Dr. Grazyna Kochanska grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Warsaw. She came to US in 1981, where she has been fortunate to be able to continue her research career. She has done post-doctoral work at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and the Laboratory of Developmental Psychology at NIMH in Bethesda, MD. In 1991, she established her laboratory at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. Her research explores social-emotional development and developmental psychopathology, emphasizing the interplay of children’s biologically-based characteristics and parent-child relationships in the origins of adaptive and maladaptive developmental pathways. In her spare time, Grazyna bikes, reads mysteries, and watches reruns of classic TV shows (All in the Family, Three’s Company, Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, Newhart, I Love Lucy, Mr. Ed). Having lived in Poland and US – two very different political systems – Grazyna also has a keen interest in politics.
Lilly Bendel-Stenzel is a doctoral candidate in developmental psychopathology at the University of Iowa under the supervision of Dr. Grazyna Kochanska. She began her graduate studies in 2020. She received her B.A. from the University of St. Catherine in Psychology (major) and Women’s Studies (minor). She also worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development studying children’s emotion regulation processes.
Lilly’s research interests include examining the role of parent-child attachment relationships in children’s emotional development, in particular the development of emotion regulation. When she’s not in the lab, Lilly loves to read mysteries, bake cookies, go for long walks, and explore Iowa City by foot.
Lea Boldt is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Iowa under the supervision of Dr. Grazyna Kochanska. She is completing her predoctoral psychology internship at UIHC and is working on her dissertation research. She received her B.A. from Creighton University in Theology (major) and Philosophy (co-major) and her B.S. from the University of Iowa in Psychology. Lea’s research interests include examining trajectories of children’s social and emotional development in the context of the parent-child relationship and the etiology and time course of both parent and child psychopathology. Clinically, Lea is interested in the assessment of and interventions for neurodevelopmental disorders (particularly, autism spectrum disorder), as well as challenging and disruptive behaviors. In her spare time, Lea walks with her dog, eats lots of food, and cheers for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Kathryn Goffin is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Iowa under the supervision of Dr. Grazyna Kochanska. She began her graduate studies in 2015. She received her A.B. from Wellesley College in Psychology (major) and Biology (minor). She also worked as a Research Assistant at Stanford University studying pediatric and adult bipolar disorder, and interventions for autism spectrum disorders.
Kathryn’s research interests include examining parents’ psychopathology and its effects on children’s social and emotional development. Clinically, Kathryn is interested in the assessment of and interventions for disruptive behaviors. In her spare time, Kathryn bikes, grows vegetables, and cheers for the Red Sox.
Danming An is a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University in 2019. Danming’s research interests include examining the effects of context (e.g., culture, parenting, family dynamics, peer relationships) and early temperament on children’s socio-emotional development and mental health, as well as investigating the implications of informant discrepancies and situational variations in the measurement of children’s social and psychological adjustment. In her spare time, Danming enjoys reading science fiction, swimming, and trying new recipes.
Robin Campbell is currently a full-time Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She graduated from Grinnell college in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She plans to apply to Ph.D. programs and hopes to be a developmental psychologist. She is interested in the effects of caregiver-child interactions and relationships on the social, emotional, and language development of young children. When she is not working or spending time with her two children, Robin enjoys reading articles about child development, babysitting, exercising, and traveling.
Chelle Praska is currently a full-time Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2018, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She plans to pursue an Ed.S degree in School Psychology. She is interested in Callous-Unemotional (CU) traits and their role in social interactions. In her free time, Chelle likes to cook, try new coffee shops, and spend time with her family.
Sung Yi Shin
Sung Yi Shin graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology. She is a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She also works at Four Oaks Foster Group Care as a Youth Counselor. She is interested in attachment between parents and children, parenting, and effects of child abuse and neglect. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, cross stitching, and spending time with family and friends.
Neevetha Sivagurunathan is currently a full-time Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Iowa in May of 2018, with Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Statistics, a certificate in Large Data Analysis, and a minor in Computer Science. She plans to apply to Ph.D. programs and aspires to be a clinical psychologist. She is very interested in the developmental trajectory of psychopathology, particularly internalizing disorders, as well as the effects of parental psychopathology on child development. Neevetha is a crisis chat volunteer at the Crisis Center of Johnson County and is passionate about promoting mental health in the community. In her free time, Neevetha enjoys reading, trying new casserole recipes, and exploring new parts of town while playing Pokemon Go.
Nicole Yeager is a full-time Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2016, with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Human Relations. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology, and aspires to work in an academic medical center, where she could combine a career in research with clinical practice. Nicole is interested in parenting, with an emphasis on parental stress and guilt/shame, and their roles in children's adaptive and maladaptive pathways, particularly within the framework of attachment theory. Nicole is also interested in children's moral development and empathy, and relations among personal distress, prosocial behaviors, and callous-unemotional traits. Nicole loves reading with her son, catching movies at FilmScene, and cheering on our Hawkeyes.
