Mentored Research: Faculty Areas of Interest

Melissa M. Franks

Melissa M. Franks, PhD

Associate Professor, Family Studies
FWLR 206
494-2942
mmfranks@purdue.edu

Areas of Interest

Aging families, marriage and health, health behaviors and chronic illness management

Research Projects

Communication and Diabetes Management Study

Sponsor: Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering & Purdue Research Foundation
PIs: Melissa Franks & Cleve Shields

This project involves analyses of data we collected to investigate how patients with diabetes and their spouses communicate with their healthcare providers when they attend a medical visit together. Married couples completed questionnaires and their visit with their health care provider was audio recorded. We currently are developing papers and presentations using this data.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Assisting faculty and graduate students with:

  • coding audio recorded transcripts
  • reviewing prior research on relationships and healthcare, and
  • participating in weekly research lab discussions

Undergraduate Opportunities for Mentorship

Individual mentorship with faculty and graduate students including:

  • applications to graduate programs
  • tips for success in graduate school
  • letters of recommendation

Valerie S. KnopikValerie S. Knopik

Ben & Maxine Miller Professor of Human Development, Developmental Studies
FWLR 223
494-0942
vknopik@purdue.edu 

Areas of Interest

ADHD, gene-environment interplay, epigenetics, prenatal substance exposure, development of externalizing behavior problems, reading, language, and executive function deficits, and substance use, the effects of yoga and mindfulness on quality-of-life and well-being

Research Project

Missouri Mothers and Their Children (MO-MATCH)

The MO-MATCH project at Purdue University seeks individuals who are interested in helping to identify genes/biological pathways (including epigenetics) that contribute to child and adolescent behavior – particularly disruptive behavior (such as ADHD and Conduct Disorder), neuropsychological deficits (such as reading, language, and executive function) and later substance use. The group is focused on designing and utilizing various and novel statistical genetic approaches to examine the interplay between genetic and prenatal exposure effects on later behavior.

Presently, there are opportunities for students/volunteers to obtain research experience in the exciting field of psychiatric/behavioral genetics while acquiring useful research skills. These skills include, but are not limited to, data mining, data entry, literature searches, basic data analyses, and database management. Opportunities to be involved with manuscript and grant preparation, as well as authorship opportunities, are available as well.

Professional Development Opportunities may include: Research experience for your vita or resume, data and guidance for the Purdue Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium or team presentations at national or international conferences, letter of recommendation, graduate or job application mentoring, a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and training in data analysis and manuscript preparation.

Students may receive HDFS, PSY, or BIOL research credits (3 credits preferred: 10 hours per week) for their time or may volunteer. Preference will be given to students who can commit to at least one calendar year. Please send a cover letter and your current vita/resume to Dr. Knopik at vknopik@purdue.edu.

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth

Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth

Professor, Family Studies
Director, Center for Families
Director, Military Family Research Institute
Executive Director, Family Impact Institute
FWLR 201
494-6026
shelley@purdue.edu

Areas of Interest

Work and family, military families, family stress, job flexibility, and marital quality

Research Projects

Family Journeys

This project is a longitudinal study of National Guard families experiencing a deployment cycle. We are currently conducting pre- and during- deployment interviews. Our goal is to understand family dynamics, including marital, parent-child, and sibling relationships as they are related to the challenges and opportunities posed by deployment. This project offers opportunities to conduct interviews and work with quantitative data.

Military Family Program Evaluation

The purpose of this project is to design and conduct evaluations of military prevention programs. Data have been collected at installations around the country in multiple branches of service, and analyses are underway.

Intergenerational Impact of War

The study is the first study of the consequences of parental deployment in a nationally representative sample of young children (ages 0 to 10). Data collection has been completed and several papers have already been published; analyses are continuing.

Kristine Marceau, PhDKristine Marceau

Assistant Professor, Developmental Studies
HNLY 225
494-9410
kristinemarceau@purdue.edu

Areas of Interest

Gene-environment interplay, prenatal experiences, physiological responses to stress, pubertal development, parenting and parent-child relationships, development of behavior problems and substance use

Research Project

Biobehavioral Development Lab

The Biobehavioral Development Lab at Purdue University is recruiting undergraduate research assistants. Students will receive training in basic human genetics, the stress response and endocrine system, and how the family environment both before and after birth can work together with and even change biological influences. There are opportunities for student-led research within the scope of the lab aims, interaction with participants in the Maternal Context of Pregnancy Project, and/or wet lab experience preparing biological samples for epigenetic characterization.

Research tasks may include: Reading research articles and writing summaries of findings, researching the functions of specific genes, basic statistical description of data and data management, data collection in home visits or the wet lab.

Professional Development Opportunities may include: Research experience for your vita or resume, data and guidance for the Purdue Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium or team presentations at national or international conferences, letter of recommendation, graduate or job application mentoring, a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and training in data analysis and manuscript preparation.

Students may receive HDFS, PSY, or BIOL research credits (3 credits preferred: 10 hours per week) for their time or may volunteer. Preference will be given to students who can commit to at least one calendar year. Please send a cover letter and your current vita/resume to Dr. Marceau at KristineMarceau@purdue.edu.

AJ Schwichtenberg

A. J. Schwichtenberg, PhD

Assistant Professor, Developmental Studies
HNLY 227
496-2780
ajschwich@purdue.edu

Areas of Interest

Developmental trajectories in early childhood, at risk development, developmental disabilities (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders), sleep health, social-emotional development

Research Project

Developmental Studies Laboratory

The Developmental Studies Laboratory at Purdue University is recruiting undergraduate research assistants. With Dr. A. J. Schwichtenberg students will become an integral component of a longitudinal study assessing early autism identification via early social, physiological, and emotion regulation.  

Duties may include: Reading research articles, summarizing research findings, writing experience reflections, video-recording laboratory visits, learning and preparing materials for standardized developmental assessments (e.g., Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Mullen Scales of Early Learning), preparing physiological recording equipment, assisting with home visits, coding videos, etc.

Professional Development Opportunities may include: Research experience for your vita or resume, data for the Purdue Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium, graduate application mentoring, a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and joining team presentations at national and international conferences (e.g., Society for Research in Child Development).

Students may receive HDFS, SLHS, or BIO research credits for their time or may volunteer. The position includes 9-10 hours of research work per week. Preference will be given to students who can commit to one calendar year. After a one year commitment, paid positions are available. Please send a cover letter and your current vita/resume to ajschwichtenberg@purdue.edu.

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