NIH Grant to Fund Research on the Impact of a Parent’s Mental Health on Their Children

Sarah Black, Ph.D., assistant professor in Kent State's Department of Psychological Sciences has won a three-year grant for her study

Kent State University Assistant Professor Sarah Black, Ph.D., has been awarded a prestigious three-year grant of $426,610 from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for research on "Exploring Parent-Child Synchrony in Depressed and Non-Depressed Dyads." 

The primary objective of Black's research is to shed light on the complex interplay between parental mental health and the quality of parent-child interactions. With a specific focus on depressed and non-depressed parental groups, Black's study seeks to understand how parental depressive symptoms may influence parent-child interaction and the subsequent effects on child development and emotional well-being. 

Kent State University Assistant Professor Sarah Black
Assistant Professor Sarah Black, Ph.D.

The research will involve a comprehensive multi-method approach, incorporating observational assessments, standardized measures and advanced data analysis techniques. By studying both depressed and non-depressed parent-child pairs, the study aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how parental mental health factors influence the emotional attunement and interaction patterns between parents and their children. 

The research findings from this study have the potential to inform clinical interventions, parenting programs, and policies aimed at supporting families affected by depression. Additionally, the project will contribute to the growing body of research at Kent State University that addresses pressing societal issues and enhances the university's reputation as a hub for innovative and impactful research. 

“Parenting always comes with challenges, but these challenges may be especially pronounced for those experiencing mental illness," said Black. "We’re hoping this research will help identify a group of parents who could benefit from additional support and resources while raising their children.”

Learn more about the Department of Psychological Sciences.


POSTED: Thursday, August 17, 2023 10:54 AM
Updated: Friday, September 1, 2023 10:24 AM