Psychology Ph.D. student receives two national awards

Hannah Lawrence, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Maine, recently received two national awards.

Lawrence, who is from Shaker Heights, Ohio, has been awarded the 2017 Graduate Student Research Grant from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). ABCT awards one grant annually to a graduate student whose dissertation research advances the mission of ABCT, which is dedicated to advancing scientific understanding, assessment, prevention and treatment of mental health disorders.

Lawrence’s dissertation research examines the affective, physiological and cognitive correlates of rumination during adolescence. In particular, her work assesses whether adolescents think about their sad or depressed thoughts in the form of mental images or words/sentences, and compares whether these visual and verbal styles of rumination relate differently to the experience of depression. She is mentored in her research by UMaine psychology faculty advisers Rebecca Schwartz-Mette and Cynthia Erdley.

In addition, Lawrence became the second UMaine psychology graduate student in the past two years to be selected to attend the 2017 Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression Workshop at the prestigious Beck Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Beck Institute is a world-renowned training center for mental health professionals to learn cognitive behavior therapy, an empirically supported approach for treating a variety of mental disorders.

Lawrence was selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants based on her clinical and research interests on the role of mental imagery in depression. In 2015, then second-year clinical psychology doctoral student Rachel Goetze also was selected to attend the workshop.

At this year’s UMaine Student Symposium, Lawrence was a co-winner of the Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowship.

And last year, Lawrence, clinical psychology Ph.D. student Melissa Jankowski, and assistant professor Rebecca Schwartz-Mette attended the SIENA Winter School in Zurich, Switzerland, a four-day course in longitudinal social network analysis. The advanced statistical approach can be used to examine peer influence within social networks. A UMaine Regular Faculty Research Award to Schwartz-Mette funded the trip and a subsequent research study with at-risk adolescents in Maine to examine peer influence in depression and associated health-risk behaviors, such as self-injury and suicide. The statistical approach will allow the researchers to more precisely statistically examine peer influence effects in adolescent social networks.