Research by Primary Investigator

Nancy Ann Hamilton
Associate Professor
Fraser Hall, Room 426

Freshman 15

Freshman year of college can be a stressful experience due to being away from home, forming new social relationships, and adjusting to a new lifestyle. During this transition period, emerging adults must develop new coping strategies. Identifying protective factors and stressors early in life (in the participating freshmen) can reduce the chronic stress and account for better long-term health outcomes. Weight gain either around the midsection or hips is often a common consequence of this adjustment period.

Current research has shown that there is a relationship between chronic stress and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The purpose of Freshman 15 study is to identify the triggers and possible protective factors that could lead to the reduction of stress and therefore, a potential reduction in a risk for cardiovascular disease.


Natasia Adams

Natasia is a Clinical Health Psychology graduate student who received her M.P.H. (2011) and B.S. (2009) and from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

ChemoBrain: Evaluating the Relationship between Objective and Perceived Cognitive Impairment Induced by Adjuvant Chemotherapy on Speed of Processing Measures among Breast Cancer Survivor (ChemoBrain):

ChemoBrain is a cross-sectional study to evaluate the relationship between objective cognitive impairment (OCI) and perceived cognitive impairment (PCI), exploring the impact of collateral report, medical comorbidities, and speed of processing on the OCI-PCI relationship among breast cancer survivors. ChemoBrain is Natasia Adams' dissertation project and currently under IRB review.


Lauren Boddy

Lauren graduated from the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program (major area of study in Clinical Health Psychology) in 2021.

Sleep on it: An Investigation of Sleep Quality and Bedsharing During Pregnancy:

This longitudinal study aims to describe sleep quality and mother-infant bedsharing intentions during the third trimester of pregnancy in adolescent women. This project is based on Lauren Boddy’s Master’s Thesis project, and will be collecting data during the fall 2018 semester.


Westley Youngren

Westley is a Clinical Psychology graduate student. He is currently on internship at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center in New York.

Assessing Triggers of Posttrauma Nightmares (AT NIGHT)

AT Night uses a combination of ambulatory assessment and a longitudinal research design to capture antecedents of posstrauma nightmares in a sample of individuals experiencing nightmares related to a traumatic experience. 

Fear Exposure And Response (FEAR)

FEAR examines the impacts of fear stimuli on sleep quality and dreams. Specifically, FEAR uses a haunted house experience, scary video clips, and neutral video clips to provoke fear and controlled responses. From here participants are monitored for two consecutive days with pre and postsleep surveys.

Prevalence of Traumatic Experiences on a College Campus (POTEC):

The primary purpose of POTEC is to assess the prevalence of traumatic experiences and posttrauma symptoms in KU’s student body. Additionally, through follow up assessment procedures, POTEC also aims to investigate predictors of posttrauma symptom development. POTEC is active and currently collecting data.

At night is a longitudinal study designed to assess triggers of posttrauma nightmares. AT Night uses pre and post-sleep diaries to assess potential predictors of posttrauma nightmares as well as the occurrence of these nightmares. AT Night is Westley Youngren’s master thesis project. AT Night is active and currently collecting data.

The Nightmare Augmented Protocol (The NAP):

The NAP utilizes auditory stimuli during exposure therapy and slow wave sleep in order to enhance the effects of exposure relaxation and rescripting therapy for posttrauma nightmares. Currently The NAP is in the developmental stages. The NAP is a collaborative project between the Hamilton Health Lab and the Topeka VA.

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