Family, Affect, Beliefs & Behaviors Lab


Family Affect, Beliefs, and Behaviors Lab Members

Primary Investigator:
Amy G. Halberstadt

Graduate Students:
Patsy Sibley
Vanessa Castro
Calvin Sims

Guest Graduate Intern 2013-2014:
Kristin Johnson

FABB Lab Alumni and Current Colleagues:
Ashley Craig
Malathie P. Dissanayake
Rebecca Stelter
Karen Beale
Alison Parker
Julie Thompson

Kevin Leary
Fantasy Lozada   


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 Gender, and Emotion.  At the undergraduate level, I teach Psychology of Gender, and Emotion. 

Things I like:  Australia, 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 in Costa Rica, 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 embedded within cultural cues.
    • Socialization of specific emotions -- anger, 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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Patsy Sibley, Graduate Student

email: pasibley@ncsu.edu

I am a fourth-year graduate student and researcher in the Family Affect, Beliefs, and Behaviors Lab. I graduated from the University of Alabama with an Honors B.S. in Psychology in 2007. I am currently working on several projects that examine how mothers' use of emotion socialization strategies differ based on the gender of the child and the cultural context of the family.

Things I like: Bikram yoga, musical theater, political activism, social documentaries, college football, smoothies, nail polish, and gluten-free food.

Things I dislike: condescending people, close-mindedness, sexism, and cigarette smoke.

Interesting tidbit: I have a freakishly strong sense of smell. It's practically a super power.

Research Interests:

  1. Social construction of gender
  2. Parental socialization of emotion by gender
  3. Gender issues through the lifespan
  4. Gender stereotypes, roles, and power
  5. Culture and race and their impact on social development

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Vanessa Castro, Graduate Student

e-mail: vlcastr2@ncsu.edu

I am a third-year graduate student in the Family, Affect, Beliefs, and Behaviors Lab. I graduated from Northeastern University in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology and received my M.A. in Experimental Psychology in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts. My research examines the factors that predict enhanced emotion receiving abilities in children as well as the contexts in which such abilities develop, with a focus at the levels of family and culture. I am also interested in how elements of the family such as parental mental health and stress influence children’s social and emotional outcomes through children’s emotion understanding. I am currently working on several projects including the development of emotion recognition abilities in children within the family dyad (e.g., parent and child), examining and defining the construct of emotion understanding, and using sensitivity to spatiotemporal forms to predict emotion recognition ability.

Things I like: dancing (both classical and “for fun”), New England, coffee, beaches and shores, television, high intensity interval training, yoga, healthy cooking, food, DIY

Things I dislike: complaining, lack of sleep, bullies (at all ages), small-mindedness

Interesting tidbit: I performed at Epcot Center in Disney World several times.

Research Interests:

  1. Emotion understanding
    • How is emotion understanding conceptualized across the lifespan?
    • How do we learn to attribute emotion to nonverbal cues?
  2. Emotion recognition development in children
    • How do these abilities unfold over time?
    • What are the antecedents that lead to or predict this ability?
  3. Parental socialization of emotion-understanding
    • How do parents’ own abilities, beliefs, and behaviors influence this development?

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A. Halberstadt

Calvin Sims, Graduate Student

e-mail: cmsims@ncsu.edu

I am a second 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. Afterwards, I spent some time working in quality improvement before joining a developmental research firm in Durham, NC named innovation, Research and Training. It was during this period in my professional life that I developed a love for both curriculum development and prevention work with children. Working under Dr. Alison Parker, herself an alumna of the FABB Lab, my research interests have grown and developed. As I begin my academic journey, I am interested in a few different aspects of child socialization. First and foremost, I am fascinated by how teachers’ beliefs of children affect academic performance and peer relationships and how race and culture may both play a role in this unique interplay within the classroom and at home. I am also intrigued by parents (specifically fathers) role in the socio-emotional development of children, and how this may or may not vary by race, culture or class

Things I like: Running, Peanut Butter, Theology, Comic books, pretty much anything colored Orange has my heart.

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

Research Interests:

  1. Role of teacher's beliefs about emotion and race in child emotion socialization
  2. How parent beliefs about children's emotions differ by culture and gender
  3. Child emotional regulation in the classroom

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FABB Lab Alumni & Current Colleagues

Ashley, Craig Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher at 3-C Institute for Social Development

email: abcraig07@gmail.com





Alison Parker, Ph.D.

Research Associate at innovation Research and Training, Durham, NC

e-mail: aparker@irtinc.us



Karen Beale, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology at Maryville College

e-mail: karen.beale@maryville.edu

Julie A. Thompson, Ph.D.

Adjunct Reseacher 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 Associate 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.

Post Doctoral Researcher at 3C Institute for Social Development

email: kevin.a.leary@gmail.com

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