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The Rhodes lab focuses on two distinct, but interrelated, programs of research: (a) informal and formal mentoring in the lives of adolescents and young adults and (b) risk and protective factors in young adult survivors’ responses to natural disaster. The overarching goal, instantiated in both programs, is to understand the role of social connections in the adaptive functioning of individuals and to specify the underlying processes by which these connections contribute to positive outcomes. To address this, Rhodes and her team explore how relational processes unfold across development and social ecologies. Although this work is grounded firmly in clinical, community, and developmental psychology, lab members’ approaches are interdisciplinary at their core, involving ongoing collaborations with sociologists, economists, and psychiatric geneticists from around Boston and beyond.

Professor Rhodes also provides research training to her graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, along with funding for assistantships, summer salary, and travel to professional meetings and statistical workshops. Her students’ rigorous work has been recognized both within and beyond the university including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Dissertation Award and the APA Division 27’s Dissertation of the Year Award. Many of her students now hold tenured or tenure-track positions at top national and international universities.

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