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Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Student Awarded Research Grant

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Student Awarded Research Grant


Joy Lee, a clinical doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, was awarded a $10,000 research grant from the Sidney W. and Janet R. Bijou Grant from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.

The Sidney W. and Janet R. Bijou Grant provides funding for two students per year in psychology or education doctoral programs that support research in behavioral child development.

This award will fund Lee’s dissertation, which will test the extent to which food impulsivity changes throughout a lifetime, with special emphasis on the transition from childhood to puberty. Lee’s mentor for the grant proposal and project is psychology professor Erin Rasmussen.

“I felt great when I was awarded the grant,” Lee said. “It really validated all the time and effort my advisor and I put in to get the grant application together. It was amazing to have our efforts recognized and awarded.”

The application process for the competitive grant was extensive. The committee required a proposal describing the significance of the proposed study, specific methodologies, a detailed timeline and a budget. Applicants were also required to submit a personal statement demonstrating a record of experience and capability to successfully implement the research study.

Lee has always been interested in the obesity epidemic that continues to be a problem for the United States. Obesity increases risk of chronic illness, such has heart disease and stroke, as well as psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

“Investigating the relationship between impulsive food choices and obesity can assist in our understanding of how obesity develops during childhood,” Lee said.

The grant will allow Lee to investigate development differences in impulsive food choices with obese and healthy-weight individuals. More specifically, Lee will investigate how an individual’s pubertal stage impacts his or her impulsive food choices. The grant will facilitate the study itself, reimburse participants and provide various laboratory equipment and supplies.

“I hope to assist researchers and medical professionals in understanding the development of obesity and aid in its prevention and treatment,” said Lee. “I also aim to share the findings with the non-academic community and raise awareness of the role in impulsivity in obesity.”


Written by Katie Damron, College of Arts & Letters intern


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