Adolescent Adjustment Project


The Adolescent Adjustment Project (AAP) is a longitudinal NIH-funded research project directed by Dr. Christine Ohannessian. The project currently includes over 1,400 adolescents and a subset of their parents.

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Congratulations Dr. Nicole Watkins!

Congratulations to Dr. Nicole Watkins, who recently passed her dissertation defense in Learning and Developmental Sciences at Indiana University! Dr. Watkins is currently a post-doctoral fellow with the Center for Behavioral Health at Connecticut Children’s.

Welcome Dr. Katie Newkirk to the Center for Behavioral Health!

Dr. Katie Newkirk is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Behavioral Health at Connecticut Children’s. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2018 from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, where she researched working parents’ mental health and relationships across the transition to parenthood, with attention to how employment factors and family processes during this life stage are related to parents’ mental health and children’s developmental outcomes. Her dissertation addressed how postpartum depression and comorbid anxiety are related to father involvement in childcare. Her research interests include parents’ mental health in the context of work and family life, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, family behavioral health integration with medical care, and trajectories of depression and anxiety at different points across the lifespan. Her current research focuses on parents’ work and adolescent mental health, and predictors of trajectories of depression and anxiety during adolescence and early adulthood. We are excited to have Dr. Newkirk join our team!

Welcome Nicole Watkins to the Center for Behavioral Health!

Nicole Watkins is Post-Doctoral Fellow, who joined the Center for Behavioral Health at Connecticut Children’s in July, and has made a great addition to our team! She earned her M.S. in Learning and Developmental Sciences from Indiana University, her B.S. in Psychology from Wright State University, and is currently a doctoral student at Indiana University. Her research interests focus on adolescence, emerging adulthood, and family structure. A consistent theme in her research has been predictors of health and well-being of adolescents and emerging adults, specifically focusing on three related areas of study, including studies of: (a) differences in the associations between parental divorce and parental death on educational outcomes and risk behaviors, (b) timing of family transitions and associations with child and emerging adult health, and (c) romantic relationships during adolescence and emerging adulthood.

Welcome Rachel and Cali!

We have new staff members joining our team: Rachel Taylor and Cali Salafia! Rachel is a graduate student at UConn in the human development and family studies program, and is a new research assistant at the Center for Behavioral Health. Cali is a research volunteer at the Center for Behavioral Health and is pursuing her Master’s degree in health psychology at Central Connecticut State University.

SRCD Biennial Meeting 2019!

We recently presented our research at the Society for Research in Child Development meeting in Baltimore, MD.

Congratulations to Dr. Courtney Lincoln!

Congratulations to Dr. Courtney Lincoln for receiving her Ph.D. in Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Connecticut! Courtney now is working as a post-doctoral fellow at the Yale University Child Study Center. We will miss her at the Center for Behavioral Health and wish her the best of luck!

SAHM Annual Meeting 2019!

We recently returned from presenting at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in Washington, DC. Check out the presentations page to view our poster entitled, “Maternal and paternal problem drinking trajectories predict anxiety during adolescence.”

New AAP article in press!

A new AAP article has just been accepted for publication and is available online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies! The journal article is entitled, “Does coping mediate the relationship between adolescent-parent communication and adolescent internalizing symptoms?” Be sure to also check out the publications page for more information!

SRCD Special Topic Meeting

Dr. Christine McCauley Ohannessian and Anna Vannucci recently returned from presenting at the Society for Research in Child Development Special Topic Meeting in Philadelphia, PA! Check out the presentations page to view their poster entitled, “Gender differences in the temporal relationship between youth development program participation and self-competence in adolescents.”

New AAP article published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence!

The Journal of Research on Adolescence recently published two of our articles online entitled, “Adolescent psychological functioning and membership in latent adolescent-parent communication dual trajectory classes” and “Self-competence and depressive symptoms in middle-late adolescence: Disentangling the direction of effect.” For a list of all AAP publications, please visit the Publications page.