base on critical issues around the globe.
For more information, visit the APF
website at www.apa.org/apf.
Giving back to psychology
Peter Nathan, PhD, knew from his
college days that psychology would
be an important part of his life. Over
the course of his career, he has held
prominent positions at Harvard
University, Rutgers–The State University
of New Jersey and the MacArthur
Now a distinguished professor of
psychology and public health emeritus
at the University of Iowa, Nathan is
giving back to the science that has meant
so much to him by supporting APF’s
Campaign to Transform the Future.
“Teachers during my undergraduate
days played the major role in convincing
me that a career in psychology made sense
for me,” he says. “The mix of teaching,
research and service was very appealing.”
Nathan was also heavily influenced
by psychologists who mentored him
throughout his career. “Perhaps the most
influential was Dr. William Bevan, with
whom I worked for a couple of years at the
MacArthur Foundation. His conviction
that psychology could do worthwhile
things and the integrity with which he did
Nathan supports the foundation
through gifts as well as through his time
and expertise. He is an integral part of
APF’s Campaign Leadership Cabinet,
the group responsible for spearheading
APF’s current fundraising drive.
“Dr. David Barlow, who is on
the APF Board, convinced me that I
should try to help raise money for the
Campaign to Transform the Future. His
own commitment to the campaign, and
his conviction that APF was doing great
things, so impressed me that I couldn’t
Nathan is also impressed by APF’s
dedication to funding innovative work,
as well as its strict adherence to best
“Over time, I’ve gotten to have a
good deal of confidence in APF staffers,
especially [Executive Director] Lisa
Straus, and to believe that APF really
does do good things to facilitate the
work of young researchers.” n
Studying social rejection in adolescence
As research has documented, adolescents who are rejected
by their peers are at greater risk for anxiety and depression.
In 2008, while a graduate student at UCLA, Carrie Masten,
PhD, currently at Vanderbilt University, used a $25,000
APF Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Fellowship to better
understand the impact of adolescent peer rejection using
neuroimaging and behavioral techniques.
Some of Masten’s key findings revealed that adolescents
display unique neural patterns when they feel distress during
peer rejection. For example, adolescents appear to regulate
emotional responses to peer rejection using neural regions
that develop earlier than those typically engaged by adults.
This difference might help explain why teens feel more
distress when they are rejected by their peers. Masten’s study
provided an important first step toward understanding peer
rejection in the context of the developing adolescent brain, and
contributed new evidence regarding the underlying processes
that might support individuals’ responses to rejection.
Masten’s findings suggest that
responsivity in some regions of the
brain may serve as a marker of
adolescents’ risk for future depression.
The work is the first to demonstrate a
neural link between peer rejection and
depressive symptoms during adolescence.
Masten has published this research in several journals,
including Development and Psychopathology and Social
Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
Masten credits the Koppitz fellowship with her success
in graduate school. “The Koppitz fellowship enabled me
to complete a high-quality dissertation, obtain complex
training in neuroimaging, and earn respect as an up-and-coming scholar in my field,” she says. “I believe that my
research — which began with the support of the fellowship
— has significantly impacted this exciting and growing field
and influenced the research directions of many of my fellow