Sabrina Thurman, mentored research students present at regional and international professional psychology conferences

Members of the Infant Development Lab attended and presented research at scholarly conferences in Salt Lake City and New Orleans this spring.

Members of the Infant Development Lab at Elon recently attended and presented research at scholarly conferences in Salt Lake City and New Orleans.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Sabrina Thurman directs the Infant Development Lab, which focuses on understanding how infants acquire postural and locomotor skills such as sitting, reaching, crawling and walking in the first two years of life. In Spring 2023, lab members include Provost Scholar Tiffany Pham ’23, Elon College Fellow Becca Rose ’23, Hannah Higgins ’23 and Elon College Fellow Parker Fairfield ’24.

From left to right: Sabrina Thurman and Tiffany Pham at SRCD 2023

Lab members Pham and Rose attended and presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, which was held March 23-25 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Attendance at the conference averages 6,500 and includes professionals and graduate students in psychology, human development, family studies, education, public policy, sociology, social work, psychiatry, pediatrics and public health.

Conference topics span from prenatal development to adolescence. Pham presented a poster titled, “Mother and infant contributions to maintaining physical closeness during play: A longitudinal study,” and Rose presented a poster titled, “Strategy Use in Infant Pull-to-Stand Behaviors: A Longitudinal Investigation.”

From left to right: Sabrina Thurman and Becca Rose at SRCD 2023

Lab members Higgins and Fairfield attended and presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, which was held April 5-8 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

SEPA is the largest psychological organization in the southeast and one of largest in the United States. The purpose of SEPA is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare. Their poster was titled “Parental beliefs about motor development and practices to support infants in indoor and outdoor environments.”

From left to right: Hannah Higgins, Parker Fairfield, and Sabrina Thurman at SEPA 2023

Thurman’s research students benefitted from networking and professional development opportunities at both conferences. Student travel to these conferences was supported by the Undergraduate Research Program, Elon College Fellows, and the Psychology Department. Mentored students in the Infant Development Lab come from a variety of diverse backgrounds and go on to graduate and professional programs.

Thurman has published on mentoring in psychology, adaptive undergraduate research mentoring, and is currently serving as a Co-Guest Editor for a special issue of Perspectives on Undergraduate Research Mentoring, on mentoring undergraduate research during times of uncertainty.