American Psychological Foundation
Gerson Memorial Grant awarded to psychology professor
Kristina Coop Gordon, PhD, has won $5,000 from the third annual Randy Gerson Memorial Grant. The grant supports research that advances the systemic understanding of family, couple or multigenerational processes. The prize alternates between a professional psychologist and a graduate student.
Gordon received her doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed her clinical psychology internship at Brown University. In her dissertation, she developed an integrated model of marital forgiveness and validated a measure based on the model. With her colleagues and mentors, Gordon subsequently conducted a small treatment study using this forgiveness model to help couples recover from extramarital affairs. The researchers are preparing a treatment manual based on this study, scheduled for publication by Guilford Press.
Gordon is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of TennesseeKnoxville. Her interests and work in marital therapy include identifying the processes by which marital partners cope with betrayal and forgiveness, examining the impact of marital betrayals on family functioning and exploring emotion regulation in relationships.
The Gerson Award is made possible by the efforts and personal contributions of Sylvia Shellenberger, PhD, in memory of her husband, Randy Gerson, PhD, a family psychologist who died at age 44 of leukemia. Other family members and colleagues provide ongoing support to the fund.
Gralnick Grants awarded
The Alexander Gralnick Foundation has awarded $2,500 grants to Gildas Brèbion, PhD, and Ilan Lohr, for the study of schizophrenia and serious mental illness.
Brèbion, a research scientist with the Institute of Psychiatry in London, received a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology from the University of Paris in 1994. On a Fulbright Scholarship, Brèbion joined the Schizophrenia Research Unit of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, for three years to explore cognitive dysfunctions in people with schizophrenia. At the Institute of Psychiatry, he conducts research on the various cognitive and clinical factors that affect memory in schizophrenia, as well as on the cognitive underpinnings of psychotic symptoms.
To assess the effect of depression and psychomotor retardation on cognitive processing, Brèbion's proposed research will test 40 patients with schizophrenia and 40 normal individuals as controls. His research will determine to what extent cognitive functioning--mainly memory--would be restored in patients with schizophrenia if they were neither depressed nor slow, says Brèbion.
Lohr, a native of Tel Aviv, Israel, holds a master's degree in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard University and a master's in clinical psychology from Clark University. He has been involved in several research projects at the Harvard Medical School, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and is pursuing a teaching certificate in social science education. His Gralnick research project, "The influence of effort on impairments of attention associated with major affective disorders," has recently been published as a book.
The late Alexander Gralnick, MD, former chief psychiatrist at the High Point Hospital in Rye, N.Y., established the annual Schizophrenia Research Grant in 1992 with a $100,000 donation to the APF to encourage research in the psychosocial aspects of schizophrenia and in treatment during the earliest phases of the disease. In 1998, his widow, June R. Gantz, EdD, contributed another $100,000 to establish the grant for research on serious mental illness.
Schizophrenia and serious mental illness research grants available
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) is accepting applications for two $5,000 research grants. Candidates for the Alexander Gralnick, MD, Schizophrenia Research Grant must demonstrate an exceptional contribution to schizophrenia research with emphasis on the discovery and/or treatment of the earliest signs of schizophrenia and the psychosocial aspects of the disease process. Preference will be given to individuals working in a psychiatric facility and on breakthrough issues in psychosocial research and treatment.
Candidates for the Alexander Gralnick Foundation Serious Mental Illness Research Grant must demonstrate an exceptional contribution to research on serious mental illness, with emphasis on depression and manic depression.
In both grant categories, recent or current work with preliminary findings are especially of interest. The application deadline is Feb. 1. For an application or additional information, contact the Awards Coordinator/Gralnick, APF, at the APA address; (202) 336-5814; or e-mail.
