Laurel Highlands Conference

21st Annual Laurel Highlands Undergraduate Conference

University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Johnstown, PA
Saturday, April 14

Invited Address by Dr. Jill Cyranowski, Chatham University

Interpersonal Risk Factors and Anxious Depression: Informing Psychotherapy Research and Practice

More than half of clients who struggle with depression will also report significant symptoms of anxiety. This anxious-depressed profile is associated with greater symptom severity, diminished interpersonal function, greater stress reactivity, and poorer treatment outcomes. The current talk will review research on key risk factors faced by anxious-depressed clients, including evidence to support elevated levels of childhood emotional abuse, dysregulated autonomic nervous system function, and diminished social support.  The talk will also present preliminary research on a recently-adapted psychotherapeutic approach developed to enhance treatment outcomes among clients with anxious depression, termed interpersonal psychotherapy for depression with panic spectrum features (IPT-PS).

This year we are pleased to offer the following afternoon workshop:

The Use of PRIDE Skills During Child-Directed Interaction in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Maggie Ruckle, Kayley Morrow, Hannah Coffey, Kelsey Eackles, Corey Lieneman, M.S., Lauren Borduin-Quetsch, M.S., Cheryl B. McNeil, Ph.D, West Virginia Univeristy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based intervention developed by Dr. Sheila Eyberg (1988) shown to decrease severe disruptive behaviors in children ages two to seven years.  The course of treatment is divided into two phases: child-directed interaction (CDI) and parent-directed interaction (PDI). CDI strengthens the caregiver-child bond, whereas PDI teaches the caregiver to discipline effectively.  In CDI, the caregiver practices PRIDE skills (i.e., praise, reflect, imitate, describe, and enjoy) shown to improve the caregiver-child relationship and increase child compliance even at long-term follow-up (Eyberg et al., 2001).  Mastery of the PRIDE skills is beneficial not only for parents and caregivers but for any individual who has contact with children.  In the current workshop, attendees will learn and practice PRIDE skills through demonstration, video modeling, and interactive role-play.

We welcome you to the 21st Annual Laurel Highlands Undergraduate Psychology Conference, which will be held at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, located on 655 picturesque acres in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. The conference will include both paper and poster presentations. Submissions should report the results of empirical studies designed to contribute to basic or applied research, but strong consideration also will be given to original and innovative contributions in the form of meta-analyses, literature reviews, and papers of historical interest. Abstracts for all presentations will be published in a booklet of proceedings to be distributed to all attendees.

  • Paper sessions will be 12 minutes long, plus a few minutes for questions.
  • Posters should not exceed 40 inches by 60 inches.
  • Registration will begin at 9:00am in the first floor lobby of Blackington Hall. The keynote address will begin at 9:30am.
  • Registration fee is $12. Catered lunch is an additional $6. Payment is by cash or check payable to "University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown."
  • Like last year, we are asking those who plan on staying for lunch to prepay. Please send a check, payable to "University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown" to: Stephanie Jimenez, 450 Schoolhouse Rd, Johnstown, PA 15904.
  • The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 21, 5 p.m. All submissions should be emailed to Dr. Stephanie Jimenez at

Submissions should include:

  • Title, author(s), and institutional affiliations
  • Abstract (100 to 150 words)
  • Phone number and mailing address
  • Name of faculty sponsor, with phone number and email address
  • Desired format (paper or poster)
  • Number of people attending (including author and faculty mentor) and number staying for lunch
  • Submissions must be attached to the email as a separate .DOC, .XDOC, or .PDF file. Please do not include submissions in the body of the email.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Laura Dietz at or Dr. Stephanie Jimenez at