A Summer in Review

This was my second summer working for the Healthy Beginnings Lab. Overall, this summer I had more confidence in my knowledge of the Glass Task experiment were are continuously running, of scheduling for the lab, family drawing coding, coding in general, and data entry. I learned new skills such as data entry, and honed others such as recruitment for the lab which involved making a recruitment plan and pitching our experiment to different institutions or organizations that might help us advertise our study to mothers and kids. Last summer, I was one of the newest members in the lab, and felt very unsure of myself, particularly while running participants. By the time this summer rolled around, I was tasked with leading scheduling and recruitment efforts for the lab, as well as most training efforts for new members who joined us in May. Additionally, I got to experience grant-writing for a second time when I, under the supervision of Dr. Danielle Dallaire, proposed a third condition to the Glass Task experiment that will compare mother-child interactions over video call and in-person that we hope to begin piloting soon. It is hard to believe how quickly time has passed and how much our lab has accomplished since I joined it.

A fair amount of my summer was devoted to accumulating sources on attachment theory, to learn more about a very important aspect of our lab’s work: measuring attachment security in young children. I have collected works from John Bowlby, one of the founders of modern attachment theory, as well as numerous journal articles on the subject and have begun reading them in order to build up my knowledge of the theory that supports our lab’s work. I am interested in how attachment style and security can be measured across the life span, but particularly in young children. I am also looking into the distinction between attachment style and temperament, as well as the impact of different parenting styles on attachment in young children. In additional to several journal articles, I have read Bowlby’s A Secure Base, which details the three main types of attachment and the parenting styles that have been associated with each, as well as the ensuing behaviors, cognitions, and emotional lives of the children who fall into the various attachment categories.

Lastly, our lab said goodbye to some graduating seniors and wished them well on their next adventures. Our summer lab crew was a tight-knit group, and some of my favorite memories from this summer are our weekly pot luck dinners and movie nights. Bonding as a lab made all the work we did together, even data cleaning, that much more enjoyable. I look forward to picking back up with our work in a few weeks when the fall term starts, my last semester before I graduate.