Skip to main content

Browse Faculty

Amy Bohnert

Associate Professor

Disciplines

  • Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Research Interests

  • Dr. Bohnert is an Associate Professor in Clinical and Developmental Psychology. Her research focuses on how various contexts may promote better outcomes among youth, including lower rates of obesity, fewer behavior problems, and better social and emotional adjustment. With training in both development and child clinical psychology, she seeks to understand how out-of-school contexts, especially organized activities, after-school, and summer-based programming may serve as a buffer for youth. Relatedly, she has directed evaluations of community programs that seek to improve health and wellness. Guiding themes of her research are an emphasis on developmental transitions as points of reorganization as well as the translatability of her work to reduce health disparities among youth.

Catherine Haden

Professor

Disciplines

  • Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology

Research Interests

  • Dr. Haden's research program focuses on how children's interactions with their caregivers can influence what they learn and remember.  Recent work addresses how parent-child conversations during hands-on activities impact children's learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Dr. Haden's research also considers whether parent-child conversations and hands-on activities help children remember what they have learned and apply it to new situations.  The research takes place in area museums, including the Chicago Children's Museum and involves children who range in age from 4 to 10 years old.  Ultimately the research is aimed at contributing to understanding and improving young children's STEM education and learning.  Early exposure to fun, creative and meaningful engineering experiences may boost interest and the eventual pursuit of engineering and technology education paths by students. Ultimately, we aim to be able to recommend methods that parents and other educators can use with young children in STEM learning situations to foster early understanding of the scientific method, develop knowledge of STEM-related concepts, and potentially increase interest in future science education and career options.  Dr. Haden's research is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Colleen S. Conley

Associate Professor

Disciplines

  • Psychology

Research Interests

  • My research examines trajectories toward psychological well- and ill-being in adolescence and emerging adulthood. These pathways are illuminated in the context of developmental transition periods, such as puberty and school transitions (into middle school, high school, and college). I am also interested in gender issues, such as exploring the characteristics, contexts, and mechanisms that place adolescent girls and young women at elevated risk for internalizing problems, including depression, body image and eating disturbance, and anxiety. It is my hope that this program of research will inform family-, school-, and community-based interventions aimed at building resiliency in adolescents and emerging adults, in the face of normative and atypical developmental challenges.

Raymond Dye

Associate Professor

Disciplines

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychology

Research Interests

  • My research is predominately in the area of human auditory information processing, with an emphasis on binaural hearing and sound localization. At the center of my research program is the question of how the auditory system, when operating in complex, multisource acoustic environments, "parses" the frequency components that are present to form auditory objects
  • how it assigns frequency components to their particular sound sources. My research is particularly aimed at examining the role that spatial hearing plays in segregating concurrent acoustic stimuli, although I have also examined the manner in which binaural cues interact with other variables that promote segregation of sources.  My goal is to develop a set of objective psychophysical procedures that allows one to characterize the tendency of listeners to analytically/synthetically process information across different stimulus dimensions. I have recently become interested in the effects of musical training on the ability to selectively attend to one sound and ignore other concurrent sounds.

James Garbarino

Professor and Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology

Disciplines

  • Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

Research Interests

  • My research focuses on issues in the social ecology of child and adolescent development. I have a long standing interest in a wide range of violence-related issues - war, child maltreatment, childhood aggression, and juvenile delinquency. In 1991 I undertook missions for UNICEF to assess the impact of the Gulf War upon children in Kuwait and Iraq, and have served as a consultant for programs serving Vietnamese, Bosnian and Croatian children. I also serve as a scientific expert witness in criminal and civil cases involving issues of trauma, violence, and children. In all these issues I am concerned with how developmental processes are shaped by the human ecology in which they occur, and have a particular interest in matters of spirituality and identity in this process. After completing a project on physical aggression in girls (resulting in a book entitled See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It), I am currently working on a project dealing with childhood in the face of the terrorist threat.

Noni Gaylord-Harden

Associate Professor

Disciplines

  • Psychology
  • Multicultural Psychology

Research Interests

  • My primary research interest has been in the investigation of stress, coping, and psychosocial functioning in African American adolescents. I examine the effects of stressors in multiple contexts on depression and anxiety in urban, ethnic minority youth.  My research has also examined the role of modifiable protective factors, such as coping strategies and parent-child relationships, among youth in high-risk contexts.  My recent work focuses on exposure to community violence as a stressor for youth in urban communities.  I am interested in examining the variability in community violence exposure, understanding the longitudinal impact of violence exposure on subsequent adolescent functioning, identifying coping strategies that may be both adaptive for community violence exposure, and understanding the process of desensitization to community violence and how it may be linked to subsequent emotional and behavioral functioning. We are using findings of this research to advocate for strengths-based, trauma-responsive services and interventions for adolescents exposed to violence.  The goal of our community- and school-based research is to enhance the well-being of African American youth and families.

Stephan Steidl

Assistant Professor

Disciplines

  • Other Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Psychology

Research Interests

  • My research is generally concerned with understanding brain systems that contribute to appetitively motivated behaviors. It is well established that the dopamine system is important in motivation and reward, but much remains to be learned about how the dopamine system is activated. Most rewards, including several drugs of abuse, activate the dopamine system indirectly.  Environmental stimuli, which through experience predict the availability of rewards, also come to activate the dopamine system, and almost certainly do so indirectly. Thus, understanding the source, type, and nature of afferent inputs to the dopamine system is critical. My interests have been particularly focused on the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) and the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg), two closely related brainstem nuclei that excite the dopamine system through both cholinergic and glutamatergic inputs. My laboratory uses a combination of experimental approaches (in-vivo pharmacology, cell-specific lesions techniques, and optogenetics) to understand the role of PPTg and LDTg cholinergic and glutamatergic inputs to the dopamine system in rat and mouse reward-seeking and reward-taking behaviors.