Wormuth ’12 Researches Friendships – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Wormuth ’12 Researches Friendships

Bernadette Wormuth ’12 jumped at the chance to spend her summer researching the differences between “online” and “offline” friendships among college-age students. A rising senior majoring in psychology and English, with a minor in health professions, Wormuth enthusiastically accepted the offer to work with Assistant Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery.

The two have been analyzing data collected during the school year in order to identify variables that impact psychological adjustment into a college environment. They have been working on a manuscript on their research titled, “Offline and Online Friendship Experiences Among College Students: Associations with Psychological and Academic Adjustment,” which they plan to submit to the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Once the manuscript is completed they will create a poster abstract for submissions to the Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Conference.

In addition to researching college-level friendships, Wormuth also helped write an article on Kingery’s past research titled, “A Closer Look at Parent’s Worries and Children’s Anxiety as Risk Factors for Homesickness: Practical Strategies for Camp Staff and Families.” The article, which was submitted to Camping Magazine, is aimed at helping camp counselors, staff workers and families handle homesickness.

This fall, Wormuth and Kingery will continue their collaboration through Wormuth’s independent study. This summer, Wormuth has been compiling information for a chapter she will write in the fall on the treatment of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents.

“I greatly appreciated Bernadette’s positive attitude and persistence through every step of the research process,” says Kingery. “From checking data to summarizing research articles and co-writing a manuscript for a psychology journal, Bernadette completed each task eagerly and thoroughly. Throughout the eight-week program, she broadened her own skills and also helped me accomplish several important research goals. Overall, summer research was a valuable collaborative learning opportunity for both us.”

Wormuth plans to attend graduate school for psychological counseling.  “I would love to go to graduate school to specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and work with children, adolescents and/or young adults,” says Wormuth, noting she’s interested in a variety of career paths at this point. “I can see myself working with a broad range of people such as at-risk adolescents, young adults with eating disorders, individuals who are in rehab for substance abuse, or maybe even college students who are having a difficult time transitioning from their home environments to the college lifestyle.”

“I cannot thank Professor Kingery enough for giving me the opportunity to work with her as her research assistant. I feel very lucky to work with someone who is so passionate and devoted to the field of psychology,” she says.

In the photo above, Assistant Professor Julie Kingery and Bernadette Wormuth’12 meet in Kingery’s Gulick Hall office.