RC Student Presents at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood Biennial Conference

by Marcus Stewart on January 31, 2018

Kiah Coflin, a senior majoring in psychology, presented her research project at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood Biennial Conference in November 2017. Her research project, titled “Associations between emerging adults’ personality and their perceptions of children with clinical and developmental diagnoses”, focused on individuals between the ages 18 to 25 and their perceptions of children with clinical and developmental diagnoses. She then compared the individual’s perceptions to their personalities to look for any correlations.

“The diagnoses we researched included Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Schizophrenia, Dyslexia, Depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). We wanted to look at how people perceived others with these disorders so that educational programs can integrate information about personality and help adapt to or fix inaccurate perceptions in school settings as well as promote acceptance of ‘atypical’ behavior. We found that personality traits were frequently related to the participants’ perceptions of the different diagnoses”.

Kiah decided to work on the project after taking it over from a previous student. She works with Dr. Powell who has helped Kiah throughout the research project.

“My research advisor has been incredibly helpful not only in guidance towards my own research endeavors and interests, but as a whole. Dr. Powell is a wonderful role model and she has continuously pushed me to be the best student and researcher I can be”.

Kiah traveled with two other students, Taylor Kracht and Molly Zydel, to Washington D.C. for the conference to present their research projects.

“The conference was slightly overwhelming at first, but an incredible experience to be involved in! Individuals were respectful and interested in my poster presentation, and were very impressed at an undergraduate student presence amongst the master’s students, professors, and scholars presenting. With Dr. Powell’s help, I felt very prepared for my presentation and it was overall a very exciting weekend! It really helped me grow academically and I learned a lot of valuable skills in presenting”.

Now that Kiah has presented her research, she plans to continue her involvement in research projects and conferences in psychology.

“Being a part of a research lab in the Psychology Department has been one of my favorite parts of being an undergrad student so far. I’m surrounded by like-minded, encouraging peers that support one another throughout the research process and anything else throughout the semester. Although it certainly was a lot of work, it pushed me to continue to be motivated, driven, and taught me a lot about psychology skills I didn’t know I had”.

To anyone considering doing research, Kiah’s advice is not to hesitate and to reach out to professors for research projects.

“One can learn a lot about potential fields that they could become involved in and may find something that changes their whole academic trajectory. It may seem daunting, but the professors are there to help!”

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