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The Child and Adolescent Research in Emotion (CARE) Lab, located in the Department of Psychology at Lawrence University, is directed by Lori M. Hilt, Ph.D.


Meet ABCT’s Featured Lab

The Child and Adolescent Research In Emotion (CARE) Lab, located in the Department of Psychology at Lawrence University, is directed by Lori M. Hilt, Ph.D.


We asked each of the CARE Lab’s members:

  1. What is your primary research interest?
  2. If the student is or has ever been a member of ABCT:
    – How has ABCT been helpful to you?
    – If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?


Morgan Fisher (B.A. in Biology)

  1. I am primarily interested in researching the feedback loop between mental health and physiology. More specifically, I have worked in the lab to research the impact of Botulinum Toxin Type A on rumination and depression.
  2. Since I became a member of ABCT in my second year of college, being a member of this organization has helped me learn about the field and my own interests. From attending conferences and presenting my own research, I have gained confidence not only in understanding psychology but also in my own abilities as a researcher.
  3. I would recommend that someone joining ABCT attend and present at ABCT conferences. It is a great way to get to know colleagues at other institutions and share your work with others. Additionally, attending sessions at conferences can help you learn about the current state of the science and help identify potential research interests or collaborations.


Georgia Chau (B.A. in Neuroscience & B.M. in Clarinet Performance)

  1. My primary research interest is how discrimination works as an environmental stressor in minority status groups. I aim to educate the public on how discrimination accumulates in the body, how it impacts disparities and life outcomes between groups, and what we can do to help individuals with minority status.


Nina Austria (Mathematics Major, Statistics Track)

  1. I am interested in studying the effects of social media and increased technology usage on children and teenagers’ mental and emotional wellness.

Shreeja Vachhani (B.A.)

  1. My research interests center around understanding the neural underpinnings of emotion regulation in early childhood psychopathology and investigating the role of mindfulness-based interventions in mitigating negative affect and promoting overall wellbeing in early childhood.


Elizabeth Hermann (B.A. in Neuroscience & B.M. in Music Theory)

  1. My primary research interest is the relationship between chronic pain and mental health.


Grace Fox (B.A. in Psychology)

  1. Clinical Psychology


Moeka Kamiya (B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience)

  1. Depression, rumination, anxiety, brain-gut axis, mindfulness, nutrition.


Justus Wahl (Psychology Major, Cognitive Science Minor)

  1. I’m primarily interested in researching affective disorders in children and adolescents. Additionally, I enjoy learning about emotional regulation strategies, such as mindfulness, and promoting wellness through psychotherapy. This is what led me to participate in the CARE Lab as it provides the opportunity to explore these interests in a meaningful way.


Lori M. Hilt, Ph.D.

Lori M. Hilt is a Professor and Chair of Psychology at Lawrence University.  She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Yale University and completed her clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Hilt’s research involves understanding and preventing the development of psychopathology in adolescents, especially depression and self-injurious behavior. She has recently developed a mindfulness app to reduce rumination in adolescents and has tested it in multiple clinical trials. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and is also a licensed psychologist.

How do children and adolescents manage their emotions?  What happens when youth use maladaptive strategies to regulate negative emotions, and how does this contribute to the development of psychopathology? How can we best teach youth adaptive emotion regulation strategies? In the Child and Adolescent Research in Emotion (CARE) Lab, Lori Hilt and her students seek answers to these questions using a variety of methods. We study both typically developing youth and those at risk for psychopathology, primarily using methods from clinical psychology and affective neuroscience.


How long have you been a member of ABCT?

Since 2003.


How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?

I typically attend the ABCT conference every year. I started going during my first year of graduate school, and love to return to see old and new friends every year. I find the conference to be intellectually stimulating, a great experience for my undergraduate students to present their work and network, and a rewarding social experience for me.


How do you stay current with developments in the field?

Attending conferences is a great way for me to learn a lot in short amount of time. I also find journal alerts to be very helpful for staying current in the field. Academic Twitter is another great source of information. Listservs, such as the ABCT Forum, are also helpful. I also stay current through reviewing manuscripts and updating my courses.


How has ABCT helped you/your lab professionally?

ABCT has been an important organization for my lab. The SIGs have been especially impactful, with many of my students presenting their work at the annual SIG poster session. I am a co-founding member of the Clinical Psychology in Liberal Arts Colleges SIG and benefit greatly from the support of this group. I have also participated in the Suicide and Self-injury SIG. These groups are a great way for undergraduates to get involved with ABCT and have led to some great networking opportunities and collaborations.


Does your lab have any traditions? Does your lab do anything together for fun?

We have an annual CARE Lab BBQ at the end of the academic year. My young kids love having the students over and look forward to it every year. We also have a lab dinner at the ABCT conference and the Association for Psychological Science conference. It’s so fun to reconnect with former students from the lab at conferences, and we started a new tradition during the pandemic of having lab alumni give advice to current lab members via Zoom.


What advice would you give prospective trainees?

As a lab that serves undergraduates, I encourage students to get involved in psychological research early in their academic careers. I have been so impressed with students who start in the lab during their first or second year of college and do an independent project by their senior year that gets published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, there are many ways to get involved in research during college, and some students help with a project for just one or two terms, making valuable contributions to the work. I think it is so important to dig in and gain research experience. Even if you leave deciding that you do not like that type of work, you have learned something valuable.



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