IBS Speaker Series: Laura Michaelson (PBPYD)

When: Monday, September 30th 12:00 pm
Where: IBS 155
Who: Laura Michaelson

Title: Advancing Theory and Methods to Promote Positive Youth Development 

Abstract: Children are faced with developing the skills to regulate their behavior, and their success in doing so has lifelong personal and social consequences. In this talk, I will describe my research on children’s self-regulation, the social and cognitive factors that affect it, and intervention and prevention programs that aim to improve self-regulation and associated outcomes. First, I will summarize converging evidence from laboratory experiments and quantitative models demonstrating social influences on self-regulation, both in the moment and in the long-term across development. These findings depart from prominent psychological theories of self-regulation, which focus on children’s cognitive capacities, and suggest new directions for intervention. Next, I will discuss some of my ongoing research on contemplative and mindfulness programs to improve well-being in children, including a short-term feasibility evaluation and a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of school-based mindfulness programs. These are projects being conducted in collaboration with faculty in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and the learning sciences, illustrating my interdisciplinary orientation. Finally, I will describe my activities with the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development registry, which focus on improving the quality and credibility of evaluation evidence from youth programs, practices, and policies, and my vision for a future program research at IBS.

Bio: Laura Michaelson, Ph.D., is a Research Associate in the Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development Program at the Institute of Behavioral Science. She earned her doctorate in 2017 in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder with a dual degree in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science and a graduate certificate in Quantitative Methods in the Behavioral Sciences. Laura currently works on the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development project and holds a dual appointment with the Renée Crown Wellness Institute.

Light lunch will be provided.