COVID-19 in Focus: A Series of InCHIP Panel Discussions

COVID-19 in Focus: A Series of InCHIP Panel Discussions

How the Pandemic Response can be Informed by Behavioral and Social Sciences Research


In March 2020, InCHIP launched a rapid response funding program to capture the broad impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolded in real time. Twenty awards were made to UConn-based research teams. During this panel discussion series, awardees will present their findings and provide a glimpse at how the behavioral and social sciences are approaching the pandemic.

The series is broken into four sessions. Each session will be presented via WebEX and will be posted for later viewing.

Panel Discussions

Becoming an Adult during a Public Health Crisis: COVID-19’s Impact on Emerging Adults

When: October 8, 12:30-2 pm


“The Impact of COVID-19 on Young Adults: Coping with Anxiety During the Early Months of the Pandemic”

Presenter: Beth Russell, PhD (Co-PI, HDFS)
Additional Team Members: Crystal Park (Co-PI, Psychological Sciences), Michael Fendrich (Co-PI, Social Work), Morica Hutchison (Grad Student, HDFS), Jessica Becker Rica (Research Assistant, Social Work)

“The LGBTQ+ COVID-related RElationships and Well-being (CREW) Study”

Presenter: Eva Lefkowitz (PI, HDFS)
Additional Team Members: Additional Team Members: Samantha Lawrence (Grad Student, HDFS), Yuan Zhang (Grad Student, HDFS), Alyssa Clark (Grad Student, HDFS), Tracy L. Walters (Grad Student, HDFS), Rachael Farina (Grad Student, HDFS), Veronica Hanna-Walker (Grad Student, HDFS)

“Evaluating UConn Student Well-Being in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Findings”

Presenter: Saraswathi Bellur (Co-PI, Communication)
Additional Team Members: Rebecca Acabchuk (Co-PI, InCHIP), Emily Hennessy (Co-PI, InCHIP), Leslie Snyder (Communication), Deborah Cornman (InCHIP), Linda Pescatello (Kinesiology), Crystal Park (Psychological Sciences), Blair Johnson (Psychological Sciences), Keith Bellizzi (HDFS), David Ouimette (Executive Director, Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities), Mary-Jeanne Raleigh (Interim Co-Leader of Mental Health), Gregory Champion (Program Assistant, Honors Programming & Events Office), Madeleine Aseltine (Undergrad Student), Isha Walawalkar (Grad Student, Public Health Sciences), Kaleigh Ligus (Grad Student, HDFS), Emily Fritzson (Grad Student, HDFS)

“Disruptions in the Medical Management and Care of College Students with Pre-Existing Mental Health Conditions during the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Presenter: Kaleigh Ligus (Grad Student, HDFS)
Additional Team Members: Keith Bellizzi (PI, HDFS), Emily Fritzson (Grad Student, HDFS)

“Healthy and Safe: Building a Culture of Positive Behavior During a Pandemic”

Presenters: Eleanor Daugherty (Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students), Joseph Briody (Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Director of Student Activities), Jenn Longa (Assistant Dean of Students for Victim Support Services & Bystander Initiatives), Hans Rhynhart (Associate Vice President of Public Safety, Chief of Police)

Watch online:

Watch lecture on youtube

Fear, Threat, and Information Sources: Messaging and Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic

When: October 22, 12:30-1:45 pm


“Persuasion and Messaging in the Age of COVID-19: An Experimental Study of U.S. Adults Identifying Effective Messaging Strategies for Infection Prevention Behaviors”

Presenter: Marcella Boynton (Co-PI, UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine) 
Additional Team Members: Howard Tennen (Co-PI, Public Health Sciences), Ross O’Hara (Co-I, InCHIP Affiliate), Joseph Lee (Co-I, East Carolina University, School of Social Work)

“The Pandemic Journaling Project: Design, Aims, Future Directions”

Presenter: Sarah Willen (PI, Anthropology) 
Additional Team Member: Katherine Mason (Brown University, Anthropology)

“Examining Attributions of Blame Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic in the State of Connecticut”

Presenter: Christine Gilbert (Co-I, Graduate Student, Communication)
Additional Team Members: Kenneth Lachlan (Co-PI, Communication), Stephen Stifano (Co-PI, Communication)

“Assessing the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Resulting Behavior Changes in Response to COVID-19 among Connecticut Residents

Presenter: Stacey Brown (Co-PI, Public Health Sciences)   
Additional Team Members: Toan Ha (Co-PI, University of Pittsburgh, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology), Stephen Schensul (Co-I, Public Health Sciences), Judy Lewis (Co-I, Public Health Sciences)

Watch online:Watch lecture on youtube

Differential Burdens: The Impact of COVID-19 on Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations

When: October 29, 12:30-2:00 pm


“COVID-19 and Retail Grocery Shopping: Preliminary Insights from a Broad-based Consumer Survey”

Presenter: Yiru Wang (SUNY Oswego)
Additional Team Members: Xiang Chen (Co-PI, Geography), Debarchana Ghosh (Co-PI, Geography), Marlene Schwartz (Co-PI, HDFS / Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity), Ran Xu (Allied Health Sciences)

“Cumulative Pandemic-Related Adversity Moderates Change in Affective Symptoms from Pregnancy to Early Motherhood in a Primarily Hispanic, Low-Income Sample”

Presenter: Damion Grasso (PI, Psychiatry / Pediatrics)

“Older Adults’ Depression, Anxiety, and Social Support in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Presenter: Kevin Manning (Co-PI, Psychiatry)
Additional Team Members: David Steffens (Co-PI, Psychiatry), Lihong Wang (Co-I, Psychiatry), Grace Chan (Co-I, Psychiatry), Rong Wu (Co-I, Connecticut Convergence Institute’s Biostatistics Center)

“Stayin’ Alive: Using the Health Belief Model to Understand Persons’ of Color Intentions to Wear Masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Presenter: Katrina Webber (Co-PI, Graduate Student, Communication)
Additional Team Members: Sara Stifano (Co-PI, Communication), Shardé Davis (Co-PI, Communication), Stephen Stifano (Co-PI, Communication)

“Gun Violence, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Community Health”

Presenter: Blair Johnson (Co-PI, Psychological Sciences)
Additional Team Members: Mary Bernstein (Co-PI, Sociology), Kun Chen (Co-I, Statistics), Emily Hennessy (Psychological Sciences), Rebecca Acabchuk (Psychological Sciences)

Watch online:

Pandemic Parenting: Understanding the Effects of COVID-19 on Child Caregivers

When: November 12, 12:30-1:30 pm


“Healthy Transmission of Coping During COVID-19: The Impact of Emotional Characteristics on Caregiver and Child Response”

Presenter: Olivia Derella (PI, Graduate Student, Psychological Sciences)
Additional Team Members: Jeffrey Burke (Co-PI, Psychological Sciences), Emilie Butler (Graduate Student, Psychological Sciences)

“Impact of COVID-19 on Primary Caregivers of Children With and Without Developmental Disabilities”

Presenter: Emily Iovino (Co-PI, Postdoc, Educational Psychology)
Additional Team Member: Sandra Chafouleas (PI, Educational Psychology)

“An Exploratory Study on the Effects of COVID-19 and Associated Social and Economic Changes on Children and Their Families in Resource-Constrained Settings in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Presenter: Lisa Butler (Co-PI, InCHIP)
Additional Team Members: Phelgona Otieno (Co-PI, Kenya Medical Research Institute), Leonie Marinovich (Consultant)