Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Lauren Vazquez

Lauren Vazquez is a fourth-year graduate student in the Child Clinical PhD program. Her primary research interests are parent-child interaction, child development, and the biological aspects of human functioning, in particular neural functioning. Lauren’s mentor is Dr. Pamela Cole.

As a graduate student, Lauren’s research has centered on the development of emotion regulation in early childhood via verbal and nonverbal affective communication processes and potential biological correlates. While working on her Masters’ thesis, she found that the frequency of maternal emotion talk and nonverbal positive emotion predicted the likelihood that children used emotion talk. Lauren has successfully collaborated with multiple faculty members and for her comprehensive exam she presented a framework for research on the development of children’s emotional regulation strategies. To date, she has first-authored one publication, co-authored four, first-authored four presentations and co-authored three. Her dissertation will focus on the neural correlates of children’s processing of affective prosody. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Psychology from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. As an undergrad, she spent time working with underserved preschool-aged children, which sparked her interest in child development and emotion regulation. Lauren’s postbaccalaureate research experience took place at the Yale Child Study Center, where she focused on electrophysiology, emotion, and parent-child relationships.

The Strumpf Scholar Award will help Lauren accomplish several goals. She plans to expand her knowledge of data analytic methods, devote time to working on multiple manuscripts, and prepare her dissertation findings for conference presentations and publications. She plans to continue research that takes a multi-method approach to understanding individual and relationship factors influencing the development of typical and atypical emotion regulation. The Strumpf Scholar Award will enable Lauren to make signification progress on her long-term goal of having an academic career focused on this research.