Research Projects

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Current Projects

The Growing Up Catholic Project (GUCP):

GUCP: Volume I: Influential AdultsAdults have been shown to play a crucial role in the religious development of Catholic youth. But, who are these adults and how do they influence the experience of growing up Catholic? This qualitative study interviewed both Catholics and former Catholics about their experience growing up Catholic, specifically focusing on adults they felt were influential in their religious identity decision making process.

Dissertation: Who are the Elis of Today? Examining the Adults Present During the Religious Identity Development of Catholic-Raised Youth

GUCP Volume II: Godparents and Confirmation Sponsors (Study in Progress): A followup study to the original, this study will explore the relationship between Catholics and their Godparents and what role these relationships play in their faith lives.

GUCP: Additional AnalysisThese projects were completed by DePaul University undergraduates as quarter long research independent studies.

Poster: Relationship, Relationship, Relationship: An Exploration of Supportive Adult Behaviors in the Faith Development Of Catholic-Raised Youth

Poster: And Then There Were “Nones”

Poster: Defining God: Former-Catholic Young Adults Describe Their Relationship with God and Religious Identity

Poster: Interfaith Dialogue: The Exposure of Former-Catholics to Non-Catholic Religious Practices and Beliefs

Past Projects

HIVE Mentoring Study: I worked on the HIVE Mentoring study as a qualitative data analyst in the MIC Psych Lab at DePaul University. The HIVE project was a pilot study examining  youth perspectives of the best ways for adults to engage and not engage with youth. We explored negative experiences with adults, how adults engage youth and support them, and environmental characteristics that promote youth-adult interactions.

Article: How to support me in connected learning: Youth perspectives on adult supportive behavior and its benefits

Article: Rules of Disengagement: Negative Relationships and Interactions Between Adults and Youth

Person-Environment Fit in Single-Site and Scattered-Site Housing First study: I worked on this study as the Project Coordinator and Research Assistant Supervisor for the HARC Lab at DePaul University from 2015-2016. The study aims to examine the impact of person-environment fit on tenants’ housing outcomes, quality of life, and community integration. This study is conducted in collaboration with DESC, a Seattle-based Housing First provider. This study is still in progress, please see the HARC Lab website for project updates.

Roman Catholic Permanent Deacon and Non-Catholic Deacon study: I worked on the Deacon study while at DePaul University. This study of nearly 2,000 deacons in the United States, was the first psychological examination of the modern Roman Catholic permanent diaconate. My masters thesis work explored data from this study and highlighted the variety of roles deacons are serving within their parish assignments and the broader local community.  

Master Thesis: The Influence of Parish Factors in Catholic Deacon Ministry Assignments: An Ecological Model Perspective

Article: The Leadership Style of Permanent Deacons: Servant and Transformational Middle-aged Ministers

Poster: Using the ecological model to explore religious ministry: Catholic Deacons

Flashbulb Memory Project: I worked on several flashbulb memory research projects during my time at Butler University ranging from first kiss memories to a study on memories of the death of Osama bin Laden. 

  • Marriage Proposal Memory study (Project Coordinator)
  • Divorce Announcement Memory study (Principal Investigator)
  • First Kiss Memory study (Principal Investigator)
  • First Sexual Encounter Memory Study (Principal Investigator)
  • Memories of Osama bin Laden’s death (Research Assistant)
  • Memories of Coming out as LGBTQ to family members (Research Assistant)

Cited in: Flashbulb Memories New Challenges and Future Perspectives