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Join the team!

Thank you for your interest in the Couple Adjustment to Stress and Trauma (CAST) lab! The CAST lab consists of a vibrant and dedicated team of graduate and undergraduate researchers committed to the integration of clinical science and practice. A diverse research methodology is used to examine risk and protective factors in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, particularly Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, following trauma exposure. Members of the CAST lab receive specialized training in couple interventions and traumatic stress reactions. Students are involved in all aspects of the research process. 

Interested Graduate Students

The CAST lab is seeking bright and enthusiastic prospective graduate students with an interest in intimate relationships and reactions to acute stress and trauma. Individuals who plan to pursue a career in research will be a strong fit for this lab. Prior exposure to methods used in the lab and prior work with high-risk populations is desirable but is not a requirement. Our research uses behavioral observation, psychophysiological (e.g., EDA, ECG, EMG), molecular (e.g., cortisol, oxytocin), and self-report measures to examine the dynamic effects of acute stress and trauma on individual and relationship functioning. The CAST lab also examines diverse and high-risk populations including military and Veteran populations. One of the primary aims of the CAST lab is to conduct clinically relevant and culturally-sensitive research that evaluates couple adaptation to stress and trauma, and to optimize the systemic benefits of couple-based interventions.    

The Clinical Science program at Binghamton University is among the strongest in the country and the Psychology Department has a prominent position within the University with 3 highly ranked Ph.D. programs. The Clinical Science program has produced many successful graduate scholars who have gone on to careers in academic, clinical, and applied settings. For more general information about Binghamton University visit here. If you are considering applying to the Clinical Science program, you can find more information about the program here and specific information regarding admission here. All graduate students in good standing receive tuition waivers and are supported by stipends that allow students to live comfortably considering the low cost of living in the Binghamton area.


Interested Undergraduate Students

The CAST lab accepts applications from interested and talented undergraduate research assistants on a rolling basis. Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year are currently being accepted. If you are an undergraduate student who is motivated to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology in the future, it is important to gain quality research experience as an undergraduate. This experience will help prepare you for graduate school and make you more competitive during the application process. Research assistants who work in the CAST lab will be afforded the types of opportunities that can make them stand out to potential graduate programs. Experiences might include: training in observational coding, psychophysiological recording methods, data management and processing, statistical analysis including psychometric analysis, and opportunities for presenting research at scientific conferences. Exceptional students may also complete an undergraduate honors thesis. Undergraduates also benefit from professional development workshops held in the lab, which focus on topics relevant to gaining admission to graduate school and pursuing various careers in the field of Psychology. Undergraduate research assistants are expected to attend weekly lab meetings and duties depend on the specific needs of ongoing projects.  

Students who are motivated, possess good interpersonal and time management skills, and have the ability to commit 10+ hours of their time per week (in blocks of 3-5 hrs) will be a strong fit for the lab. The CAST lab requires a 2-semester commitment (preference is given to those who can commit to a longer duration). Students are encouraged to apply prior to the beginning of their senior year. Students may receive course credit for their work in the lab. If you are interested in applying, please contact Christina Balderrama-Durbin, Ph.D., for an application and to set up an appointment. 

Contact Information

CAST Lab Director: Christina Balderrama-Durbin, Ph.D.



Last Updated: 4/19/18