Cathryn Booth-LaForce is the Charles and Gerda Spence Endowed Professor in the School of Nursing. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and an Affiliate of the Center on Human Development and Disability and Infant Mental Health and Development. Dr. Booth-LaForce's primary research interest is the social-emotional development of children. In longitudinal projects that follow children from infancy to adolescence, she investigates early experiences in various contexts to examine how these experiences affect children's development.
My dual perspective as a nurse-midwife and scientist has led me to focus on barriers to care for women who experience distress or stigma from conditions such as premature birth, depression, and substance use. My primary research expertise is in stress during pregnancy and postpartum using both qualitative and quantitative methods. This includes published work on parents’ distress after preterm birth and communication about postpartum depression in online communities. Mindfulness has emerged as an important variable and intervention for addressing stress, anxiety, and depression during the perinatal period. My research has shown the strong connection between mindfulness and psychological symptoms in pregnancy and the feasibility of delivering of delivering mindfulness interventions to high risk pregnant women.
Cynthia Price studies the role of interoceptive awareness on health and well-being. She developed a manualized protocol that teaches interoceptive awareness skills for self-care and emotion regulation called Mindful Awareness in Body Oriented Therapy that has been studied in individuals in recovery from substance use and/or sexual trauma, chronic pain, and HIV. She works with the CCFW to study mindfulness skills involving interoception to enhance regulation of women during pregnancy and post-partum. Cynthia is committed to community-based research and increasing access to integrative care for underserved populations. As Director of the Center for Mindful Body Awareness, she teaches and develops clinical programs: http://www.cmbaware.org/
Susan Spieker focuses her research on infant and child social and emotional development. Most of her projects investigate caregiving and child outcomes in high-risk, vulnerable populations, including low-income families and maltreating or substance-using parents. She currently directs a major clinical trial to test the comparative effectiveness of two brief, home visiting interventions to help foster parents support the relationships they are developing with their foster infants and toddlers.