As a part of my Doctoral studies at Florida International University, I was involved in a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health for the purpose of designing, evaluating, and improving the psychosocial interventions to help children and adolescents who suffer from excessive fear and anxiety. One of the specific goals of this research was to examine potential mediators of therapeutic change using randomized controlled clinical trial designs.

A part of this research project was my Dissertation study entitled “An Evaluation of  Functional Impairment among Children with Anxiety Disorders.” The goal of this research project was to examine the impact of CBT on improving daily life functioning of youth with anxiety disorders with respect to their interpersonal relationships, performance in school, and the capacity to enjoy life. The emphasis was on how, in what direction, with whom, and under what condition psychosocial treatments aimed at reducing youth anxiety disorders mediate change significantly in youth’s daily life functioning in school, at home, and society at large.

For my Master’s Thesis study entitled “Against All Odds: Aggressive Behavior and Self-Efficacy as the Key Factor for High-Risk Children’s Resilience,” I investigated protective factors associated with youth positive development in the context of childhood maltreatment. Specifically, the goal of my research was to examine whether a high level of self-efficacy or one’s belief in the power to produce, influence, and change social environment is contributing to resilience against aggressive behavior development in a context of stressful life-events. This research project’s results were presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of Florida Academy of Science and received an award of an Outstanding Graduate Student Paper.

During my undergraduate studies at Florida Atlantic University, I was involved in Evolutionary Psychology research laboratory, investigating potential factors leading to filicide. In recognition of my hard work and dedication to this research project, I received a Researcher of the Year 2003 award issued by the Broward Psychology Association.

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Written on June 11th, 2011

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Dr. Irina Fredericks

Licensed Mental Health Counselor