Undergraduates and Recent Graduates
Ashton Bries is a junior at the University of Iowa pursing a B.S. degree in Psychology on the Pre-Occupational Therapy track. Ashton is a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She also volunteers at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital Center for Disabilities and Development. Ashton plans on attending graduate school to become a child occupational therapist. In her free time, Ashton enjoys reading, drinking lots of coffee, and spending time with her friends and family.
My name is Gracie Brown. I am a freshman at the University of Iowa, attaining my B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Psychology. After graduation, I plan on attending grad school and becoming a speech-language pathologist. In my free time, I enjoy socializing, traveling, and volunteering at the University of Iowa Hospital!
Adelisa Dedic is a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She is a junior at the University of Iowa, majoring in Psychology and planning to minor in Human Relations. She plans to pursue her dreams of becoming a clinical psychologist. Adelisa will soon begin to volunteer with the crisis chat line at the CommUnity Crisis Center of Johnson County. In her free time, she enjoys nature, traveling, and being surrounded by family and friends.
Stephanie Garoufalis is currently a junior at the University of Iowa, majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Psychology. She is a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska’s Child Lab and is also involved with the University of Iowa chapter of NSSLHA (National Student Speech Language Hearing Association). Stephanie plans to attend graduate school to become a Speech-Language Pathologist and work in the schools. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family.
Sydney Graybill is a sophomore at the University of Iowa, majoring in Psychology, with minors in French and International Studies, expecting to graduate in December of 2021. She is particularly interested in epigenetics and social and cognitive development of children in adverse and supportive environments. After her undergraduate studies, she plans to attend graduate school to become a child clinical psychologist. Outside of school, Sydney enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, hiking, and watching Criminal Minds on Netflix.
Autumn Kemp is a junior at the University of Iowa, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. She is a research assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab, volunteers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and works as a patient care technician in the Emergency Department at St. Luke's hospital. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school to become a pediatrician. In her free time Autumn enjoys reading, traveling, running, horseback riding, and spending time outdoors.
Alesia Larsen is a sophomore at the University of Iowa pursuing a B.S. in Human Physiology on the Pre-Medical track. She is also a research assistant in Dr. Kochanska’s Child Laboratory. Once she graduates, she plans on attending medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes, being outdoors, exercising, and giving back to the community!
Azzurra Sartini-Rideout is a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska’s Child Lab. She is a Freshman at the University of Iowa, double majoring in Criminology and Psychology. Once she graduates, she plans to attend Law School, or further pursue her education in Psychology and Criminology. Her interest is especially focused on deviance, development, and how childhood interactions and different environments impact an individual. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, grabbing coffee, reading, watching tv, and listening to podcasts.
Rachel Sather returned to the University of Iowa to pursue another bachelor's degree - this time in Psychology. She is a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab, and is interested in understanding the cognitive and social development of children as they interact with the world. Rachel plans on combining her previous theater major with Psychology and is currently on the path to discovering what this could be. In her free time, Rachel is training to become a yoga instructor and enjoys spending time with her family and friends (also with her cat Ritzy), watching movies, and being outside as much as possible.
Darian Showalter is a research assistant in Dr. Kochanska’s lab. Darian graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Human Relations. Darian was born and raised in the Iowa City area and is proud to call it home. Darian seeks to receive a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Darian’s aspiration is to become a child psychologist; in the relative future, she hopes to obtain a Psy.D. to fulfill this dream. Darian is particularly interested in studying parent-child attachment and outcomes of childhood maltreatment. In her free time, Darian enjoys spending time with her two dogs, her loved ones, and she thoroughly loves viewing and analyzing a myriad of horror films.
Amelia Watson is currently a Sophomore at the University of Iowa, pursuing a B.S. degree in Psychology and a B.A. degree in Criminology, as well as a minor in Mathematics. She is a research assistant in Dr. Kochanska’s Child Lab. Once she graduates, Amelia plans to attend graduate school with a focus on Forensic Psychology and would like to complete her education with earning a Ph.D. in Psychology. Amelia has far-reaching research interests but is particularly interested in deviant behavior and its development. Outside of the lab, Amelia works as a barista and is very devoted to her academic studies. In her free time, Amelia enjoys sipping coffee, reading, and spending time with her family, friends, and 6 cats.
Hannah Zadeh is a junior at the University of Iowa pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Sociology on the Pre-Medical track. She is also a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab. She is interested in studying social psychology, medical sociology, and the sociology of race/ethnicity. She is also a Research Assistant in the Center for the Study of Group Processes. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, running, and eating apples.
Research Associates and Collaborators
Becca Brock received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2012. She was a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa from 2012-2015, and joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) faculty in 2015. She is also a Research Associate at the University of Iowa and continues her collaboration with Grazyna Kochanska and Child Lab.
