Diversity Issues in Research


Diversity is an issue of extreme importance to the researchers in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. We care about diversity within our community of researchers and diversity represents a focus of research in our department. The following is a brief list of some of the research programs in our department that address diversity issues and you can also read more about our diversity initiatives online.


Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz researches how symptoms of anxiety present cross-culturally and studies how obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms differ depending on one’s racial-ethnic and religious background.

Dr. Sara Algoe focuses on basic types of social interactions that can help romantic relationships go well; some of her work examines such questions in the context of same-sex relationships, while another interest is in cultural expectations for relationship norms.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold studies the mental mechanisms for speaking and understanding, and how these mechanisms differ across individuals as a function of experiences like reading, and may be influenced by other inter-group differences.

Dr. Anna Bardone-Cone studies eating disorders and body image through the lens of race/ethnicity and gender. In particular, she examines how African-American, Latina, and non-Latina Caucasian women compare in terms of body image, disordered eating, and their risk factors. Her lab is beginning to investigate the experience of remission and recovery from eating disorders in males.

Dr. Charlotte Boettiger studies the neurobiological bases of addictive behaviors, which yield more, and more severe, medical and social consequences in racial and ethnic minority populations compared to the majority population.

Dr. Cynthia Bulik studies eating disorders in Latino populations with a special emphasis on community engagement and developing culturally sensitive treatments as a means of reducing health disparities.

Dr. Shauna M. Cooper examines how cultural and contextual factors impact the development of ethnic minority youth, with a specific focus on African American children and families. Specifically, her work examines how family, school, and community contexts influence positive development among African American children and adolescents. Current research projects include a longitudinal study exploring African American fathers’ general and culturally-specific parenting practices and contributions to adolescent adjustment. Additionally, she is committed to the translation of her research, including the development of culturally specific intervention and prevention programming.

Dr. Patrick Curran is dedicated to enhancing diversity in all forms, particularly in classroom teaching and research training at both undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction.

Dr. Stacey Daughters studies the biobehavioral and neural mechanisms of addiction, and translates this knowledge into the development of novel treatments that meet the unique needs of low-income, racially and ethnically diverse substance users.

Dr. Gabriel Dichter strives to understand the diverse ways in which individuals with autism see the world in terms of their culture, cognitive style, and unique ways they interact with their social world.

Dr. Nicole Gardner-Neblett focuses on examining racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity in children’s language and literacy development and the factors that promote children’s language and literacy competency. Specifically, her work examines associations between African-American children’s early oral narrative skills and their reding development and the effectiveness of professional development approaches for educators working with children from racial/ethnic minority and low socioeconomic status families.

Dr. Oscar Gonzalez’s research focuses on evaluating if statistical models developed for an intervention are applicable to each measured group (interactive effects) and evaluating if the assessment of the mechanism of behavior change is fair/unbiased across minority groups (measurement invariance).

Dr. Andrea Hussong examines gender differences as well as racial differences in the development of substance use. One area of study includes race-based socialization messages that parents share with their college-bound students about alcohol use on-campus.

Dr. Deborah Jones’ research examines the health and well-being of under-served families, including low-income, single parent, and ethnic and racial minority families, with an increased focus on engaging families in the state of field prevention and intervention services.

Dr. Laura Klinger studies adult outcomes in a diverse population of adults with autism spectrum disorder that represent the ethnic and racial groups found in North Carolina. This allows her to examine how access to care in under-represented minorities is related to long-term outcome for adults with autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. Beth Kurtz-Costes studies ways in which ethnicity, race, and gender shape the development of youths’ competence motivation. Of central focus is adolescents’ understanding of systemic inequalities and the developmental interweaving of critical consciousness, racial/ethnic and gender identities, and achievement goals and behaviors.

Dr. Kristen Lindquist’s research is interested in diversity and variability in emotional experiences and perceptions across speakers of different languages, across different cultures, and across development.

Dr. Keely Muscatell’s research focuses on understanding how stressful experiences especially relevant for minority group members (e.g., social evaluation, racial discrimination and stereotyping, poverty) are processed by the brain and translated into physiological changes that are important for health and well-being.

Dr. Enrique Neblett is interested in the study of racism experiences, resilience, and health in African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minority youth.

Dr. Abigail Panter conducts longitudinal studies examining the efficacy of academic programs and supports (e.g. course redesign, cohort programs to increase STEM participation, student service supports and outreach programs) for first-generation college students and under-represented groups and the effects of educational diversity on student learning outcomes.

Dr. Keith Payne studies how racial, ethnic, and income inequalities contribute to disparities in education and health and how those disparities can be overcome.

Dr. David Penn investigates the effect of ethnic context on performance of African-American individuals on social cognition tasks and the influence of ethnicity on symptoms and social cognition in schizophrenia.

Dr. Mitch Prinstein studies racial discrimination, acculturative stress, and ethnic identity as factors that may be relevant to ethnic minority adolescents’ peer relationships, depressive symptoms, and self-injury.

Dr. Paschal Sheeran studies the self-regulation of prejudice including interventions to reduce implicit bias, promote confrontation of racism, and cope with the experience of stigma.

Dr. Margaret Sheridan studies the impact of exposure to adversity on brain development in ethnically and socioeconomically diverse groups of children and adolescents in an effort to better understand how these exposures increase risk for psychopathology and to develop preventive interventions.

Dr. Eva Telzer examines the role of race and ethnicity, acculturation, and cultural values in shaping neural responses and psychological adjustment across development.

Dr. Eric Youngstrom is interested in how culture changes the assessment of mood disorders and examines the stigma, lifestyle, and attitudes toward treatment around the world.