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Dr. Kalpidou’s interests primarily focus on the socio-emotional development of infant and young children. She is currently investigating the effects of postpartum depression on infant development and the role of sensory processing on infant attachment and eating competence. Her research in infancy also addresses age-related changes in imitation the first 12 months of life as well cultural differences in imitative mother-infant exchanges. Another ongoing project is the effects of childhood adverse experiences on later adjustment. Dr. Kalpidou is a developmental psychologist.
Volungis, A. M., Kalpidou, M., Joyce, M*., Popores-LaFleur, C.*, & Raziuddin, A.* (2016, October). College smartphone dependency, mental health, and personality. Paper presented at the 56th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Worcester, MA.
Volungis, A. M., Kalpidou, M., Popores-LaFleur, C*., Raziuddin, A.*, Joyce, M.*, & Avolese, P.* (2016, August). Childhood adversity and college mental health moderated by coping style. Poster presented at the 124th annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO.
Volungis, A. M., Kalpidou, M., Popores, C.*, & Joyce, M.* (2017, March). College student smartphone dependency: Relationships between social-emotional well-being and personality. Paper presented at the 88th annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
My expertise falls in the area of social and emotional development of young children. I have conducted research on behavioral and emotional regulation, imaginary companions, and attachment to comfort objects. Recently, I have focused more specifically on the period of infancy to explore infant attachment and its relation to sensory processing and eating competence. I am currently studying early social interactions between infants and their caregivers with focus on language, imitation, and cultural differences. Lastly, I am involved in a project about the effects of postpartum depression on early infant development and how this relationship is mediated by family dynamics and bio-psychological factors. I have been collaborating with several faculty from Assumption College and other institutions. My research program expands to accommodate undergraduate students and their interests.
Postpartum Depression, Family Dynamics, and Infant Development
In this new project that is funded by both UMass and Assumption College we combine neuroimaging, hormonal, and observational data to examine the possible effects of postpartum depression on early infant development and expectations about family life.
Regina Kuersten-Hogan, Ph.D., Assumption College
Kristina Deligiannidis, M.D., UMass Medical School
Transition to Parenthood Study
This longitudinal project addresses the factors that predict transition to parenthood and was initiated by my colleague Regina Kuersten-Hogan. I have expanded this research by focusing on several outcomes of infants. My results show that infants with sensory processing difficulties are at risk for an insecure attachment, that infant security is predicted by the sensory processing styles of the caregivers, and that harmonious coparenting and parental scaffolding relate to greater eating competence.
Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., Assumption College
Thomas Power, Ph.D., Washington State University
Sheryl Hughes, Ph.D., Baylor School of Medicine
Fang Zhang, Ph.D., Assumption College
Kalpidou, M., DiGiammarino, R. (2012). Sensory Processing and Parental Bonding Predict Infant Attachment. Proceedings of the XV European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Bergen, Norway, 37-41. Medimond International Proceedings.
Kalpidou, M., Power, T., Hughes, S., Fisher, J., & Tocco, K. (2013, April). Prenatal and Postnatal Family Dynamics and Infants’ Eating Behaviors. In R. Kuersten-Hogan (Chair), Predicting Infant and Family Functioning at the end of the First Year: The Impact of Prenatal and Postnatal Family Dynamics, Poster Symposium conducted at the Biennial Meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, Seattle.
Nardelli, J., & Kalpidou, M. (2012, June). Temperament and Parental Bonding Relate to Fathers’ Responsiveness in Father-Infant Interactions. Poster presented at the XVIII Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Minneapolis, MN.
DiGiammarino, R., & Kalpidou, M. (2012, May). Sensory Processing and Attachment Relate to Eating Competency in Infancy. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.
Kalpidou, M., Zhang, F., DiGiammarino R., & Kuersten-Hogan, R. (2011, August). Sensory Sensitivity and Parental Bonding Predict Infant Attachment. Poster presented at the XVth ESDP European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Bergen, Norway.
Kalpidou, M., DiGiammarino R., & Kuersten-Hogan, R. (2011, April). Sensory Processing Relates to Infant Attachment. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, Montreal, Canada.
Imitation in Infancy
The goal of this project is twofold. We are interested in cross-cultural differences in imitation in the context of mother infant interactions by comparing our data from our Transition to Parenthood Study and data from a Greek sample. We are also interested in investigating the development of imitation and other joint-attention behaviors during the first year of life.
Maria Markodimitraki, University of Crete
Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. Assumption College
Kalpidou, M., Markodimitraki, M., & Pateraki, M. (2014, July). Developmental Changes in Imitation in Mother-Infant Interactions. Poster to be presented at the Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Berlin, Germany.
Kalpidou, M., Markodimitraki, M., Fitzpatrick, P., & Pateraki, M. (2013, September). A Cross-Cultural Study of Imitation and Emotional Climate in Mother-Infant Interactions the First Year of Life. Poster presented at the XVIth ESDP European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Children with Imaginary Companions
Are children with imaginary companions (IC), either invisible friends or personified objects, different in emotion regulation and competence form children who do not have ICs? Our research showed that IC presence and type did not differentiate coping strategies, but children with egalitarian relationships with their imaginary friends chose more effective coping strategies and teachers rated them more socially competent than children with hierarchical child-IC relationships.
Dr. Tracy Gleason, Wellesley University, Wellesley, MA.
Gleason, T., & Kalpidou, M. (in print) Imaginary Companions and Preschoolers' Coping and Competence. Social Development.
Attachment to Comfort Objects
The attachment to comfort objects is a frequent phenomenon in western cultures. Previous research has failed to link such attachment to insecurity in the mother-infant attachment. My research shows that the emotional connection to a favorite object is rather a sensory one. Children with attachments to comfort objects are reliably different in sensory processing styles from children without such attachment. This research is currently ongoing.
Kalpidou, M. (2011). Sensory Processing Relates to Attachment to Childhood Comfort Objects of Undergraduate Students. Early Child Development and Care. doi:10.1080/03004430.2011.630733
Kalpidou, M., & Gilson, C. (2010, May). Sensory Processing Differences in Children with and without Comfort Objects. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.
Collaborations with students:
I regularly supervise undergraduate student research and I am truly excited to see this work move into the stage of publication even though it is outside my research area!
Our Facebook study was among the first ones that were published in the area of student well-being. We showed that when students use Facebook as a social tool they benefit in terms of college adjustment. We also found a negative association between number of friends and self-esteem. In a recent study initiated by students, we showed that people who were induced to experience empathy were less likely to find pleasure in someone else’s misfortune. These findings expand our current understanding of disparagement humor.
Kalpidou, M., Costin, D., & Morris, J. (2011). The Relationship of Facebook and Well-Being of Undergraduate College Students. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Bui, P. P., Kalpidou, M., DeVito, L. E., & Greene, T. (under review). The Effects of Induced Empathy on Disparaging Humor. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research.
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2018-2019 Course Catalog