Garland Hall

Current Research Areas

Broadly, the Child Stress and Coping Lab (CSCL) conducts research addressing issues related to the coping and adaptation of children and families experiencing extreme stress, such as pediatric chronic illness. The majority of our data is collected via qualitative interviewing or online survey.  While all of the projects in our lab are collaborative efforts, advanced graduate students lead projects grouped into specific research focus areas as summarized below. Within each research focus area, we aim to incorporate cultural perspectives, as well as team science approaches to research projects.

Paulina Lim

Paulina’s (she/her/) research utilizes culturally conscious mixed method approaches to amplify the perspectives and lived experiences of families from diverse communities in pediatric medical encounters.  Paulina’s clinical and research activities seek to collaborate with community groups and organizations to understand which issues are important to the community, with a particular focus on collaborating with ethnically and linguistically minoritized and immigrant communities. Her projects also emphasize the importance of intersectionality and positionality in psychological clinical practice and research.

Katie Balistreri

Katie’s research area primarily focuses on research that aims to improve the well-being of children who have been hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and their families. Examples of projects include: 1) conducting qualitative interviews with PICU medical providers about how they identify and respond to distressed parents in the PICU and 2) using a text-message based data collection system to evaluate parent experiences (e.g., traumatic stress, anxiety) during and after hospitalization of their child in the PICU.

Julia Tager

Julia’s primary research involves investigating experiences of stress, coping, and resilience among families of children with medical complexity. Currently, the main project in this area is a mixed-methods study, involving both in-depth qualitative interviews and validated survey measures, of the lived experiences of parents whose children are served by a Complex Care Program.

Key External Collaborators

The Child Stress and Coping Lab has multiple ongoing collaborative research projects. Below is a list of our current key external research collaborators:

  1. Gastroenterology (GI)/Feeding Clinic (Medical College of Wisconsin): Research topics in the Children’s Wisconsin GI/Feeding Clinic include quality of life of youth with constipation and enuresis, treatment outcomes for youth with elimination disorders, quality of life with feeding disorders, parenting stress and meal time behaviors, and coding of feeding observations.
  2. Jane B. Pettit Pain & Headache Center (Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin): Research topics with the CHW Pain Clinic include long term treatment outcomes, sibling relationships, quality of life, anxiety sensitivity, complementary and alternative medicine, and experiences of pain dismissal.
  3. Critical Care (Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin): Research related to critical care is being conducted in collaboration with the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Special Needs Program at Children’s Wisconsin and focuses on improving the well-being of children with serious complex medical conditions and their families. Research topics include family stress/distress, provider and interpreter secondary traumatic stress, provider communication, measure development, and the use of text-based data collection with parents.
  4. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS): There are multiple ongoing research projects being conducted with RFUMS faculty and students, primarily focused on adherence and transitional services for adolescents and young adults with chronic health conditions.
  5. Primary Care Pediatrics (Children’s Wisconsin and Midtown Pediatrics Clinic): Utilizing an integrated behavioral health approach, research projects within these pediatric clinics focus on interventions aimed to promote child and adolescent sleep, primarily Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
  6. Next Door Foundation: Next Door is a community foundation focused on supporting child development through family-based interventions aimed to promote academic, physical, and emotional success. Current projects with Next Door Foundation are focused on supporting healthy sleep.
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