Healthy Emotional Development Lab

The Healthy Emotional Development (HED) Lab is a dynamic group of undergraduate and graduate student research scientists, led by Dr. Sara Waters. We investigate young children’s emotions, stress, and coping in the context of the parent-child relationship. We use a multi-method approach to our research that includes recordings of physiological responses (i.e., heart rate, heart rate variability), observations of behavior (i.e., parent-child interaction), interviews, and questionnaires. Studies are primarily conducted at the psychophysiology lab space on the WSU Vancouver campus. Our research team meets weekly to discuss articles we are reading together, ongoing research studies, and upcoming projects.

Undergraduate students in the HED Lab gain experience in all aspects of human development research – from participant recruitment to implementing study protocols with parents and children to behavioral coding, and data management. Undergraduate research assistants may receive course credit through HD 485 or HD 498 and are encouraged to present their mentored work at regional conferences and the WSU Undergraduate Research Showcase.

Graduate students in the HED Lab design and conduct independent research studies, train and supervise undergraduate research assistants, and present their work at national conferences. They also have opportunities to collaborate with extension faculty and researchers at other universities as well as apply for fellowships and grants.