Family, Affect, Beliefs & Behaviors Lab


Family Affect, Beliefs, and Behaviors Lab Members

Primary Investigator:
Amy G. Halberstadt

Graduate Students:
Calvin Sims
Alison Cooke
Dejah Oertwig
Grace Shaughnessy

FABB Lab Alumni and Current Colleagues:
Patsy A. Sibley
Vanessa L. Castro
Fantasy T. Lozada
Kevin A. Leary
Ashley B. Craig
Malathie P. Dissanayake
Rebecca L. Stelter
Karen Beale
Alison Parker
Julie Thompson


A. Halberstadt

Amy Halberstadt, Professor

e-mail: Amy_Halberstadt@ncsu.edu


I am the Principal Investigator in the Family Affect, Beliefs, and Behavior Lab here at North Carolina State University. I received my A.B. at Colgate University, and my Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University, where I studied under the tutelage of Judith Hall. At the graduate level, I teach seminars in Social Development, Psychology of Emotion. At the undergraduate level, I teach Psychology of Emotion and Independent Study in Emotion.

Things I like: Australia and New Zealand, camping in almost any wilderness, coffee ice cream (with almonds), boogie boarding in the rare snows of North Carolina, growing my own vegetables and flowers, lab dinners for which we all cook together, learning Spanish, making pottery.

Things I dislike: Sexism, racism, and chiggers.

Interesting Tidbit: I am vegetarian and TV-free.

Research Interests

  • Socialization of emotional experience and expression in the family and in schools, and embedded within culture.
  • Socialization of specific emotions -- sadness, pride, schadenfreude, gratitude, and entitlement are current favorites
  • Affective social competence, including the skills of effectively sending, understanding, and experiencing emotion in interpersonal settings;
  • Parents’ beliefs and behaviors relating to emotion, and across ethnicity and gender
  • Socialization of gender in the family, and particularly in relation to language
  • Gender-transcendent childrearing
  • Feminist and non-racist pedagogy, with warmth and enthusiasm

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A. Halberstadt

Calvin Sims, Graduate Student

Email cmsims@ncsu.edu

LinkedIn Profile

I am a fourth year, graduate student in the Family, Affect, Beliefs and Behavior Lab! I graduated with a BA in Psychology from Wake Forest University and earned my MA in General Psychology from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. My current research interests focus on applying developmental theory to an educational framework in understanding how to improve academic outcomes for students, specifically minority ones. The classroom is an dynamic environment rich with emotional experience, communication and belief system. My desire is to understand how culture influences the way in which both how teachers instruct and how students learn. I'm interested in the role that culture plays in students' motivations in the classroom, as well as how they come to understand emotion within an educational context. This is developmentally important since throughout the school year, as well as throughout a child's journey in the school system, how children are able to understand culture, as well as how teachers are able to understand their students, whose cultures may differ from their own, is going to directly impact the academic and professional outcomes of students as well as relational experiences with students that teachers have. My research focuses on how teachers' beliefs about race and their beliefs about relationships determine the academic achievement levels of their students. As culture is all around, I am fascinated by how teachers' implicit and explicit racial biases' may impact their views on relationship closeness with students.

Things I like: Spider-Man, Weightlifting, Theology, the color Orange, and "Jessica Jones" is now my new favorite Netflix guilty pleasure. Also, I love my Cleveland Browns though you're not supposed to admit to such a thing in public.

Things I dislike: The common housefly, Yellow stop lights, people who don't laugh.

Interesting tidbit: I've recently returned to full vegetarianism, still learning how to swim and I'm starting to teach myself about investment / stocks and bonds. Reddit is amazing.

Research Interests:

  1. Cross cultural communication and misinterpretation / misunderstanding between European American teachers and minority students
  2. Increasing engagement in academic endeavors in minority children
  3. The role of teachers' use of compassion in the classroom, as well as the onset of compassion burnout and its consequences
  4. Classroom warmth and how the environment of the classroom can both enhance and reduce student engagment
  5. Academially gifted children's experiences in the classroom, and relationships with both their peers and their teachers. I'd also like to begin study into the unique experiences of minority academically gifted children in education.