Becca is the director of the UNL Family Development Lab, and is a core faculty member in the Clinical Psychology Training Program. Her program of research is aimed at understanding the development of psychopathology (e.g., mood and anxiety disorders) across the lifespan with a focus on the family context and its etiological significance. In particular, her work has focused on couple relationships, applying a multidimensional model of relationship quality to understand functioning across several domains (e.g., partner support, balance of respect and control, conflict management strategies, closeness and intimacy, sexual satisfaction). Her research includes the translational goal of developing interventions for preventing and treating adult and child psychopathology and comorbid family dysfunction. Becca teaches courses in quantitative methods (e.g., Structural Equation Modeling, Multilevel Modeling) and provides statistical consultation in the department. She also provides clinical consultation and supervision (individual and couples therapy).
In her spare time, Becca enjoys being outdoors, watching sci-fi and fantasy movies, interior design, and gaming (especially RPG and deck-building).
Katherine Jonas completed her doctorate at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at University of Iowa, graduating with a degree in Clinical Psychology in 2017. She is now a post-doctoral fellow at Stony Brook University Department of Psychiatry, where she studies methods of improving the measurement of psychopathology. She has applied this work in the areas of personality development and assessment, developmental psychopathology, cognitive assessment, and schizophrenia. Aside from science, her interests lie in all forms of art and adventure.
Sanghag Kim received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Iowa in 2011. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. He is also a Research Associate at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa. Usually, he visits Iowa City twice in a year, every January and July, to continue his collaboration with Grazyna Kochanska and the Child Lab. His areas of interest include social psychology, human development and socialization, and quantitative methods. In his spare time, Sanghag enjoys playing tennis and listening to music.
Keith Apfelbaum received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2013. He served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University from 2013-2016. Throughout his career, Keith has researched how to apply principles of cognitive science to questions of development and learning, both at the basic theoretical level and in more applied settings. Currently, he serves as a research scientist in Dr. Bob McMurray's Cognitive Development Lab, where he works on longitudinal investigations of language development and language processing in typical and atypical populations. He also serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa, teaching courses in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Outside of his professional interests, Keith enjoys running, cycling and otherwise spending time outdoors, as well as playing board games.
Emily Allen graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2020 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Educational Psychology. Emily hopes to attend graduate school to become a school psychologist. Emily is involved with Salt Company and Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family playing games, watching movies, and going to coffee shops.
Meaghan is currently a clinical psychology graduate student at the University of Louisville. Her research interests include emotion regulation deficits in children with ADHD and the role of parenting in impairment. During her free time, Meaghan has been exploring Louisville's many parks and finding the best coffee shops to get work done.
Katrina is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Saint Louis Univeristy. She is a member of the Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Lab (WELL) under the direction of Dr. Jillon Vander Wal. Katrina's research interests broadly includes obesity, body image, nutrition, and eating disorders. In her free time, she enjoys running in Forest Park, hanging out with her cohort, and trying new restaurants. She's a big fan of gooey butter cake, but is hesitant to try the St. Louis style pizza since she's from the Chicagoland area. Deep dish all the way!
Yelim is currently a developmental psychology graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a member of the Individual Differences in Development Lab (IDD Lab) under the direction of Dr. Kirby Deater-Deckard. Yelim studies how family systems and context influence social and emotional development in children. Outside of graduate school, she loves yoga, especially aerial yoga, and she likes cooking and watching Korean TV shows.
Kari graduated from the University of Iowa in May of 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology, University Honors, and Highest Distinction. She has moved to Nashville, TN to pursue her Master’s Degree at Vanderbilt University. Kari plans to be a school counselor where she can positively impact students’ lives and contribute to a more equitable education experience for all children. In her free time, she loves to cook, bake, and explore nature trails.
Jane Miller received her B.S. in Psychology in 2015 from Union College in Schenectady, New York. She is a graduate student in the social psychology area. Her research interests include the social comparative processes and biases that influence judgement and decision making. She also has interests in developmental psychology research, for example, the influence of social comparisons on parenting and parent-child relationships. Outside of graduate school, Jane enjoys reading, yoga, and exploring Iowa City.
Teresa Mora graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology. Along with being a Research Assistant in Dr. Kochanska's Child Lab, she has applied for a ETA Fulbright Grant to South Korea and has been named a semi-finalist. Afterwards, she hopes to attend graduate school to further her study of developmental and clinical psychology. She aspires to utilize her minors in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Korean to work with adolescents of the LGBTQ+ community and Korean-American population to research and practice new methods of combating mental illness and stigma. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys cross stitching, reading, listening to K-pop, and playing video games.
Chelsea Poesch graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2020 with a BA in Psychology. She is a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. She plans to attend graduate school to become a school psychologist. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exercising, and painting.
Nora is currently a doctoral student in the developmental psychology program at Pennsylvania State University. She is working with Kristin Buss and Pamela Cole to understand how parents influence children's development of emotion regulation by using a dynamic systems approach to study regulation. Nora enjoys spending time with her roommate, Dzifa, and their new puppy Kira.