Sarah Burstein ’19 was recently awarded a $1,500 research grant from Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology. The grant is funding her proposal, “Mindfulness and Alcohol Problems in Low-Income Ethnically-Diverse Adults: The Mediating Effects of Stress.”
Under the guidance of Associate Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos, Burstein will conduct research this summer and continue the project as an independent study during the fall semester. She hopes to use the research as the basis of an Honor’s project during her senior year.
Using participants from the Geneva community, Burstein’s research will focus on the role of stress as a mediator in the relationship between mindfulness and alcohol use problems in low-income and ethnically diverse adults. She hopes to add to current literature on the subject, which predominantly focuses on alcohol problems in college populations and Caucasian samples.
“We predict that mindfulness will be negatively correlated with alcohol problems and stress, whereas stress will be positively correlated with alcohol problems,” explains the psychology major. “We also predict that stress will mediate the relationship between mindfulness and alcohol problems.”
Burstein’s passion for psychology was sparked during “Introduction to Psychology” class with Associate Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery, and was further enhanced through a psychopathology course with Bodenlos.
From Burstein’s initial passion for the field of psychology grew a love for research. She received her research start under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Psychology Sara Branch, and has continued to work with her on independent study research. She also conducted research on mindfulness with Kingery.
“Professors Bodenlos, Branch and Kingery have all ignited my love of psychology,” Burstein says. “I love doing research, and hope to continue in the future.”
In addition to her psychology research, Burstein is a psychology tutor and teaching assistant, and will serve as the house manager of the “Mindfulness” theme house. She was the William Smith sophomore class president, a member of an intramural soccer team, an Orientation Mentor and athletic trainer aide.