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The Second Year Research Project (SYRP) generally begins during the second semester of a doctoral student's first year at LIU. Most students who work with me are interested in trauma, violence, coping, and stress. Some students have worked with data collected from our lab, while others have sought to collect their own data or are able to work with data that they have collected elsewhere. I have listed the students whom I have worked with below. I encourage students to present their SYRPs as lead authors at a regional conference. When possible, I also recommend that students try to publish this work.

Entering class of 2009

•  Sara Brennan

Brennan, S., & Haden, S. C. (March, 2010). Trauma and PTSD symptomatology: Dispositional forgiveness as a potential mediator. Poster presented at the 2010 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.

•  Niti Dhingra

Dhingra, N., & Haden, S. C. (March, 2010). The relationship between object relations and posttraumatic growth and coping in bereavement. Paper to be presented at the 2010 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.


Niti Dhingra, M.A. and Sarah Simon, M.A. at 2009-2010 SYRP Presentations


•  Elizabeth Diamond Relationship between Child PTSD and Parental PTSD After Child Sexual Abuse: Parental Involvement as a Potential Mediator


Elizabeth Diamond, M.A. and Seymour Pardo, Ph.D. (faculty member) at 2009-2010 SYRP Presentations

•  Erica Hutchison

Hutchison, E.N., & Haden, S. C. (March, 2010). The Relationship between stress perception, coping styles, and disordered eating in dancers. Poster presented at the 2010 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.

Erica, Julie, Sarah, and Niti EPA 2010

Erica Hutchinson, M.A., Julie Messinger, M.A., Sarah Brennan, M.A., and Niti Dhingra M.A. at EPA 2010

Entering class of 2010

•  Rosalyn Glicklich Sex differences in coping on depression

•  Tani Hochsztein - Emotional Distress of Individuals Exposed to Terminal Illness: The Roles of Coping and Hopelessness  


I am fortunate to work with a range of dissertation projects at LIU. I have listed dissertation committees that I have served on since fall 2008. I enjoy working on projects that lie within my research interests, but also those that lend themselves to sophisticated research methodology and data analytic techniques as well as innovative project ideas.

•  Dana Gruber (graduated 2009) Overt and Covert Narcissism, Anger, and Selfobject Needs

•  Frances Alcantara - Sensitive Periods for Exposure to Community Violence and the Development of Depression, PTSD and Aggression

•  Joshua Scott - The Relationship between Gender, Alexithymia, Anger and Impulsiveness: Exploring Moderator Models

•  James Ellis - The Impact of Mindfulness on the Capacity for Therapists-In-Training to Identify Alliance Ruptures

•  Daniela Yaar The Relationship Between Childhood Maltreatment and Adult Aggressive Behaviors: Understanding the Context of Violence

•  Ilana Kramer The Relationship of Childhood Abuse, Insecure Attachment, and Emotion Reactivity to Self-Injury


1. Community Violence Research

*Began fall 2008

The United States is one of the most violent countries in the world. The primary goal of the present study is to understand the prevalence and consequences of exposure to violence in one's community. Community violence (CV) exposure refers to violence that is experienced as a victim or witness in or near homes, schools, and surrounding neighborhoods. It has been estimated that 60-80% of youth have experienced some sort of trauma (including violence) in their community (e.g., Vrana & Lauterbach, 1994). Consequences of CV exposure for rural young adults include mental health repercussions such as depression (Haden & Scarpa, 2009) and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (Scarpa, Haden, & Hurley, 2006), as well as increased aggressive behavior (Scarpa & Haden, 2006). This series of studies found that disengagement (i.e., avoidant) coping styles and perceiving little social support generally placed young adults exposed to high degrees of CV more at risk of mental health repercussions. In addition to psychological outcomes, CV exposure has been related to physiological changes (i.e., decreased heart rate, increased cortisol reactivity) among urban adolescents (Cooley-Quille & Lorion, 1999; Kliewer, 2006).

In this project, we are interested in how victimization in one's community impacts young adults' emotional, behavioral, and physiological functioning. This is a prospective study working with young adults aged 18 to 24 residing in our urban community. The first phase of the project measures young adults' history of exposure to violence in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods. The second phase includes psychophysiological assessments of their responses to stress. The third phase evaluates incidents of repeat victimization and mental health functioning.

This lab is comprised of a number of undergraduate, Masters, and Doctoral students. Each member is involved in different parts of the project from administering self-report surveys, collecting saliva to measure cortisol, data entry, and subject recruitment. I encourage all members in my lab to find their own research interest niche in the project and to get involved!

I have been privileged to work with tremendous students who have helped to present portions of this work at regional, national, and international conferences. We have a number of manuscripts currently being prepared based on this work.

Brennan, S. Diamond, E., & Haden , S.C. (July, 2010). The relationship between forgiveness and anger depends on the type of traumatic event. Poster to be presented at the XIX International Society for Research on Aggression, Storrs, CT.

Messinger, J. , & Haden, S.C. (July, 2010). Dissociation mediates associations between trauma and aggression. Poster to be presented at the XIX International Society for Research on Aggression, Storrs, CT.

Haden, S.C., Scarpa, A., & Wilson, L. (July, 2010). Coping styles differentially impact the relationship between victimization and aggression in rural and urban young adults. Poster to be presented at the XIX International Society for Research on Aggression, Storrs, CT.

