Elizabeth Becker, Ph.D.

Professor Awarded Grant to Study Link Between ASD and Prenatal Exposure to Antidepressants


Assistant Professor of Psychology Elizabeth A. Becker, Ph.D., received a $10,000 grant from the Tom and Mary Gallagher Foundation to support her research on the neuro-developmental mechanisms underlying autism.

Preventing “Fall Back” Setbacks in Children’s Sleep


What’s not to love about an extra hour of sleep? Just ask any parent and they’ll tell you how that one little hour that gets added every fall as part of Daylight Savings Time can wreak havoc on their children’s routines.

According to Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., sleep expert and professor of psychology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, there’s plenty that parents can do to be proactive before we “fall back” on November 3.

They’re Ba-aack! Coping When College Kids Come Home for the Holidays


When he left, he was your child whose meals you prepared and whose laundry you dutifully did.  Now he’s home from college for an extended winter break – possibly bringing with him more laundry for you to do.

For parents readjusting to life with their college students at home for a few weeks, it can be…an adjustment.

How Empty Nesters Can Cope with Homesick Students


It's natural for first-year students to encounter challenges associated with the transition to college life. For many students the academic demands are great, dorm life may be their first experience sharing a living space, and there is unstructured time to manage. This can also be a difficult transition for parents who feel inclined to comfort their student who is missing home.

That’s Gross: Uncovering the Creepy and Crawly


Everyone knows this popular Halloween game: turn out the lights, pass around a dried apricot and it’s easy to believe it’s a human earlobe. Peel some grapes and in the dark they feel just like human eyeballs. It’s a game that tricks the senses and it’s something Saint Joseph’s University psychologist Alex Skolnick, Ph.D., has been doing in his lab for the last several years.

Gambling on the Big Game: The Risk of Concussions


A previous study of ex-NFL players showed that the damage caused by concussions occurs in the same region of the brain as damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in increased concern over post-concussion related injuries and trauma of athletes.

A Good Night’s Sleep: The Most Important School Supply


For kids, the summer months are packed with vacations, camps, week-to-week schedule changes and lots of late nights. It’s no wonder that getting back to the school year routine can be difficult. Returning to regular sleep schedules can be even harder. According to sleep expert and Saint Joseph’s University Professor of Psychology Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., the end of the summer is the time to reset kids’ biological clocks.

Managing Financial Anxieties During the Holidays


With news of a recession, it’s no wonder that many Americans are feeling anxious about their financial situation this holiday season. According to Saint Joseph’s University psychologist Phyllis Anastasio, Ph.D., these anxieties are amplified by constant media reminders.

Shopping for a Cause: Altruism Sells this Season


The holidays bring many motivations to buy, buy, buy. Beyond the sale prices and must-have items is something greater for consumers to consider, says Saint Joseph’s University sociologist Keith Brown, Ph.D.

“Many consumers sincerely want to make a difference in the world through shopping,” he says. “Consumers like to give gifts that have a story about where the product came from, who made it and how the producer benefitted by selling the object.”

Sleeping Your Way to a Better School Year


As the long, lazy days of summer come to an end, kids will complain about earlier bedtimes in addition to going back to school. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is urging parents to begin gradually changing kids' sleep patterns and easing them into school year bedtimes.