All posts by dpowell


Vanessa presenting during her defense on May 17, 2021

Congratulations to Vanessa Pearson ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project titled, “Influences on Paternity Leave” on May 17th. Her research mentor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell, was joined by committee members, Dr. Danielle Findley Van-Nostrand and Dr. David Nichols to oversee her defense. Her project abstract is pasted below.

Vanessa with her Honors in Psyc t-shirt!

Project Abstract:
The overall purpose of this study was to understand the factors that are involved when a father is deciding whether or not to take paternity leave with the birth/adoption of a child. The research was centered around two groups of participants. Study 1 sampled fathers with a child under the age of five. Study 2 sampled prospective fathers – men who are not yet fathers but may be at some point in the future. Participants completed an online survey that asked about their demographics, desired days off, and willingness to take certain types of leave. Most of the hypotheses were not significant or unable to be tested due to sample limitations. For example, several social-demographic factors were not associated with the number of days or types of leave one would take. Even though the findings were not significant, this could mean that the proportion of men who are taking or plan to take paternity leave are increasing and the factors that are holding them back are decreasing. Additionally, while fathers were more likely to know about FMLA than prospective fathers, a majority in both samples believed the US did not have an acceptable leave policy.

Congratulations again to Vanessa Pearson ’21 on a successful defense! We look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!


Grace’s defense on 5/19/2021!

Congratulations to Grace Page ’21 for the successful defense of here Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project titled, “Examining marriage: A comparison of perceptions based on religious affiliation and religiosity” (abstract below). Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell, was joined by her committee members, Drs. Travis Carter and Kristi Hoffman, to oversee her defense.

Grace with her Honors in Psychology t-shirt!

Project Abstract:
Relationships are oftentimes formed based on the similarities two individuals have in dating relationships; for example, individuals may look for similarities in religion and religious values as a way to choose a partner or to determine the dynamics of their relationships. Furthermore, research has indicated that there is a positive correlation between the similarity of partners’ religious influences and the quality of their relationship. Many religious individuals may often be misunderstood, however, due to existing religious stereotypes. Participants (N = 256) in this study were recruited to take an online survey through Prolific. Using six different beliefs/behaviors, this study examined participants’ self-reports of beliefs and behaviors, whether participants’ reported beliefs aligned with their behaviors, and if participants accurately perceived the beliefs of other religions/worldview’s beliefs. Results indicated that individuals of certain religions/worldviews shared similarities and differences in their beliefs and behaviors. Additionally, two thirds of the behaviors examined aligned with participants’ beliefs and, typically, participants did not accurately perceive the beliefs of others overall.

Congrats, again, to Grace Page ’21 on a successful defense! We look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in the future!




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Dr. Powell’s lab goes conferencing

Dr. Powell and members of her research lab traveled to two conferences in early April – the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) biennial conference in Baltimore, MD and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Asheville, NC. At SRA, the students presented posters based on their own projects or secondary analysis of prior studies. At NCUR, Amy Conner and Tessa Pleban gave their first scholarly, oral presentations!

All presentations were well received by their audiences! Way to go, ladies =)

Congratulations to Stephanie Gaines – Psi Chi Research Grant Awardee!

Stephanie Gaines with her  advisor, Dr. Powell
Stephanie Gaines with her advisor, Dr. Powell

Ms. Stephanie Gaines, a junior at Roanoke College,
has been named as one of the recipients of the
Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant!

Her independent study project was conducted to gather information on emerging adults’ anticipated self-efficacy regarding future roles. The aims were two-fold. First, to replicate the previous research on transitional roles such as getting married or becoming a parent. Second, to expand the research on gradual roles such as becoming financially independent and managing one’s own healthcare.  She was particularly interested in how emerging adults’ current self-efficacy, mastery and vicarious experiences, as well as subjective norms were associated with their anticipated self-efficacy for adult roles. Participants were recruited from Roanoke College Psychology classes, the larger student body, and from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Analyses are currently underway.

Congratulations, Stephanie!
We look forward to seeing your results. Keep up the great work! 

Students & Faculty feasted!

Students and faculty came together on Sunday for the Fall Feast!
Dr. Whitson’s Bok Choy salad won the “best savory dish” award
and Dr. Freedman’s pumpkin & chocolate cake won the
“best sweet dish” award.

We hope your Thanksgiving feast is as
sweet (and savory) as ours was!