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Sarah Owens, a graduate student in Clinical Psychology, received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health.

The purpose of the Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship Award is to enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields. Research training is expected to enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.

Under this fellowship, Sarah will use experience sampling methods to examine menstrual cycle effects on suicidal ideation and related social processes in suicidal adolescents. Although suicide rates dramatically increase at puberty, and cross-sectional studies of adults indicate more suicide deaths and hospitalizations just before and during menses, no studies thus far have prospectively examined the effects of the menstrual cycle on acute suicidality in adolescents at risk for suicide. This study aims to identify novel time-varying predictors of acute suicide risk in vulnerable adolescents to improve short-term prediction and prevention of suicidal behavior.

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