Eastern Michigan University receives a $445K grant to aid in research investigating the development of self-control in preschool children

The three-year study will help clinicians, parents identify points of intervention in preschoolers

YPSILANTI, Mich., Feb. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Behavioral problems in children can occur at any time during their early years, but when is the right time to intervene. With the help of a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Eastern Michigan professors and students will explore how preschool-aged children control their behavior and emotion in different environmental settings and what contributing factors make it harder for them to lose control. The study will help clinicians and parents understand when intervention is necessary to prevent long-term disorders in the future.

The three-year research study, led by EMU's Assistant Professor of Psychology Jamie Lawler, and Associate Professor of Psychology Angela Staples, will involve 100 families, mainly in Washtenaw County and neighboring cities. Undergraduate and graduate students will help collect and observe the data related to sleep patterns, socioeconomic status and cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone, and how these factors interact with a child's wellbeing.

The ability to control behavior and emotions is related to a lot of outcomes in life, such as how well children do in school, social relationships, and their mental health," said EMU's Assistant Professor of Psychology Jamie Lawler. "When children have struggled with controlling their behavior, it puts them at higher risk for developing emotional and behavioral disorders.

"Research investigating the variables surrounding childhood outcomes is necessary to find methods of optimizing childhood outcomes and lessening disparities in childhood experiences," said Centia Thomas," doctoral fellow for clinical psychology at Eastern Michigan University. "I am grateful and excited that we are being given the opportunity and resources to partake in such important foundational work."

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

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SOURCE Eastern Michigan University