Armed with APF grants, scholars’
work is bringing fresh perspectives
to longstanding challenges.
BY ROBIN TRICOLES • Monitor staff
As part of the Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Fellowship program, APF awards six scholars $25,000 grants for promising graduate work in child psychology. Here is
what the 2013 Koppitz winners are doing with their funding.
Mindful meditation and ADHD
Nora Bunford, a doctoral candidate at Ohio University, studies how
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects adolescents’
social and family relationships. In particular, she is investigating
interventions that could teach children and adolescents how to
better regulate their emotions and improve their interactions with
One possible treatment she is exploring is mindful meditation,
which focuses the mind on the present moment. Bunford is using
the grant funding to teach 38 adolescents with ADHD to practice the
technique over a set time and assess whether using meditation improves their relationships.
Suicide prevention and self-assessment
How can hospital emergency departments improve treatment for
adolescents at risk for suicide? Ewa Czyz, a graduate student at the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is exploring that question by
studying how clinicians screen and assess suicidal behavior in youth
who seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms.
In her research, she is looking at the effect of asking adolescents
who come to the emergency department for psychiatric reasons
to rate their expectation of how likely it is that they will attempt
suicide and how confident they feel in their ability to resist the urge.
“I want to know if their own assessment can improve identification
of who is at risk and who is not,” says Czyz.
Brain development and psychopathologies
Although researchers and physicians know what “normal” physical development looks
like in children and adolescents, they know little about what “normal” brain development
looks like and whether abnormal development is linked to the emergence of serious
mental health problems, such as schizophrenia.
Foundation AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL