University of Wyoming
Department of Psychology, Dept 3415
1000 E University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071
The Health and Aging Lab was established at the University of Wyoming in 2007 by Dr. Christine McKibbin. We took our first graduate student in 2008, and have quickly grown to be one of the largest and most well-funded labs in the department. This funding supports our research, graduate assistantships, student summer salary, and some graduate student travel to national meetings. Our lab has two primary foci: (1) health and healthcare for individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMIs), including schizophrenia, major depression, and bipolar disorder; and (2) health and wellness in older adults.
Our lab is largely funded by the IDeA Networks in Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). We have used this funding to complete a randomized controlled diabetes self-management program for adults with SMI and type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. These data are being analyzed by our graduate students for presentation at national conferences and for publication. We are pleased that we have also received funding to develop a new intervention for children and adolescents with serious mental illness who are served in community mental health settings in Wyoming and Colorado.
Other projects that our graduate students have conducted include the examination of:
- oral health among adults with SMI
- delivery of mental health services to rural adults with SMI
- physical and mental health treatment knowledge and preferences among older adults
- knowledge and confidence of Certified Nursing Assistants for the management of behavioral disturbances in nursing home settings
The Health and Aging Lab will accept graduate students in the Clinical concentration this year. Applicants at both the Bachelor's- and Master's-level will be equally considered. Prior experience in research settings (e.g., undergraduate research assistantships) and/or clinical settings (e.g., case management; volunteer positions) are competitive.
As a graduate student in the Health and Aging Lab, ample opportunity will be provided to gain experience in research (including data collection, manuscript-writing, and national conference attendance). Many graduate students in our lab also maintain individual projects of their own with assistance and support from Dr. McKibbin and their fellow graduate students. Graduate students can expect to gain a wealth of experience in all stages of research, from writing grant applications to presenting results, and can expect to accumulate many experiences working with clinical populations as well as with other health and mental health care providers.
Christine McKibbin, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor
Research interests: Aging/geropsychology, SMI, behavioral medicine, diabetes, intervention development, rural mental health
Thomas Wykes, M.S. - 4th year graduate student
Research interests: SMI, behavioral medicine, diabetes, intervention development
Katherine Kitchen, M.S. - 3rd year graduate student
Research interests: Aging/geropsychology, behavioral medicine, health promotion intervention, rural mental health care
Katelynn McConnell, B.A. - 1st year graduate student
Research interests: Development of health focused interventions for pediatric SMI populations; impact of psychiatric symptomatiology on intervention adherence and outcome.
Aaron Lee, B.A. - 2nd year graduate student
Research interests: Health promotion and outcomes in SMI populations as well as public and self-stigma associated with SMI
Michelle Curley, B.A. - study coordinator
Research interests: adolescent mental health, behavioral medicine, rural mental health
Kristi Gatlin - Study coordinator