The CALMER Lab is devoted to the mission of helping understand and improve the social and emotional development of children and adolescents, particularly those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). More specifically, we are interested in examining youth and family level factors such as comorbid disorders (anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, autism spectrum disorder, substance use) and parenting behaviors that predict better social and emotional outcomes. Additionally, our lab seeks to evaluate the acceptability and efficacy of the RELAX (Regulating Emotions Like An eXpert) Intervention for adolescents with ADHD. RELAX teaches coping, communication, and conflict management skills to adolescents ages 12-16, and works with parents to support their adolescents in effectively using these skills at home, school, and with peers.
Rosanna Breaux, Director
Dr. Breaux's research focuses on the emotional and social functioning of children and adolescents with ADHD, with a focus on emotion regulation. She is also interested in understanding the role parents play in shaping children and adolescent's social and emotional development. She utilizes a multi-method of assessing emotional development, including behavioral ratings, behavioral observations, and psychophysiological measures of ANS activity. Additionally, Dr. Breaux is working to evaluate and disseminate the RELAX intervention for adolescents with ADHD.
Annah Cash, Graduate Student
Annah Cash is a graduate student in the Clinical Science doctoral program at Virginia Tech. In 2018 she graduated from Belhaven University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During her post-baccalaureate time she was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer internship at Ohio University. Then went on to become a Researcher III at the University of MS Medical Center where she worked on federally funded grants that helped establish a continuum of care that spanned from the NICU to adolescence. Broadly, her research interests include the intersection between behavioral/emotional disorders and disordered eating patterns, specifically in relation to ADHD; and how emotion regulation/self-coping mechanisms could potentially ameliorate symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD and other behavioral disorders.
Jasmine Lewis, Graduate Student
Jasmine Lewis is a graduate student in the Biological Psychology doctoral program at Virginia Tech. She graduated from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill with a Bachelors in Psychology and from Liberty University with a Masters in Biomedical Sciences. Before joining the CALMER lab, she worked as a research coordinator at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Recently, she worked as a hotline coordinator working with survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking. Broadly, her research interests include the effects of trauma and stress on parent-child interactions.
Delshad Shroff, Graduate Student
Delshad Shroff is a graduate student in the Clinical Science doctoral program at Virginia Tech. She graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a Bachelors in Psychology and from Teachers College, Columbia University with a Masters in Developmental Psychology. Before joining the CALMER lab, Delshad worked as a Research Coordinator for the Attention and Behavior Clinic at the Penn State College of Medicine. Broadly, her research interests include examining the development of emotion regulation and executive functioning in early childhood and its implications on the development of psychopathology. Specifically, she is interested in investigating links between parent emotion regulation and children’s emotional and behavioral functioning. Her goal in studying this is to develop and implement
evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies for children with behavioral disorders, especially ADHD.
Courtney Swanson, Graduate Student
Courtney Swanson is a graduate student in the Clinical Science doctoral program at Virginia Tech. In 2019, she graduated with honors from Indiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minors in Criminology and Counseling. During her years as an undergraduate, she was a Research Assistant in several labs including ISU’s ADHD Clinic. Broadly, her research interests include the role of key demographic factors on treatment utilization and efficacy, comorbidity of ADHD and other behavioral and emotional disorders, and how early identification and intervention can result in improved developmental trajectories. Her Master's Thesis examines whether social competencies in preschoolers predict psychopathology symtpoms in childhood and adolescence.
Current Research Projects
RELAX Virtual Intervention Study
We are currently recruiting for online groups of the RELAX intervention for middle schoolers with ADHD (IRB # 20-013). The RELAX intervention consists of 8 weekly 90 minute groups for parents and adolescents. With a review session 1 month and 6 months after the groups are completed. Families will complete ratings on emotional, social, behavioral, and academic functioning before and after the RELAX groups and at follow-up. Please contact the CALMER lab if you are interested in learning more about the study or in participating (email@example.com; 540-231-8511).
Child and Adolescent Social-Emotional Development Study
We invite families of children ages 4-13 to participate in a Virginia Tech research study (IRB # 19-834) focused on how parents can help foster more positive development of social and emotional competencies as children grow. This study includes 3 annual visits in which families will complete questionnaires about emotional, social, and behavioral health; participate in play tasks; and complete weekly ratings for a two week period. Please contact the CALMER lab if you are interested in learning more about the study or in participating (firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-231-8511).
Undergraduate Students: Are you an undergraduate student interested in being involved in clinical child research? If so, contact Dr. Breaux and the CALMER lab at CALMERlab@gmail.com with your name, major, GPA, and resume/CV. Please note - we are not recruiting undergraduate RAs for Spring 2021. Interested in summer research? Consider applying for the MAOP Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (https://www.maop.vt.edu/Undergraduate_programs/summer_research.html).
Postbaccalaureate Students: Interested in increasing your competitiveness for getting a PhD? Check out the VT PREP (Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program) program (https://prep.apsc.vt.edu/).
Graduate Students: Dr. Breaux will not be taking a graduate student for the 2021-2022 school year. If you are interested in learning more about the Clinical Science program at Virginia Tech, please check out our program website and brochure.