American Psychological Foundation

Investigating the link between hormone levels and fatherhood in gay men

Thanks to a $12,000 APF Roy Scrivner Memorial Grant, Erin Burke, a PhD candidate in the department of anthropology at Yale University, has initiated the Gay Fathers Project to investigate the effect fatherhood has on the hormone levels of gay men.

Previous research indicates that parenthood changes certain hormone levels in straight men. With her grant, Burke is seeking to study whether the same process occurs in gay men who are fathers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of same-sex households in the United States grew 80 percent from 2000 to 2010, and the number of children living with same-sex parents doubled. Yet, in spite of this demographic trend, gay fathers have not received the same level of biosocial research attention as straight fathers.

Burke and her research team hypothesize that the hormone/behavior interaction associated with parenting is independent of sexual orientation. To test this hypothesis, Burke will use the APF funds to assess hormone levels in male couples ages 21 to 60 with children and compare them with levels in male couples without children. She hopes that the Gay Fathers Project will be a groundbreaking study in biosocial research.

Since 1953, APF has been supporting innovative research and programs that launch careers and seed the knowledge base on critical issues around the globe. For more information, visit the APF website.

APF’s Campaign to Transform the Future gains momentum

APF’s Campaign to Transform the Future seeks to provide a source of much-needed financial support for young researchers, who face considerable challenges securing funding in today’s economy. The landscape of psychology funding is changing, with many psychologists, especially students and early career psychologists, considering other careers or exploring less innovative lines of research to be better able to secure funding.

In response, APF donors are coming together to create new funding opportunities for new psychologists who are pursuing cutting-edge research and projects.

So far, the campaign has raised $3.7 million. For more information on the campaign, visit the website.

APF offers new $5,000 graduate research scholarship

APF and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP) are jointly offering 16 graduate research scholarships worth $1,000 to $5,000, including the new Charles and Carol Spielberger Scholarship, which is being awarded for the first time in 2014.

APF established the annual scholarship to honor the late Charles Spielberger and his wife, Carol. Spielberger was known for developing the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory and was a major philanthropist in psychology.

“The APF Board of Trustees could think of no better way of honoring their generosity, than ensuring that talented young psychologists get the start they need in the field,” says APF President Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD.

The APF/COGDOP Scholarship program assists graduate students in psychology with research costs associated with the master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program or an interim master’s program are eligible to apply. Special attention will be given to applications from students who, at the time of application, are within the first two years of graduate study in psychology. The deadline for applications is June 30.

For more information about the APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarships, visit funding/cogdop.aspx.

David Wechsler Early Career Grant supports innovative work in cognition

Leonard, Daniel and Neil Wechsler have established a grant to honor David Wechsler, who was Leonard’s father and Daniel and Neil’s grandfather.

The $25,000 David Wechsler Early Career Grant for Innovative Work in Cognition supports early career psychologists pursuing innovative work in neuropsychology, intelligence and/ or the assessment aspects of cognition. Those who work on positive applied neuropsychology are encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit the website.

Ungerleider gift supports future generations

Renowned author and one of the world’s leading experts on sports, performance enhancement drugs and ethics, Steven Ungerleider, PhD, knows firsthand the difference that early career support can have for new psychologists.

From a young age, Ungerleider was passionate about the field of psychology. But it was thanks to guidance and encouragement from his mentors, particularly his graduate school advisor Martin Acker, PhD, that he had the confidence to pursue a career which would combine his two loves: psychology and sport.

Joining the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry in 1984, Ungerleider went on to work on the team of researchers that investigated the East German doping scandal. This led to his award-winning 2001 book, “Faust’s Gold: Inside the East German Doping Machine,” which has been translated into five languages and was made into a PBS documentary. Ungerleider’s research has also been used for several high-profile doping cases.

Ungerleider is paying forward the support he received as a young psychologist with a gift in honor of Joseph D. Matarazzo, PhD, to APF’s Campaign to Transform the Future. He encourages others to consider doing the same.

“You don’t have to be at the end of your career to give,” he says. “It’s not about how much you give. Just think about the mentors you’ve had and pass that on.”

Ungerleider’s gift to the campaign is just one of several he has made to APF, including funding for the Ungerleider Zimbardo travel scholarships, which allow graduate students to present their work each year at APA’s Annual Convention.

“I’m thrilled to bring in the younger generation and encourage their interest in the field,” he says. “Giving to APF is a way to ensure a strong future for psychology.”

Grantee Spotlight: Fighting the effects of stigma

In 2004, Michael Inzlicht, PhD, was given a $10,000 Drs. Rosalee G. and Raymond A. Weiss Research and Program Innovation Grant to study the gender gap between women and men in math and science and the academic performance gap between white and African-American students. Ten years later, Inzlicht is an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto and a principal investigator at the Toronto Laboratory for Social Neuroscience. His research — which began with this APF grant — has contributed to the development of a new focus in the study of prejudice and discrimination. He has found that belonging to a stigmatized group can lead to poor self-control that affects performance. He is using this finding to identify ways to diminish this effect so that people can become less sensitive to negative emotions. “I view the APF grant as being instrumental in not only getting other grants, but also in helping me establish myself as an independent researcher,” Inzlicht says. His research has led to eight published articles, 23 presentations, and six awards and honors. It has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times and The Toronto Sun.

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For more information about APF’s funding programs, visit, or contact APF Program Officer Samantha Edington at (202) 336-5984.