The SIA Lab studies the bidirectional influences of social interactions and psychological functioning. The primary focus of current research is on social interactions and internalizing distress, such as depression and social anxiety. In one line of investigation, the lab is exploring the connections between social anxiety and youth aggression with the goal of identifying possible mediating and moderating influences. Another line examines social problem solving and its potential moderating impact on the stress-internalizing distress relationship.
Lab studies include child, adolescent, and young adult participants and employ a range of methods. Although investigations often include assessments of peer relations more broadly, they more often focus on close dyadic relationships, such as friendships and romantic relationships. Recent completed studies have included the validation of a social problem solving self-monitoring measure, an evaluation of anger and rumination as mediating/moderating influences on the relationship between social anxiety and relational aggression, and a test of differential predictors of relationship satisfaction in same- and cross-sex friendships.
The SIA Lab also maintains a strong interest in applied research focusing on social skills assessment and intervention. Past projects include programmatic intervention research in collaboration with area Head Start centers and the implementation of an anger control intervention for youth with sexual behavior problems in residential treatment centers across the state.