News Story

Marisa Morin Receives Psi Chi Award for Honors Thesis

March 20, 2013 – Marisa, a double major in Psychology and English with a minor in Education, Inquiry, and Justice who works in the Early Learning Project under the mentorship of Rachel Barr , Associate Professor of Psychology, presented her work as a poster at the conference on Sunday, March 3 in New York City, NY.

The Baby Elmo Project, launched in California in 2007 and a collaboration between researchers at Georgetown University, he Youth Law Center, and Juvenile Justice Facilities in California, is a parenting and structure visitation program for incarcerated teen parents, which aims to improve the quality of the relationship between incarcerated teen fathers and their babies. The intervention sessions target the interactional quality of the parent-child relationship by introducing relationship, communication, and socio-emotional enhancing techniques. Marissa evaluated the effectiveness of the Baby Elmo intervention on quality interactions by coding and analyzing parent-child interactions (with infants between 2 and 12 months of age) in a number of different situations, including caregiving, dyadic play, free play, physical play, book reading, and video watching.

Her preliminary results were positive, demonstrating that the incarcerated teens did implement target parenting skills – like support and engagement – taught in the program. These results indicate that the Baby Elmo program is a promising intervention for this vulnerable population.

Congratulations, Marisa!