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Psychology | Body Image Research Group

In the clinical research laboratory directed by James Gray, PhD, in the Department of Psychology at American University, doctoral students, master’s students, and undergraduate students work collaboratively on a range of projects under the supervision of Dr. Gray. Research in the laboratory focuses on body image, rumination about body image, seasonal variation in body image, ethnic variation in body image, and muscularity.

Below is some information on Dr. Gray’s current doctoral students:

Sarah Godoy, MA
Hometown: Sayville, NY
Undergraduate degree: Vassar College; BA in Psychology and BA in Italian
Year Started Program: 2008
Research Interests: My research examines the role of ethnic identity in eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. Specifically, my Master’s thesis, “Ethnic identity as a predictor of eating disorder risk in White, Black, and biracial women,” investigated how facets of ethnic identity can negatively predict eating disorder risk and depressive symptoms. My dissertation will also focus on ethnicity and body dissatisfaction.

Erin Sparapani, MA
Hometown: Niagara, WI
Undergraduate degree: Marquette University
Year Started Program: 2009
Research interests: My broad research interests include body image, the way people relate to their emotions, and the contribution of personality to psychopathology.  My Master’s thesis looked at body image, rumination, and emotion regulation. My dissertation will involve an evaluation of change in symptoms and personality throughout a treatment for borderline personality disorder.