Haden, S.C. (February, 2010). Violence exposure reported by urban young adults. Symposium presented at the National Summit on Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Across the Lifespan: Forging A Shared Agenda, Dallas, TX.

Diamond, E.B., & Haden S.C. (May, 2010). Type of trauma moderates the relationship between forgiveness of self and hostility. Poster presented at the 22 nd annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Boston, MA.

Rebani, Y., & Haden S.C. (May, 2010). Negative coping style is a strong predictor of PTSD severity among women exposed to violence. Poster to be presented at the 22 nd annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Boston, MA.

Mallozzi, L., & Haden, S.C. (May 2010). Emotion-focused coping predicts depression in women exposed to violence. Poster presented at the 22 nd annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Boston, MA.

Hassan, S., & Haden, S. C. (March, 2010). Community violence: The role of coping as a moderator between direct victimization and depression. Poster presented at the 2010 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.

Mundy, J.H., & Haden, S. C. (March, 2010). Coping styles and sex differences impact the effect of trauma exposure on depressive symptomatology. Poster presented at the 2010 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.

Messinger, J.W., & Haden, S. C. (March, 2010). Validation of the Curious Experiences Survey (CES) in an urban minority population. Poster presented at the 2010 annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.

Sarah EPA 2010

Sarah Hassan at EPA 2010

Julie and Niti EPA 2010

Julie Messinger, M.A. and Niti Dhingra, M.A. at EPA 2010


Jen EPA 2010

Jennifer Hibberd Mundy, M.A. at EPA 2010

2. Violence and Animal Experiences

*Began spring 2010

This pilot project explores the link between different experiences with animal cruelty (hearing about, witnessing, and performing aggressive acts on animals), exposure to violence, and later adult aggression. Unfortunately, animal cruelty is not uncommon among children and may be associated with certain family and child factors, as well as adult criminal behavior. We are still unclear how early experiences with animal cruelty impact young adult functioning. This project uses Barbara Boat's inclusive measure to assess different animal experiences (the Boat Inventory of Animal-Related Experiences) in a sample of young adults and will examine how these experiences are related to different types of violence occurring in the home, school, and neighborhood. I encourage students with an interest in (and love for!) animals to get involved in this emerging line of research!

3. Effects of Yoga on Youth's Psychosocial Health

*Plan to begin early 2011

The purpose of the present project is to examine the psychosocial health of youth participating in a school-based yoga program. Today's youth are struggling with more stress than ever before and it is being translated into health, emotional, and behavioral problems. Experiencing stress can cause sleep difficulties, increased school-refusal, and bouts of depression, anxiety, anger, and somatic complaints in school-aged youth (Speier, 2001). Yoga combines physical activity, breathing exercises and meditation and is a promising intervention for psychosocial stress. It has been related to improvements in physical ability, reductions in stress, stronger cognitive abilities, as well as decreases in aggression, negativity, fear, and feelings of helplessness (Stueck & Floeckner, 2005). However, previous research has been limited by its cross-sectional designs, lack of randomization of yoga participants, and single measurement methods. The proposed study will determine the effects of yoga on children's psychosocial health (stress responses, academic, emotional, and behavioral functioning) compared to a control group consisting of a physical education/PE class.

This project is spearheaded by Marshall Hagins Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at LIU and in collaboration with the Bent on Learning program http://www.bentonlearning.org/ . We are currently waiting for approval from the Department of Education to begin collecting data in the upcoming academic year. Once approved, I encourage students who are interested in working with children and those who appreciate mind-body approaches to treatment to get involved in this new project!

4. Cortical functioning in response to stress and violence, and cognitive behavioral consequences.

*Applied for funding in spring 2010

This project also builds on the community violence project by including an instrument to measure cortical functioning, the functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Funding has been applied for headed by Drs. Shaw Bronner and Adam Noah on the ADAM Center and MoCap Lab of LIU ( http://adamcenter.net/ ). If granted, the fNIRS will be added to phase two of the community violence project. The addition of fNIRS will allow real-time analysis of brain activity during the stressor task. We will use psycho-physiological cognitive state measures to identify changes in cognitive activity during task performance in real time while manipulating stressors. Sensor technologies will include fNIRS, body posture, heart rate, galvanic skin response (GSR), and cortisol levels. We will determine the effect of information processing overload on performance and cognitive behaviors while establishing which cortical regions are involved. Changes in brain function associated with this task will be correlated with scores of physiological outcomes and mental health exams. The few studies using the fNIRS that have investigated prefrontal activation in response to emotional stimuli have reported significant regional cerebral blood volume changes, (Marumo, Takizawa, Kawakubo, Onitsuka, & Kasai, 2009) especially for women (Yang, et al., 2009) and individuals diagnosed with PTSD who are exposed to trauma-related images. (Matsuo, et al., 2003) In the present study, determining prefrontal activation in response to stress using the fNIRS will contribute to our understanding in several areas including: 1) the impact of aggression/victimization on young adults' brain functioning, 2) interactions between aggression/victimization and braining functioning on mental health, behavior, and re-victimization, and 3) the relationship between brain and physiological functioning on these outcomes. If funded, I encourage students who are interested in the brain-behavior connection to get involved!


Long Island University

Brooklyn Campus

Psychology Department