Monitor on Psychology - February 2012 - (Page 29)
Jennifer E. Burke Lefever, PhD
intervention than moms who learn parenting skills through home visits only. n Bleeds blue and gold: Lefever earned her dual-doctorate in developmental and quantitative psychology at Notre Dame. She is proud to have found a job at the renowned Catholic university. “I’m Irish Catholic, and we all make a pilgrimage here at some point. I’ve just extended mine,” she says. n Farm grown: Lefever is the youngest of 10 children — seven girls and three boys —raised on a farm outside of Chicago. As she and her nine siblings have married and started their own families, the extended Burke clan now totals 90 people. “We rent a hall and all celebrate Christmas together, and that’s the one time we all get together each year,” says Lefever, who brings her husband and two sons — Alex, 8, and Duncan, 4. n A big tripper: Lefever loves to travel, an interest she developed when visiting her older siblings at college and cemented while studying Japanese in Hirakata-shi, Japan, as an undergraduate. For her next adventure, Lefever plans to visit Ireland this fall with her high school best friend of 25 years to celebrate milestone birthdays — they both turn 40 this year. “I’m looking forward to seeing the rolling green hills and rocky coastline and having a few pints in a cozy pub,” Lefever says.
A data expert, parenting researcher and Fighting Irish fan.
n APA member since: 2000 n Hometown: Elkhart, Ind. n Datasmith: Lefever is associate director of the Center for Children and Families at the University of Notre Dame, where she is also a research assistant professor. As the “resident data nerd” at the multidisciplinary research center, she helps fellow faculty prepare grant proposals, sort out methodology and analyze data. A favorite project has been helping a professor secure funding for a study in which robots teach social skills to children with autism. “The children are often more attracted to robots than people,” says Lefever. “You
can isolate mannerisms in robots and teach the children what they mean, which is harder to do with humans.” n Prompting better parenting: Lefever also uses her stats smarts for her own research on adolescent parenting and early child development. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, she is testing a mobile phone system that teaches mothers at risk for child neglect how to be better parents. She’s found that moms who receive regular phone reminders about consistent bedtime routines and other good parenting strategies become more engaged in the
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F e b ru a ry 2 0 1 2 • M o n i t o r o n p s y c h o l o g y
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - February 2012
Monitor on Psychology - February 2012
From the CEO
APA files two briefs in support of same-sex couples
New registry seeks to understand addiction recovery through ‘crowdsourcing’
APA launches a database of tests and measures
Watch for new member benefit: “APA Access”
Apply now for APA’s Advanced Training Institutes
PsycTHERAPY, APA’s new database, brings therapy demos to life
APA scientists help guide tobacco regulation
‘A machine for jumping to conclusions’
Righting the imbalance
The beginnings of mental illness
Improving disorder classification, worldwide
Protesting proposed changes to the DSM
Interventions for at-risk students
Harnessing the wisdom of the ages
Anti-bullying efforts ramp up
R U friends 4 real?
Support for teachers
Speaking of Education
Record keeping for practitioners
At the intersection of law and psychology
Grants help solve society’s problems
Monitor on Psychology - February 2012