the data as the basis for interventions designed to enhance emotional processes into broader peace-building.

Reducing intergroup conflict

Bernhard Leidner, PhD, is using his Visionary Grant to add to the body of research on justice and intergroup conflict to help bring constructive dialogue to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Leidner and his team are testing conflict resolution strategies that require both groups to address the justice needs and perspectives of both sides — victims and perpetrators.