by Claire Miller
Counseling psychology doctoral student Laurel Watson is a recipient of the Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35) Hyde Graduate Student Research Grant for Fall 2010 from the American Psychological Association.
Division 35 of the APA, a section of psychologists dedicated to promoting feminist psychology, gives these awards to doctoral psychology students to support feminist research projects. Applicants must submit a summary of their dissertation, how they plan to use the grant money and how their work is relevant to feminist research.
Watson, who received a $500 grant, plans to use the money to pay for software to analyze the data she’s collected for her dissertation, which focuses on relationships among childhood sexual abuse, self-objectification and sexual risk behaviors in undergraduate women.
“I was really excited about receiving this grant – it’s rewarding to have my work recognized by Division 35,” she said.
Through her dissertation, Watson hopes to understand how sexual abuse changes a woman's perception of herself, her relationship with her body, her sense of personal agency within romantic and sexual relationships and ultimately, her sexual decisions, she said.
“I’m interested in finding out how women go from a traumatic experience to engaging in risky sexual behaviors,” she said. “I think that this research could really be helpful for public health interventions and for therapists who work with survivors of sexual abuse.”
For more information on the scholarship, visit http://www.apa.org/divisions/div35/Awards/hyde_award.html.