Current Projects:

Family and Couple's Emotion Communication

We are currently studying family triads (mother-father-child) and patterns of emotion communication, with particular focus on maternal/paternal differences in emotion communication, and relations between marital couples' and parent-child dyads' patterns of discussing emotionally laden topics. We are currently recruiting married couples with at least one child, ages 7-11, to participate in this study. Families earn $75 for participation, including questionnaires completed at home and a one-time lab visit (1-2 hrs) to the Department of Psychology. If you are interested in participating, please email

Cross-Cultural Childhood Experiences

This study collects information on current and past behavioral and emotional functioning as well as variations in parenting practices, including emotion communication and racial socialization, across cultures. We are currently recruiting UGA students ages 18-25 to take part in this study. Participation requires completing an online survey, and participants are reimbursed with a $10 gift card. If you are interested in participating, please email

Recent Projects: 

A feasibility study to pilot the implementation of an emotion-focused parenting intervention

The FRESH Lab engaged in pilot testing of Let's Connect, a family intervention program that is designed to improve parents' emotional communication with their school-age children. Building emotion-focused parenting skills targets an area that has been previously overlooked in parenting interventions, yet increasing research points to the importance of these skills in fostering healthy families. The study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Shipman and Dr. Monica Fitzgerald of the University of Colorado, and focused on a group-based format for parents and their children, ages 6-12. Funding was provided by the University of Georgia Research Foundation. 

Mutual Reactivity in Mother-Child Dyads: Links to Preschoolers' Socioemotional Functioning

In collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Suveg's research team, the FRESH Lab conducted a study that examines parents and young children react to emotionally arousing situations and interactions, and how this might relate to other ways aspects of psychosocial functioning. We were also interested in how physical and biological factors, such as genetics, stress hormones, and heart rate, relate to these outcomes. This project was funded by the Institute for Behavioral Research and the Center for Contextual Genetics and Prevention Science.