Lauren Usher, PhD
BA, Florida State University – Psychology
MS, University of Miami – Developmental Psychology
PhD, University of Miami – Developmental Psychology
Waisman Faculty Mentors: Marsha R. Mailick, PhD, Jan Greenberg, PhD, and Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD
Lauren’s program of research focuses on the individual and contextual factors that relate to lifespan social cognition and social development of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In her dissertation, Lauren examined how adolescents with and without autism formed perceptions of each other during a naturalistic social interaction, as well as how they were able to understand the perceptions that others formed of them. As a postdoctoral trainee, Lauren is studying the role of the family in adolescents and adults with autism and fragile X syndrome. She aims to combine her previous and current research experiences to contribute to the development of interventions targeting social cognition and social development in adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the goal of increasing well-being and adaptation across life contexts such as the home
environment, the classroom, and the workplace.