Eastern Michigan University
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University of Michigan Brain-Imaging of Mothers (BIOM) Study -

EMU Collaboration

This study is a collaboration with the University of Michigan Brain-Imaging of Mothers (BIOM) Study, housed in the Department of Psychiatry (PI: James Swain, MD, PhD) and is a small extension of a larger study: The EMU Parenting Project. The EMU Parenting Project is a multi-method longitudinal study following a group of women from pregnancy through their child's 3rd birthday. The major aim of the study is to better understand psychosocial adversities that some women and young children face during this important developmental period, with a particular focus on traumatic life experiences. The study is grounded in attachment theory, thus, much focus is placed on how traumatic experiences affect the developing attachment relationship between the mother and infant beginning in pregnancy. Women and their young children participated in five waves of data collection: during pregnancy (T1), 3 months after birth (T2), 1 year after birth (T3), 2 years after birth (T4), and 3 years after birth (T5). Questionnaires, clinical interviews, and observational methods have been used to assess a wide variety of constructs related to the mothers' and infants' well-being.
For this collaborative study with the University of Michigan, some women from the Parenting Project are being recruited back for another wave of data collection which includes a home visit and a fMRI visit at UM labs under the direction of Dr. Swain. For the project, we are hoping to better understand the neurocircuitry underlying parenting representations and behavior among traumatized mothers.

Student Tasks & Responsibilities:

Currently, research assistants may be needed to:

a) help transcribe lengthy clinical interviews with mothers,

b) code videotapes of mother-child interactions,

c) attend home visits with participants, and

d) attend lab visits with participants at University of Michigan labs (Psychiatry).

Team meetings occur throughout the year and are strongly recommended (and required depending on type of task being done).

Minimum Qualifications:

In order to get the most out of this experience, it is recommended that students have a few chunks of time to be available to attend home visits. Other activities can be done across shorter blocks of time throughout the week.

Contact Information:
Alissa Huth-Bocks, Ph.D.
Associate Professor