Society of Pediatric Psychology to feature work of UAB student

Aaron Davis, M.A., a psychology doctoral candidate, will have her work featured in Progress Notes.

A doctoral candidate in the UAB Department of Psychology will have her work featured in Progress Notes, the Society of Pediatric Psychology’s tri-annual newsletter. Aaron Davis, M.A., Chair of the Alabama Psychological Association of Graduate Students, is one of only four from across the country selected for this honor.

Aaron_Davis_2011_03Davis, 25, is researching the effects of sleep restriction on adolescents’ pedestrian safety in UAB’s Youth Safety Lab. She is studying how adolescents ages 14 and 15 cross the street after an adequate night’s sleep (8.5 hours) and when they are sleep restricted (4 hours).

“It is very exciting that a scientific society like this recognizes the value of your work and is as excited about it as you are,” says Davis. “I know I want to work in a more pediatric setting in a hospital so I wanted to incorporate work with children into my dissertation. I spoke with Dr. Kristen Avis, a sleep specialist with UAB and Children’s, and Dr. David Schwebel, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Psychology, and we decided I should look at sleep restriction and pedestrian safety.”

Every year 8,000 adolescents ages 14 and 15 require medical attention due to pedestrian injury. Davis’ ultimate goal is to educate policy decisions, such as school start times, and promote parental enforcement of earlier bedtimes on nights before adolescents will be engaging in pedestrian environments.

Davis’ work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She will finish collecting data late September. She will present preliminary findings to CHOP on October 12. Public defense of her dissertation is tentatively set for April 2012.