Five psychologists receive Small Placek Research Grants
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) has selected the recipients of the 2000 Wayne F. Placek Small Research Grants, which support research designed to increase public understanding of gay men and lesbians in order to alleviate the prejudice they experience. Grants are awarded in two sizes: The Wayne F. Placek Research Grants, large grants up to $40,000 each, and the Wayne F. Placek Small Grants, up to $5,000 each. Four Small Grants were awarded this year:
J. Michael Bailey, PhD, has received $5,000 for his proposal, "Female sexual orientation and sexual arousal: Is female sexual arousal target specific?" In this study, Bailey will examine the concept of target specificity (the tight linkage between sexual orientation and sexual arousal patterns), particularly as it relates to preliminary data suggesting that it is weaker for women than for men.
Bailey's dissertation at the University of Texas, Austin, concerned the maternal stress hypothesis of human male homosexuality. He completed his clinical internship and received his PhD from Western Psychiatric Institute in 1989. He is associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University.
Lisa M. Diamond, PhD, has received $5,000 for her proposal, "Effects of relationship participation and relationship loss on the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual adolescents." She will study whether lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are more likely to lose, forego or withdraw from close peer relationships as a result of their stigmatized sexual orientation, and whether such experiences impair their sense of well-being, as compared with heterosexual adolescents.
Diamond received her doctorate in human development from Cornell University in 1999 and is currently assistant professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Utah. Her research has focused on how peer attachment relationships--particularly best friendships and romantic relationships--help adolescents and adults regulate negative emotions and physiological stress.
The research team of Diana L. Gill, PhD, and Ronald G. Morrow, EdD, received $5,000 for "Increasing understanding and promoting inclusive professional practice in exercise and sport." This research will address ways to make lesbians and gay men feel safe and welcome in what are often hostile exercise and sports settings. Gill is a professor in the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro. She has served as editor for the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, and is the president of APA Div. 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology).
Morrow, who received his MS and EdD from UNC at Greensboro, has 25 years of physical education experience, directing health and physical education departments for Young Men's Christian Associations, teaching grade school physical education and most recently serving as chair of the physical education department of Davidson College.
William P. Norris, PhD, received $1,000 for his proposal, "Negotiating collective action among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered (LGBT) people in three cities." Norris is professor and chair of the sociology department at Oberlin College in Ohio, and he will be studying three diverse Ohio LGBT urban communities--Cleveland, Akron and Columbus--to discover the impact that they have on cities in which they live as well as how such communities deal with their diversity.
Norris received his PhD from Harvard University in 1977. At Oberlin, he helped to create and has chaired a standing committee on LGBT issues.
Recipients of the 2000 large research grants will be announced in an upcoming issue. To learn more about the Placek grants, contact the APF office at (202) 336-5814.
APF scholarship winners examine cognitive and executive functioning
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) and Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) have awarded several one-year, $2,500 grants, to graduate students.
The Henry Hècaen Scholarship was awarded to Kelly Wilder-Willis, a doctoral student in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cincinnati researching cognitive functioning in serious mental illness. Wilder-Willis has completed a fellowship at the NIMH Neuroscience Center, where she was involved in research on the cognitive functioning of schizophrenics. She also piloted a computerized test of working memory for future use in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies and completed an independent study examining the functioning of the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain in patients with schizophrenia. Her dissertation research focuses on the potential impact of mnemonic and executive functioning deficits on occupational and social functioning in individuals with bipolar disorder.
The Manfred Meier Scholarship was awarded to Jessica Somerville, a doctoral candidate in neuropsychology at the University of Rhode Island. Somerville worked as a research assistant at the Rhode Island Hospital neuropsychology program and at Brown University School of Medicine. She is also co-author of the Boston Qualitative Scoring System (BQSS) for the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, as well as several peer-reviewed journal articles focusing on HIV, executive functioning and test development.
Somerville's convergent/discriminant validity study of the BQSS as a measure of executive functioning has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. Her dissertation research will investigate the degree to which visuoconstruction is dependent upon not only visuoperceptual/spatial skills and motor ability, but also executive functioning.
