Karen Mooney

Please provide a brief description of your research interests

My research focuses on the quality of peer relationships (friendships and romantic relationships) in both adolescence and emerging adulthood, and how this is associated with adjustment outcomes (e.g., academics, self-esteem, problem behaviors). I use both variable-oriented (comparing the values of variables to the values of other variables) and person-oriented (differentiating subgroups of individuals on the basis of distinctive patterns) approaches, taking advantage of their complimentary nature. For example, variable-oriented research informs us that higher levels of positivity (social support) from friends is correlated with better adjustment. The person-oriented approach via cluster analysis allows me to examine both the positivity and negativity in multiple relationships (e.g., friend, mother, and father) all at the same time in order to get a better sense of which patterns of relationship quality are common and how each pattern is associated with adjustment.

Are you looking for student research assistants for the upcoming semesters?


If yes, how many students are you looking for?


What semesters are you looking for?

Fall 2023

What years do you prefer students to be?

I prefer students to start working in my lab as sophomores or juniors so that they will be able to contribute to the lab for multiple semesters and gain experience with multiple aspects of the research process for a specific project.

In what aspects are student research assistants involved in your lab?

I involve research assistants in all aspects of the research process, such as reading relevant articles on the topic, assisting with designing studies, collecting data, entering data, cleaning data, analyzing data, interpreting results, and putting together poster presentations for conferences. Students would have the opportunity to attend these conferences as well. Although not a requirement, interested students might have the opportunity to assist with the preparation of manuscripts for publication, test their own hypotheses with our data, or even initiate their own project on a related topic.

What skills are you looking for in student research assistants?

I expect students to have completed (and done well in) both PSYC 250 and PSYC 251.  As for personal qualities, I look for conscientiousness, curiosity, reliability, and good interpersonal skills.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

If you are interested in joining my lab, please complete this application: https://forms.gle/iJn6ueg5vroUDPod8