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Alison Cooke, Second year Graduate student

Email: ancook2@ncsu.edu

I am a second year graduate student in the Family, Affect, Beliefs, and Behavior Lab! I graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Louisiana State University. From there I earned a masters in experimental psychology at Appalachian State University. My current research focuses on the development of emotion understanding and the various influences on this development throughout childhood and the lifespan.

Research Interests:

      • How the two components of emotion understanding, recognition and knowledge, change                             independently throughout the lifespan.
      • Underlying skills that enable individuals to reach emotion understanding.      
      • Factors that influence the development, maintenance, and improvement of emotion understanding.
      • Cultural influences on emotion socialization and understanding.

Things I like: wine, books, camping, roadtrips, chocolate

Things I dislike: lack of sleep, lack of books

Interesting tidbit: I’m working on visiting all 50 states in the U.S. Current: 30/50

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Dejah Oertwig, Second year Graduate student

Email: daoetwi@ncsu.edu  

I am a second year graduate and researcher in the Family, Affect, Beliefs and Behaviors Lab! I graduated with a B.A in Theatre with a minor in music from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, NM. I then moved to Los Angles, CA where I pursued acting and comedy. Through my experiences and developing detest for “the industry”, I realized that what I loved the most about acting was the task of understanding motivations and emotional states rather than the re-creation of emotions. Psychology, intuitively, was the best fit for my evolving passion. I supplemented my liberal arts degree with multiple psychology classes from Pennsylvania State University and a yearlong self-created research project with the Lehigh Valley Health Network. My research interests are broadly focused on emotional development and understanding throughout the lifespan.

Research Interests:

        • How parental socioemotional strategies adjust or don’t as children age
        • How emotional development may differ depending on context (i.e. culture and social) and                           individual temperament.
        • Implicit racial bias present in the classroom and how this construct effects the achievement or                     lack-there-of of minority students.

Things I like: laughter, wine, guilty pleasure television, unique perspectives, supportive felines, singing in the car…

Things I don’t like: bullies, taking one’s self too seriously, close-mindedness, bad drivers

Interesting tidbit: I was named after a character from the science fiction novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Grace Shaughnessy, First year Graduate student

Email: grshaugh@ncsu.edu  

I am a first year graduate student in the Family, Affects, Beliefs, and Behaviors Lab. I graduated with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. My research interests are currently focused on the socialization of emotions, specifically in relation to race and gender.

Research Interests:

        • How parental socialization creates differences in emotion expression across gender.
        • The differences in the perception of emotions across races.
        • How emotion expression (or suppression) is socialized differently between races.
        • How implicit and explicit bias effects perceptions of emotions in African American faces.

Things I like: Traveling, trying new beers, football (Go Steelers!), and animated children’s movies.

Things I dislike: Country music, bed bugs, and bigoted people.

Interesting tidbit: I have 18 younger cousins and I like to attribute my interest in child development to all the experiences I had while being used as a free babysitter!

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FABB Lab Alumni & Current Colleagues

Patsy Sibley, Ph.D.

Scholar-in-Residence: Women in Science and Engineering Village

email: pasibley@ncsu.edu


Vanessa Castro, Ph.D.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow

email: v.castro@neu.edu


Ashley Craig, Ph.D.

Reseasrcher Associate II at 3-C Institute for Social Development

email: abcraig07@gmail.com


Researcher Associate II at 3-C Institute for Social Development

Alison Parker, Ph.D.

Research Scientist at innovation Research and Training, Durham, NC

e-mail: aparker@irtinc.us


Karen Beale, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology at Maryville College

e-mail: karen.beale@maryville.edu

Julie A. Thompson, Ph.D.

Research Associate and Statistical Consultant at Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC



Malathie P. Dissanayake, Ph. D.

Head, Department of Psychology and Medical Psychology, South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, Malabe, Sri Lanka

e-mail: m_dissa1974@yahoo.com



Rebecca Stelter, Ph.D.

Research Scientist at innovation Research and Training, Durham, NC

email: rstelter@irtinc.us


Fantasy Lozada, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan Center of the Study of Black Youth in Context

email: ftlozada@umich.edu


Kevin Leary, Ph.D.

Research Associate at 3C Institute for Social Development

email: kevin.a.leary@gmail.com





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