Katie Reiter-Lavery, a graduating senior, is the recipient of the third annual J. Steven Reznick Award, a diversity research award.
The purpose of the J. Steven Reznick Award for Diversity Enhancement in Psychological Research is to encourage and honor students who make a contribution to the advancement of knowledge concerning issues that face diverse populations or that are of concern to diverse populations.
Katie was honored with this award for her outstanding research project which examines how social support interacts with experiences of racial discrimination to influence mental health in African Americans. Given that African American young adults are at increased risk for experiencing negative mental health outcomes, this work is of paramount importance. Her project was innovative in its use of longitudinal design to examine how changes over time in experiences of discrimination and different types of social support predict declines in mental health functioning – one of the first studies of its kind. Katie’s findings shed important light on how researchers need to consider different types of social support in studies linking discrimination and health. Katie is a shining example of the impressive research being conducted by undergraduates in our department and her focus on issues of racial discrimination make her the perfect fit for this award. Katie was honored at the Psychology and Neuroscience Commencement Ceremony on May 14, 2017.