Sprague will be speaking at a brown bag series to the Developmental Psychology specialization area faculty and graduate students within the UCI Department of Psychology and Social Behavior.

Sprague’s research is part of a larger study conducted by UCSB’s Disaster Research Team (DRT), an interdisciplinary group that includes Tamara and Walid Afifi, Professors in the Department of Communication, Erika Felix, Assistant Researcher in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, Maryam Kia-Keating, Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, and Gil Reyes, Associate Dean at Fielding Graduate University. The DRT is investigating child and family functioning following three devastating wildfires that occurred in Santa Barbara County between 2008–2009—the Gap, Tea, and Jesusita Fires.

Sprague was awarded a centrally administered President’s Dissertation Fellowship in order to pursue her research, which focuses on the relationship between perceived fire-related stress, family-level protective factors, and children’s positive and negative adjustment. The President’s Dissertation Fellowship is funded by the Office of the President and is awarded to meritorious students during their dissertation year, with the long-term goal of supporting Fellows to pursue careers in academia.

Prior to coming to UCSB, Sprague received her B.A. in Psychology from Middlebury College and her M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests focus on identifying risk and protective factors for children exposed to trauma, examining strategies children use to cope with traumatic events, and understanding the effect of parent functioning on children’s coping.


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