Current Research Projects

Psychology, Policy & Law

The overall focus of the Psychology, Policy and Law lab group is studying how the legal system creates or exacerbates psychological distress, and how the system can be adjusted or restructured to minimize that distress. The ultimate goal is to influence law and social policy based on sound empirical research. We consider both the effects on legal and court personnel working in legal settings and the effects of legal processes on those people who have disputes and attempt to resolve them using the legal system.

 

Current Research Projects:

Revolving Door of Child Welfare System: Archival data collection of files from juvenile court investigating risk and protective factors associated with families returning to the child welfare system. 

 

Online Program for College Students whose Parents have Divorced: Evaluating a program to help college students cope with their recent parental separation/divorce.

 

Court Appointed Advisor/Guardian Ad Litem Study: Qualitative interviews with judges, lawyers, and court appointed advisors/GALs to determine GAL roles and actions in family law and order of protection cases.

 

ACE and Sleep: Survey data from undergraduates investigating the impact of adverse childhood experiences on quality of life outcomes such as sleep, depression, anxiety, and perceived health. 

 

Painful Feelings About Divorce: Survey data from undergraduates investigating clinical and sub-clinical psychopathology, coping mechanisms, and language usage in young adults from married and divorced families. 

 

Intimate Partner Violence in Divorcing Parents: Archival data from sample of divorcing parents contesting parenting time/custody.