My research program utilizes a developmental psychology approach to understanding children’s social and emotional development. We study how both intrinsic (e.g., temperament) and extrinsic (e.g., parenting quality) factors impact children’s emotion regulation. We study these processes in typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In our lab, we also focus on understanding how parents who are raising a child with ASD cope with the various stressors associated with parenting a child with a developmental disability. Using a positive psychology approach, we focus on understanding the factors that promote positive psychological functioning.
Pruitt, M., Willis, K., Timmons, L., & Ekas, N. (in press). The impact of maternal, child, and family characteristics on the daily well-being and parenting experiences of mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism.
Ekas, N.V., Pruitt, M.M., & McKay, E. (2016). Hope, social relations, and depression symptoms in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 29-30, 8-18.
Timmons, L., Willis, K., Pruitt, M.M., & Ekas, N.V. (2016). Predictors of daily affect and relationship quality in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 2573-2586.
Willis, K., Timmons, L., Pruitt, M., Schneider, H.L., Alessandri, M., Ekas, N. (2016). The relationship between optimism, coping, and depressive symptoms in Hispanic mothers and fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 2427-2440.
Kim, I., Ekas, N., & Hock, R. (2016). Associations between child behavior problems, family management ability, and depressive symptoms for mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 26, 80-90.
Ekas, N.V., Ghilain, C., Pruitt, M., Celimli, S., Gutierrez, A., & Alessandri, M. (2016). The role of family cohesion in the psychological adjustment of non-Hispanic White and Hispanic parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 21, 10-24.
Developmental psychology, Advanced Developmental Psychology (WEM), Social & Emotional Development, Families & Child Adjustment, Structural Equation Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Graduate Developmental Psychology. I also lead a summer study abroad program to Paris and Amsterdam. Finally, I also mentor approximately 15 undergraduate students every year in my research lab.
Service Responsibilities: Instructional Development Grant committee. Autism Speaks U TCU faculty advisor.