Current Projects

As of July 15, 2020, these are the projects the CALM Lab is currently working on. Please check back often to read about new projects!


Educator Perception of Test Anxiety

The empirical literature has established that feelings of test anxiety experienced before, during, and following an evaluative event prevent optimal academic performance. Supporting students with test anxiety often requires educators to identify students at-risk for underperformance and direct them to appropriate sources of academic support. Therefore, this line of research is focused on better understanding educators’ how educators identify test-anxious students as well as the supports that are available within  K – 12 settings to support test-anxious students.

Cultural Differences in Coping

Research indicates the existence of cultural differences in preferred coping responses. Specifically, past investigations have shown that learners from individualistic culture report using more problem-focused coping strategies while learners from collectivistic cultures report using more coping responses emphasizing avoidance and emotional suppression (Chang, 1996; Essau & Trommsdorf, 1996). This is concerning given the proposed influence of coping on mental health outcomes and academic performance. Most research on cross-cultural differences in coping has focused primarily on the differences in coping responses among individuals from “individualistic” and “collectivistic” countries. However, some have argued that this simplistic view of culture ignores individual-level variation in individualism and collectivism (Singelis et al., 1995). Therefore, this line of research is designed to address this limitation in the literature by providing a more nuanced view of the influence of cultural values on coping.

The Influence of Social Media and Mental Health

Research indicates that a large percentage of adults and university students use social media on a regular basis (Pew Research Center, 2014). Unfortunately, available highlights that social media use is often associated with negative outcomes among university learners such as increased anxiety, increased depression, and lower academic performance (Vannucci, Flannery, Ohannessian, 2017)Although, the association between social media and mental health is well-established. Much less is known about the factors that protect learners from the negative impacts of social media use. We believe one potential protective factor would be learners’ level of emotional intelligence – a constellation of abilities that supported effective emotional information processing and emotion regulation. Past research has consistently found that high levels of emotional intelligence are associated with better mental health outcomes. However, no study to date has investigated if emotional intelligence protects the mental health of individuals who regularly consume social media content. As such, we are currently engaged in a line of research to determine if emotional intelligence protect the mental health of learners susceptible to the debilitative effects of social media use.