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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Research Teams

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The 'research team' is the formal structure by which students join with faculty members to develop research skills. Emphasis is placed on implementing research projects, writing skills, data collection and analysis and preparation of findings for professional presentation and or publication. Additionally, the team structure facilitates students in developing and carrying out various projects.

Sarah Sifers and students
Clinical Psychology students discussing a research project with their team.

Each student is assigned to a Clinical Research Team which is administered by a member of the clinical faculty. Students may also participate on other departmental faculty members research team as time and interest allow. Clinical Research Teams meet regularly (usually weekly) to organize and coordinate projects. Academic credit for participation is applied to meet the program's "Research Clinical Psychology" requirement.

Dr. Houlihan’s Clinical Research Team

Research areas:

  1. Behavioral interventions in persons with dementia.
  2. Behavioral approaches to determining police responses in routine and critical situations.
  3. Command type preference and outcomes.
  4. Investigating the impact of verbal communication styles in police work.
  5. Interventions, treatments and policy regarding the wellbeing and treatment of autistic individuals.
  6. International applications of behavioral training techniques.
  7. Interventions and strategies for treating anxiety disorders.

Dr. Buchanan's Clinical Research Team

Focus: Aging and mental health with an emphasis on dementia care.

Research areas:

  1. Development and evaluation of memory enhancement procedures for persons with dementia.
  2. Investigating the impact of caregiver verbal communication styles on the behavior of persons with dementia.
  3. Evaluating non-pharmacological, restraint-free interventions for managing behavior problems in person with dementia.
  4. Studying the utility of stimulus preference assessment.
  5. Understanding relational aggression (bullying) in senior living communities.

Dr. Sprankle's Clinical Research Team

Focus: Sexual health within marginalized and stigmatized sexual communities.

Research Areas:

  1. Understanding sex work stigma and barriers to sex workers' rights.
  2. Conducting needs assessments for various sectors of the sec industry in Minneapolis.
  3. Deconstructing leading narratives on sex trafficking.

Dr. Aguirre's Clinical Research Team

Focus: Using behavior analysis to teach various skills for children and young adults.

Research Areas:

  1. Design and evaluate procedures o teach language, social, and academic repertoires for people with and without autism and other related disabilities.
  2. Evaluate procedures that promote emergent or derived relational responding.
  3. Design and evaluate procedures to examine private events (i.e., thinking and problem solving strategies).
  4. Understanding rules and their effects on behavior.
  5. Examine the effects of observation learning procedures on teaching new skills in small and large group formats in school environments.