Psychology Faculty Present at SRA Conference – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Psychology Faculty Present at SRA Conference

This spring, Associate Professor of Psychology Julie Newman Kingery and Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Jack Peltz delivered research presentations at the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) conference in Baltimore, Md.

Through its biennial meetings and publishing efforts, the SRA focuses on the theoretical, empirical and policy research issues of adolescence.

Kingery presented a research poster, “Specific Self-Esteem Domains as Predictors of Psychological, Social and Academic Adjustment Across the Middle School Transition.” The research was co-authored with HWS students Emily Janik ’16, Kai Schara ’16 and Katie Yochim ’16, as well as with University of Maine Professor of Psychology Cynthia Erdley, Kingery’s research collaborator.

Results of this study indicate that children’s beliefs about their academic abilities prior to the middle school transition predicted their level of involvement in school and their academic achievement after the transition. Children’s pre-transition perceptions of social competence were associated with their post-transition social adjustment (e.g., peer acceptance, number of friends). Finally, children’s pre-transition behavioral self-esteem was related to post-transition loneliness and depression, as well as their academic adjustment.

According to Kingery, “The findings presented in this poster are important, as they suggest that pre-transition interventions targeting specific domains of self-esteem could lead not only to improved post-transition psychological and social adjustment but also to better academic functioning.” 

Peltz’s poster, “The Indirect Effects of Sleep Hygiene and Environmental Factors on Depressive Symptoms in College Students,” was co-authored with Associate Professor of Psychology Ronald Rogge of the University of Rochester. Peltz and Rogge also co-authored the research talk “Bidirectional associations between anxiety and sleep quality in college students,” which Peltz delivered at the SRA conference.

Data for the studies Peltz presented were collected with the help of students from his “Research in Clinical Psychology” class during the spring 2015 semester. In this class students were offered the opportunity to create studies based on sleep data obtained from students at HWS and other colleges and universities. In fact, in collaboration with two students, Peltz recently submitted an article describing the bidirectional associations between sleep and anxiety symptoms in college students.

Kingery, who is currently chair of the psychology department at HWS, joined the faculty in 2007. She earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Richmond and her Ph.D. in developmental and clinical psychology from the University of Maine. Her research has been published in a number of journals, most recently in The Behavior Therapist, Anxiety, Stress, & Coping: An International Journal and Merrill-Palmer Quarterly.  

Peltz, who joined the faculty in 2013, earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester, his M.A. in child development from Tufts University and his B.A. in Japanese from Middlebury College. He recently published articles in The Journal of Family Psychology and Sleep Health. He received a grant from the National Sleep Foundation to examine influences on insufficient sleep in high school students.