Grants awarded to young researchers in pediatric psychology
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) and Div. 54 (The Society of Pediatric Psychology) have presented two $500 awards to support promising psychosocial research on pediatric psychology, particularly on injuries children and young adults suffer through accidents, violence, abuse or suicide.
The 2000 Society for Pediatric Psychology Student Research Grant was awarded to Susannah M. Allison, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at George Washington University. Allison examined the effect of parental adjustment on the physiological well-being of 124 children with cancer. Her research concluded that parental adjustment was related to subsequent health issues in these children and that services provided for children with cancer should focus on the reactions, concerns and adjustments of the entire family and not just the sick child. She is completing a dissertation that examines predictors of social competence among children with epilepsy.
The winner of the 2000 Routh Student Research Grant is Christopher Houck, a doctoral student in clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida specializing in pediatric psychology. Houck's major research interest focuses on family health and adolescent behavioral adjustment. His dissertation research, "The role of the healthy parent in adolescent adjustment to parental chronic illness," examines the influences of both the ill and healthy parent/adolescent relationship in predicting adolescent emotional adjustment when one parent is chronically ill.
Excellence in high school student research award-winners announced
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) has announced the 2000 APF/Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) "Excellence in High-School Student Research Competition" award winners. Winners received $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place and $250 for fourth place.
Elizabeth Keiko Williams of Palos Verdes, Calif., received first place for her study, "Visual search: a psychophysics for preattentive vision." This study investigated how we visually search for what we are seeking and quantified the categorization mechanisms involved. Her findings indicate that people use orientation strategies during visual searches, and the study quantifies the mechanisms used in preattentive guidance.
The second-place winner is Aaron Michael Halegua of Roslyn, N.Y., for the study, "Are Americans ready for mom to be president? A study of gender and politics." This project surveyed adults and ninth-grade students on their attitudes toward women in politics and toward both men and women politicians who have children, and analyzed its results.
Benjamin Paris Sobel of Washington, N.Y., received third place for his study, "The effects of cognitive versus physical stimulation on short-term memory, concentration, word retrieval, and word recognition in Alzheimer's disease patients." The author studied Alzheimer's patients during a game of bingo, and his results indicate that the cognitive stimulation of playing bingo was directly responsible for significant improvements in several dimensions of verbal tasks.
Laurie Beth Falkin of Katona, N.Y., won fourth place for her study: "Effects of televised anti-smoking advertisements on high school students: a comparison of three messages."
TOPSS, APF and APA's Education and Science directorates have also awarded three $1,000 scholarships in the APF/TOPSS Scholar Competition to Darcie Alanna O'Connor, Saint Paul's School for Girls, Brooklandville, Md.; Tanya Pohl, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, North Miami Beach, Fla.; and Peng Wu, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va. Applicants were required to conduct a critical analysis of literature on eyewitness testimony by minors in court, create at least three guidelines for the questioning of underage eyewitnesses and design a research proposal testing the effectiveness of a proposed guideline.
Foundation announces winner of travel award
David Pérez-Jiménez, PhD, a research scientist with the University of Puerto Rico psychology department, received the second annual American Psychological Foundation (APF) Henry David International Travel Award for $1,300 to travel to the XIII International AIDS Conference, held in Durban, South Africa, July 914.
While at the conference, Pérez-Jiménez made the presentation, "What role should heterosexual men play in HIV/AIDS prevention projects for heterosexual women?"
Henry P. David, PhD, a past chair of APA's Committee on International Relations in Psychology and director of the Transnational Family Research Institute, created the award to give a young psychologist with an interest in human reproductive behavior or population concerns the opportunity to participate in an international congress.
The 2001 David award will subsidize travel of one colleague of the recipient's from abroad to participate in the Psychosocial Workshop, which is held in conjunction with the Population Association of America. For information, please contact the APA Office of International Affairs at the APA address.
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