Graduate Student Researchers

Sabrina Ung, B.A.

Publications: 0
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 0
Conference Presentations: 3
Contactsung@niu.edu

Sabrina grew up in Irvine, CA, a suburb in Southern California. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2017 with B.A.’s in Psychology and Social Behavior and Education Sciences. As an undergraduate, she worked in the Memory and Development Lab under Dr. Angela Lukowski researching executive functioning in children with Down Syndrome and correlates of sleep in emerging adults. Sabrina completed her senior honors thesis examining the influences of psychosocial and sleep variables on negative mood of university students.

In August of 2018, Sabrina joined the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab as a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She is interested in studying children’s emotion regulation development in the context of parental behaviors. Specifically, Sabrina is interested in how parenting behaviors elicited during lab tasks interact with maternal emotion regulation on development of infant emotion regulation. Clinically, Sabrina is interested in the assessment and treatment of psychopathology in children and adolescents.

After completing her doctorate, Sabrina hopes to pursue a career that involves research, clinical practice and teaching.

Leanna Rosinski, B.A. 

Publications: 3
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 3
Conference Presentations: 19
Contactlrosinski1@niu.edu

Leanna grew up in Tinley Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago. She is a proud alumna of Northern Illinois University (NIU), earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2015 with full University Honors. As an undergraduate, she began her research involvement as a research assistant in Dr. David Bridgett’s Emotion Regulation and Temperament (ERT) Lab. She was particularly interested in how infant attention and other temperament characteristics interacted with parenting to predict child outcomes. As an undergraduate member of Dr. Bridgett’s lab, Leanna assisted in data collection and authored and presented poster presentations at international conferences. She became a lab coordinator, mentoring other research assistants and overseeing lab activities. In addition, Leanna participated in other Psychology labs at NIU. She completed her Honors Capstone project on hoarding behaviors in children, working with Dr. Kevin Wu within his Anxiety and Personality Lab.

In August of 2016, Leanna enrolled in the clinical psychology doctoral program, continuing her research career as a member of the ERT Lab. She continues to investigate early attention, and its interaction with parenting and other contextual factors in predicting child effortful control. Clinically, Leanna is interested in the assessment and treatment of child psychopathology, in addition to parent and family therapy.

After completing her doctoral degree, Leanna plans to continue involvement in research and clinical assessment. 

Erin McKay, B.A. 

Publications: 2
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 1
Conference Presentations: 7
Contact: erinmckay12@gmail.com 

Erin grew up in Maple Grove, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. She graduated in 2016 from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in child development as well as minors in biology and psychology. Prior to joining Dr. David Bridgett’s team, Erin worked under Dr. Naomi Ekas in her Families, Autism, & Child Emotion Studies Lab and under Dr. Kathleen Thomas in her Cognitive Development & Neuroimaging Lab. These experiences led her to pursue graduate school to further explore parenting.

In August of 2016, Erin joined the ERT lab. She is interested in studying the antecedents of positive and negative parenting practices (e.g., executive function, respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA], behavioral inhibition and activation systems), child outcomes of positive and negative parenting practices (e.g., effortful control, emotion regulation, internalizing and externalizing symptoms), and the impact child characteristics have on parenting (e.g., temperament, internalizing and externalizing symptoms). Methodologically, Erin is interested in novel approaches to parenting (i.e., infant simulator paradigm) as well as physiological biomarkers (e.g., RSA, skin conductance, cortisol, telomere shortening).

After earning a doctorate degree, Erin plans to pursue a career in research and teaching.

 

Anton Petrenko, M.S.

Thesis: Does Infant Negative Affect Moderate the Impact of Parenting on Effortful Control? A Test of the Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis
Publications
: 1
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 3
Conference Presentations: 9
Contact: antonspetrenko@gmail.com

Anton grew up in Yorba Linda, a suburban town in Southern California. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, Anton worked as a behavior therapist for children with autism and other developmental delays. Anton then attended California State University, East Bay and graduated with a M.S. in Counseling Psychology in 2011. He worked as a therapist for elementary-school aged children struggling with emotion regulation difficulties from 2011 to 2015. This applied experience, in combination with research conducted on parenting behaviors at the University of California, Berkeley, set Anton on the path to research emotion regulation development in Dr. Bridgett's lab at Northern Illinois University.

Anton joined the Emotion Regulation and Temperament lab in August 2015.  He is interested in studying children's effortful control development in the context of parental behaviors and other child temperament factors. Specifically, Anton is interested in how parenting behaviors observed during challenging lab tasks impact children's effortful control development, and whether these relationships are mediated by other factors. Clinically, Anton is interested in treatment of children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems from a systemic perspective.

After earning a doctorate degree, Anton plans to pursue a career that will allow a combination of teaching, research and clinical practice.

Meghan Kanya, M.A.

Thesis: Contextual Stress and Infant Emotion Regulation: The Buffering Effect of Positive Parenting
Publications: 2
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 2
Conference Presentations: 14
Contact: kanyamj308@gmail.com

Meghan grew up in Northville, MI, a suburb in the Metro Detroit area. She attended Michigan State University and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science (with High Honors) in Psychology. Meghan was involved in several labs throughout her undergraduate years. She worked in the Knowledge in Development (KID) Lab under Dr. Judith Danovitch researching the cognitive processes behind how children receive, use, and choose to give information. During her time in Dr. Danovitch's lab, Meghan completed two independent projects including her senior honors thesis examining children's understanding of the ways negative emotions influence others' behaviors. Additionally, she worked in the Clinical Psychophysiology Lab under Dr. Jason Moser exploring child and adult cognition and emotion regulation using EEG. Meghan also had the opportunity to work in the Child Emotions Lab under Dr. Emily Durbin investigating early emotional and temperamental predictors of childhood psychopathology, where she first developed her interest in child temperament.

In August of 2013, Meghan joined the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab as a clinical psychology graduate student. She is interested in studying the links between risk factors in the home environment and child temperament. Specifically, she is interested in the maternal characteristics that may moderate the influences of risk factors on child temperament. Currently, she is working on a project examining the relationship between maternal executive functioning and parenting practices. Clinically, Meghan is interested in the assessment and treatment of internalizing and externalizing disorders in children.

After completing her doctorate, Meghan hopes to continue her involvement in both research and clinical practice settings.