Humphreys receives APS Rising Star award

Photo of Kathryn Humphreys
Kathryn Humphreys

Kathyrn Humphreys, B.S.’05, has been named an APS Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. The designation is presented to outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their post-PhD research careers whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions. Now completing postdoctoral studies at Stanford University, Humphreys will join Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College Department of Psychology and Human Development this fall.

Humphreys’s research centers around identifying and altering risk and resilience factors in the crucial early-life developmental period. She focuses on the effects of early adversity, emphasizing the importance of the young child’s caregiving experiences as a source of stress and a potential buffer from the harmful effects of other stressful experiences. She also investigates how negative early experiences affect cognitive and neurobiological development. Studying whether and how various caregiving interventions benefit young children, she has identified moderating factors that contribute to resilience.

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Humphreys joining our department,” says Professor Amy Needham, Department of Psychology and Human Development chair. “Through her research, she is making important discoveries about the factors influencing early development. She is also working on interventions to help children who experience adversity early in life. This combination of research goals that have both theoretical and practical importance is an approach to research that many faculty in our department embrace. I feel confident that Dr. Humphreys will indeed be a rising star here on campus and in her research community more broadly. We could not be happier about this new honor for her.”

Humphreys earned a bachelor’s degree in child development and cognitive studies from Peabody. She completed a master’s degree in childhood risk and prevention at Harvard University, a master’s degree in psychology at the University of California-Los Angeles, and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at UCLA.

“Having attended Peabody as an undergraduate, I had the good fortune of learning from superstars in the field of psychology and child development,” Humphreys says. “It’s such an honor to join the faculty this fall and to have been selected as a Rising Star myself. I look forward to contributing to training current and future students.”

APS is the leading international organization dedicated to advancing scientific psychology across disciplinary and geographic borders by promoting, protecting and advancing the interests of scientifically oriented psychology.