Preconception Stress Exposure: Impact on Pregnancy and Offspring Neurodevelopment

Supervising Faculty:

Alison Hipwell, PhD., ClinPsyD.

 

Contact: 

Kaitlyn Brennan

brennank4@upmc.edu

(412) 383-3278

 

Area of Research:  Clinical Psychology/Health Psychology/Developmental Psychology

 

Description of Research:

The directed research students will work on a large-scale prospective study: ‘Preconception stress exposure: Impact on pregnancy and offspring neurodevelopment’ (PIs: Alison Hipwell & Kate Keenan) that is part of the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) initiative. The project recruits pregnant participants from the ongoing Pittsburgh Girls Study (PGS) to examine the effects of lifetime stress exposures, occurring prior to conception, on prenatal health and stress regulation, birth outcomes and offspring health and development during the first 3 years of life. 

 

Duties of Students:

This is an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in a career in Clinical/Health and/or Developmental Psychology. The selected students will assist with lab-based assessments of stress reactivity among young pregnant women, and will assist with coding videotaped mother-infant interaction data. In addition, students will gain experience in neural measures (using fNIRS) of executive function and psychophysiological measures of stress reactivity among infants. Students will also have the opportunity to develop a broader range of knowledge and research skills as part of the PGS and the chance to actively participate in an interdisciplinary research effort. 

 

Terms offered: fall, spring and summer

 

Number of Students: 2