Prospective Graduate Students

The Emotion Regulation and Temperament Laboratory at NIU is dedicated to providing graduate students with ample opportunities for professional development through research as well as varied training experiences that will allow them to competitively pursue their career interests after graduation.

Research Experience

Among other things, graduate students will gain competency in, or experience with:

  • factors that operate early in life (i.e. infancy and toddlerhood) that increase risk for early emerging internalizing and externalizing difficulties
  • learning/developing and/or implementing complex behavioral coding schemes,
  • the use of a variety of emotion regulation assessments and paradigms for infants, young children, and adults (e.g., parents),
  • the use of measures aimed at providing information about cognitive and language development in infants and toddlers, and temperament assessments of children (infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children),
  • advanced statistical applications (e.g., structural equation modeling and latent growth modeling), and
  • the design of longitudinal research projects.

In addition to these experiences, graduate students also gain experience in parent-infant interactions and in understanding emotion regulation and temperament from the viewpoint of typical and atypical development (i.e. developmental psychopathology). Given the number of possible experiences available to graduate students, the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab is well situated to accommodate students with varied interests while maintaining a coherent program of research.

Professional Development Opportunities

Throughout their time in the lab, graduate students are encouraged to be actively involved in publishing research in peer-reviewed journals as well as making presentations at nationally and internationally recognized conferences (e.g., Society for Research in Child Development, International Society on Infant Studies, The Association for Psychological Science, and the American Psychological Association, among others). Graduate students also actively participate in the development of new research objectives, which can potentially lead to the completion of the master's thesis and/or the doctoral dissertation. In addition to ongoing research projects, graduate students have access to several existing data sets. The availability of these data sets allows graduate students to begin pursuing publications and/or conference presentations within the first year.

About the Lab Environment

There is a rich mentoring environment within the laboratory. Dr. Bridgett approaches mentoring from a Junior colleague model/viewpoint. From the junior colleague perspective, mentoring activities prepare graduate students to assume a professional role in the field of psychology after graduation by providing regular feedback to graduate students as well as integrating graduate students into all functions of the lab. Graduate students typically meet with Dr. Bridgett individually on a weekly basis to discuss research, including the development of manuscripts, conference proposals, and theses and dissertations. Monthly meetings are also scheduled where Dr. Bridgett meets with graduate students and senior undergraduate research assistants, which provides an additional opportunity for continued mentoring. There are also weekly lab meetings that consist of all lab members. In addition to regularly scheduled meetings, Dr. Bridgett maintains an open door policy and additional meetings can be scheduled as needed. In addition to the mentoring available to graduate students, graduate students themselves also play an important role in the mentoring environment within the lab by providing supervision and mentorship to small teams of undergraduate research assistants. This allows graduate students to not only gain mentoring experience, but also to receive feedback from Dr. Bridgett on their development as mentors.

Learn More

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Bridgett or graduate students who work in the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Laboratory at: