Steven Kasparek

Steven Kasparek

Graduate Student
Steven photo
Steven is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at Harvard. He graduated from Middlebury College in 2016 with a BA in psychology. After graduation, he received an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) to conduct research at the National Institutes of Health working in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch within the National Human Genome Research Institute. There, under the mentorship of Dr. Philip Shaw, Steven worked on several longitudinal studies examining relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to brain, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes associated with the clinical course of ADHD in children and adolescents. Thereafter, Steven joined Dr. McLaughlin in the Stress and Development Lab, first at University of Washington and later at Harvard, where he served as a clinical coordinator and lab manager, respectively, working on projects examining the impact of early-life deprivation (i.e., cognitive/emotional caregiver neglect, food insecurity) and threat (i.e., violence-exposure, abuse, etc.) on cognitive, social/emotional, and brain development, in addition to psychopathology. Stevens's current research interestes have converged on questions related to neural and beahvioral mechanims underlying associations of childhood violence exposure and the development of callous, low prosocial behavior, and aggression and other-directed violence in adolescence. He is particularly intersted in how abberations in behavioral and neural reward processing may contribute to these associations. Further, Steven is intersted in how children who have experienced maltreatment make in-group and out-group decisions and demonstrate bias toward in-group and out-group members as yet another potential piece of the borader puzzle. Beyond his research interests, Steven enjoys vocal and dance performance, fitness-oriented activities, cooking, and social justice advocacy work!

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