Haase Wins Young Investigator Grant

Haase Wins Young Investigator Grant

Claudia HaaseClaudia Haase

Northwestern University’s Claudia Haase received a 2017 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to study how emotional interactions between high-risk youth and their loved ones predict caregiver health.

Caregivers for youth at ultra-high risk for psychosis are themselves at considerable risk for mental and physical health problems.

Haase’s team, in collaboration with Northwestern psychologist Vijay Mittal and his lab, will evaluate emotional experiences, behavior, and physiology as at-risk youth and their parents discuss areas of disagreement, things they enjoy doing together, and events of the day. The researchers also will study parents’ mental health and obtain epigenetic markers of physical health.

“When a young person develops a mental illness, their loved ones may suffer as well,” said Haase, assistant professor of human development and social policy in the School of Education and Social Policy. “The ways youth and parents navigate the ups and downs of an emotional interaction may play an important role in the health of both parties."

The researchers will look at what happens in the body and the face during emotional moments. They can, for example, assess who becomes agitated and who remains calm during the conversations. “There is very little research on interactions between high-risk youth and parents using these kinds of methods,” Haase said.

The NARSAD Young Investigator Grants, which provide support for the most promising young scientists conducting neurobiological research, are one of the highest distinctions in the field of mental health research. “We have already received support from The National Institute of Mental Health to study youth at risk for psychosis," said Haase, director of the Life-Span Development Lab. "This NARSAD grant will allow us to expand this work to also look at their caregivers.”

Learn more about the Human Development and Social Policy doctoral program at the School of Education and Social Policy.

Photo by Jim Prisching


By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 3/23/18