Doing Research on a Baby's Smiles and a Mother's Love

June 8, 2017

While I am not new to the lab I am currently working in for INBRE, I am new to the wonderful experiences the INBRE has already provided for me. Since the program began, I have had the opportunity to start my own project within the Perinatal Psychobiology Lab rather than just collecting data for the study as a whole. I have also met quite a few amazing people within the program itself, and am thankful for the direction and knowledge that everyone is willing to share with us fellows to help make our experience a successful one.


The Idaho Mom Study is looking at the relationship between mothers and their children at 6, 10, 14, and 18 months of age. It is also observing how mother’s physical and mental health effects their behavior towards baby, and baby’s behavior when put in controlled situations that are similar to daily experiences. Currently, I am coding past participant’s videos for different behaviors. Both maternal and infant behaviors are coded, and when all of the videos have been coded, both maternal behavior and infant behavior will be analyzed simultaneously to see how mom and baby react to the controlled situations they are put in.


I have enjoyed my time in this lab so much, because I have had the opportunity to work with mothers and their children on a weekly basis. I have also been able to study how mental and physical health overlap, and how they both can negatively or positively affect a person’s overall health. This experience has been so wonderful for me because, I hope to go on to a physician assistant program, and continue my work with mothers and children by specializing in women’s health. I also work with wonderful undergraduate and graduate research assistants that make coming into the lab so much fun. We are all able to bounce ideas off one another, and help each other whenever someone is in need of assistance. We also have the best P.I, Dr. Aubuchon-Endsley. I am thankful everyday for the opportunities she has given me since I joined her a year and a half ago.

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