A Peek Inside the SRA Conference (Part 2)

by Lucy Zheng

Last month, we shared some snippets of the groundbreaking research presented at The Society for Research on Adolescence’s biannual conference in Minneapolis. But that was just part 1! So many faculty and graduate students were kind enough to share their work that we had to do this in two parts!

(Note: This does not represent the entire symposia and/or speakers at the conference.)

“The current study uses a longitudinal design to identify predictors of first-onset non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Compared to never-NSSI girls, first-onset NSSI was prospectively predicted by baseline low conscientiousness, high emotional avoidance, elevated cortisol awakening response (CAR), and parental history of substance use disorders.  The final multivariate model demonstrated a very good accuracy in distinguishing which girls will go on to have first-onset NSSI from those who will not.”

  • Molly A Gromatsky, Hofstra University

“My current work includes using an observational measure in examining parental control during parent-child conflict discussions in first- and second- generation Chinese American immigrant families, and the role of parents' and children's cultural orientations. Being an international student, I am also interested in the concept of culture in our day-to-day life, and how one may “switch cultures” depending on the environmental context. Using an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) approach, my aim is to assess the stability and fluctuations of cultural orientations in emerging adulthood, and how this may affect their psychological wellbeing as a whole.”

  • Carmen Kho, University of California, Merced

“My research considers adolescents’ emotional experiences within their close friendships. Some of our recent findings indicate that, although girls disclose about problems to peers more than boys do, boys experience great positive affect and feelings of validation than girls when they disclose to other-gender peers. One implication of these findings is that problem disclosure to other-gender peers (e.g., romantic partners, friends) is a challenging relationship context for adolescent girls that could relate to negative adjustment outcomes.”

  • Sarah K. Borowsky, University of Missouri

“Our research examines neural bases of the stress response, as well as the broader impact of violence exposure and other risk and protective factors on youth adjustment. Our latest findings include the role of violence exposure and emotion regulation in adolescents’ academic achievement (King & Mrug, 2016), the effect of parental emotion socialization on later stress reactivity (Guo, Mrug, & Knight, 2017), and stress-induced changes in fear learning (Goodman et al., 2018). In our most recent paper, we compared stress reactivity in behavioral vs. neuroimaging contexts, finding that cortisol as a marker of the stress response is less useful during neuroimaging due to the anticipatory stress associated with the brain scanning procedures (Gossett et al., in press).”

  • Sylvie Mrug, University of Alabama at Birmingham


“My most recent paper is attempting to better understand how parent-child conflicts shape parenting in early adolescence. We know that adolescents who experience intense and frequent conflicts with parents are at heightened risk for a number of mental health and adjustment problems. This study suggests that one reason for this is that parent-adolescent conflicts can shape parents’ implicit beliefs about their child in negative ways. Those parents for whom conflicts lead them to view their child, at the implicit level, as “unlovable,” were more likely to exhibit harsh and hostile behaviors when their adolescent turned to them for support.”

  • Meredith Martin, University of Nebraska- Lincoln

“While research clearly documents the phenomenon of depression contagion in close relationships, studies have only recently documented a mechanism of depression contagion in adolescent friendships, co-rumination (Schwartz-Mette & Rose, 2012). Co-rumination, the excessive discussion of problems with a friend (Rose, 2002), appears to predict increases in both youths' and their friends' depressive symptoms over time. More recent work has illuminated that co-rumination facilitates depression contagion especially strongly for adolescents with overactive empathy, for adolescents with friends who excessively seek reassurance, and for adolescents in friendships that are very high in positive quality (Schwartz-Mette & Smith, 2016). Emerging work recently presented at SRA suggests that co-rumination may predict increased depression over time especially strongly for highly emotionally reactive adolescents (Schwartz-Mette, Smith, Fearey, & Rose, 2018, conference presentation).”

  • Rebecca Schwartz-Mette, The University of Maine