Psychology & Counseling

Social Development and Functioning Lab

Dr. Elizabeth Matteo and Dr. Erin Way have a shared interest in the establishment and maintenance of social relationships across the lifespan. Our current research explores the nature of social experiences of older adults. We are particularly interested in questions like: How do social relationships change in older adulthood? Do social relationships change when older adults move into residential facilities? How do older adults cope with social conflict?

Faculty and advanced undergraduate students collaborate to develop and conduct research. Students who participate in our lab learn valuable skills in research design, data collection and analysis, and APA writing. If you are a student interested in learning more about the various projects we are currently working on, please contact Dr. Erin Way or Dr. Elizabeth Matteo.

Lab Highlights:

  • Meredith McCarthy and Mallory Glasmyre have been awarded Student Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) for Summer 2015. Both students will be working with Dr. Erin Way. Meredith McCarthy’s SURF project is titled: Analyzing the Benefits of Incorporating Playful Activities into the Elderly Lifestyle. Mallory Glasmyre’s SURF project is titled: Does Play Reduce Fatigue and Burnout Among Nurses?
  • The research from this lab has been presented at regional and national conferences, including The Eastern Psychological Association Conference and The Society for Research in Adult Development.
  • The work in the lab has also led to presentations that address issues at local agencies that serve older adults.
  • Students have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor during the summer and receive a stipend through the Student Undergraduate Research Fellows program.

Presentations from the Lab:

  • DeRosato, M. Mansfield, A. Way, E. & Matteo, E. (2015, March). Social media use among older adults. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA. (Student submission)
  • Way, E. L. & Matteo, E. (2014, June). Social and emotional factors in self-reported quality of life amongst older adults. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Adult Development Conference, Boston, MA.
  • Way, E. L. & Matteo, E. (2014, March). Relational aggression and subjective well-being in older adults. Paper presented at the Eastern Psychological Association  Conference, Boston, MA.
  • Druetto, K. M., Wilt, S., Way, E. L., & Matteo, E. (2014, March). Roles of social support in coping with aggression in older adults. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference, Boston, MA.  (Student submission)
  • Foronda, T., Matteo, E. & Way, E. L. (2014, March). Ambiguity among staff members of senior centers. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference, Boston, MA. (Student submission)

Be sure to check out other research being conducted in the department.


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