Julie Beeney is a second year graduate student in the Counseling Psychology department. Before attending Penn State she attended St. Lawrence University where she majored in political science. After college, her interest in early education, welfare, and social policies led her to work as a social worker at the Department of Children and Family in Cleveland, Ohio. Julie also worked at the Mother-Child Study at Yale University and at the Mothers and Toddlers Program in New Haven. Both of these research projects examine parenting and mother-child relationships in the context of parental substance abuse. Following these experiences, Julie returned to school and pursued a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology at the Teachers College at Columbia University.
After the completion of her Master’s Degree Julie moved to State College to pursue her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Julie was drawn to Penn State because of their outstanding interdisciplinary research in child development and training in developmental psychopathology. In addition, Julie was awarded a Dean’s Graduate Assistantship for Engaging Scholarship and Research in Education. This award, jointly funded by the College of Education and Graduate School, continues to allow Julie to pursue research in her area of interest. Julie’s research interests include examining early care giving relationships and ways to promote secure attachment in infancy. She is very excited about research on parenting and factors that influence parental responses to infant behavior and hopes to incorporate parenting research into intervention programs to promote positive relationships between parents and infants in high-risk contexts.
Currently Julie works with Dr. Susan Woodhouse in the Caregiving, Attachment, and Regulation of Emotion Lab (CARE) through the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education. Within the CARE lab Julie is training undergraduates in a mother-infant observational coding system developed by Dr. Woodhouse and her colleagues. She is also training a team of undergraduate students in editing physiological data.
In the spring of 2011 Julie presented a poster at the Society for Research in Child Development with Dr. Woodhouse. Their poster, entitled “Maternal attachment, secure base provision, and emotion regulation: Links with maternal secure base scripts,” discussed the pilot data from the CARE lab. In the 2010-2011 academic year Julie assisted Dr. Woodhouse in writing a grant for the CARE lab which was scored in the top 3% and was funded in 2012.
In the future Julie would like to build a career that combines both research and intervention work that can make a difference in communities. She imagines herself working in a university setting and doing research on interventions for families with young children.