Meet Our Team


Dr. Kimberly French’s research focuses on how managing work and family affects the health and well-being of individuals and their family members. Specifically, her work examines multiple facets of health (including social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and well-being), with a particular focus on physical and physiological health outcomes. Studies in her lab illuminate how timing and context affect the work-family interface by using time-sensitive, within-person designs, and questioning whether common work-family assumptions hold across economically or culturally diverse populations. In addition to examining predictors of employee and family health, her work explores individual-level strategies that can preserve and improve employee health in the face of multiple and competing demands.

katie newkirk headshotDr. Katie Newkirk is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Behavioral Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2018 from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, where she researched working parents’ mental health and relationships across the transition to parenthood, with attention to how employment factors and family processes during this life stage are related to parents’ mental health and children’s developmental outcomes. Her dissertation addressed how postpartum depression and comorbid anxiety are related to father involvement in childcare. Her research interests include parents’ mental health in the context of work and family life, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, family behavioral health integration with medical care, and trajectories of depression and anxiety at different points across the lifespan. Her current research focuses on parents’ work and adolescent mental health, and predictors of trajectories of depression and anxiety during adolescence and early adulthood. Katie is interested in longitudinal research methodology and statistics, including multilevel models, growth curve modeling, multilevel SEM, and conditional process analyses. She taught research methods to graduate students at the Smith School for Social work from 2013 – 2015, and worked as a statistical consultant for the Quality of Worklife Project at UMass and the University of Maryland College Park, and as a consultant and research assistant for the Psychotherapy Research Lab at UMass. She was awarded a Research Fellowship and Travel Award from the Center for Research on Families at UMass.

SimpsonE-5436finalEmily Simpson is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Studies program at the University of Connecticut. She graduated with her M.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University in 2014 and with her B.A. in Psychology from Sewanee: the University of the South in 2011. Her research interests are in adolescent risk and resilience within the context of the family, especially as it relates to emotion regulation. She is currently employed as a research assistant collaborating on the BALANCE Project and other behavioral health research endeavors.


VannucciA-5454finalAnna Vannucci, MS works as a research associate in the Children’s Center for Behavioral Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. She received her M.S. in Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Anna’s research interests involve understanding how interactions among biology, behavior, and the environment influence the development of disordered eating and related psychiatric and medical comorbidities across childhood and adolescence. She is also interested in evaluating novel interventions that seek to reduce negative affect, disinhibited eating behaviors, and excessive weight gain. Anna has published empirical papers and chapters in the area of pediatric eating and weight disorders. She has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Academy of Eating Disorders to support her research and been awarded several travel fellowships to present her research at scientific conferences


kfKaitlin Flannery is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York College at Cortland. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Connecticut, during which time she worked as a research assistant for the Center for Behavioral Health Research at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Kaitlin’s research interests focus generally on social development in adolescence. More specifically, her studies investigate adolescent friendships, friendship dissolution, gender, social media use, and adjustment among adolescents and emerging adults.