• Name: Clarissa Richardson, Ph.D.
  • Institution: University of Idaho
  • Department: Psychology and Communication Studies
  • Phone: 208-885-6324
  • Email: crichardson@uidaho.edu

Summary: The Richardson Psychology Lab conducts research related to stress, coping, and mental health, with a focus on understanding factors that impact the HPA axis (physiological stress response). The lab also has an interest in rural mental health disparities. Some projects specifically assess interventions (e.g., mindfulness) aimed at improving stress while others employ survey methodology and standardized stress paradigms with salivary cortisol measurement to better understand the roles of stressful life events and coping resources in predicting stress reactivity. Other projects use community-based research paradigms to involve rural communities in all aspects of the research project, with a focus on improving access to mental health resources and reducing stigma in rural areas.

Minimum classes: Completion of research methods and statistics is desirable

Projects: INBRE Summer Fellows will assist with research projects at various stages of the research process, from study development, participant recruitment, data analysis, and even manuscript prep. These projects will be in the areas of stress, coping, and mental health as well as rural mental health disparities. Students will receive intensive training in working with SPSS, the statistical software used by clinical/counseling psychologists, and spend time working with data collected during a mindfulness intervention study. Students will also assist in conducting a study assessing the role of rumination and avoidant coping in predicting depression/anxiety following stressful life events. Summer Fellows will learn to collect and analyze salivary cortisol in the lab using immunoassay kits. Students may also assist with building community partnerships and collecting data on various mental health outcomes in rural areas in Idaho.

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