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McNair Scholar 2010Schevita Persaud

Schevita Persaud is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in child psychology and minoring in African American studies. Her research interests revolve around cultural processes in risk and resilience. Ms. Persaud plans to get a Ph.D. in child development.

Schevita Persaud photo
My dream is to receive a Ph.D. in child development and be involved in intervention programs that cater to cultural differences and development. I hope to make a positive change in the lives of youth through the development of a non-profit organization that reaches out to adversity stricken and at risk youth.

Research project

Gender Differences in the School Success of Young Homeless Children

Abstract: Effects of gender differences in the school success of young homeless children were examined using data from 53 children and their parents staying in an emergency shelter. Teacher reports of adaptation in school were obtained after the children began kindergarten or first grade. Based upon previous research, it was hypothesized that teachers would report girls as having higher academic competence, closer relationships with the teacher, less externalizing behavior, and less conflict than boys. Gender and grade were examined in order to assess whether potential favorable differences would be initially greater for girls due to an initial maturational lag for boys that could be improved through socialization in attending school. Results indicated that parent reports of externalizing behaviors predict teacher-child relationships; however, gender differences were not observed. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Ann S. Masten is a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She completed her undergraduate degree at Smith College in 1973 and her Ph.D. in 1982 in clinical psychology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Masten’s research seeks to understand the processes that promote competence and prevent problems in human development. Her work emphasizes pathways to resilience and positive adaptation in the context of high cumulative risk, adversity, and trauma. Dr. Masten has published numerous empirical, theoretical and review papers and has presented at countless conferences worldwide. Dr. Masten was one of the first McNair faculty mentors at the University.

Theresa Lafavor obtained her B.A. from Smith College and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Child Development. She is the first Minnesota tribal band member enrolled in the developmental psychopathology and clinical sciences program. Ms. Lafavor’s dissertation research focuses on the role of social-emotional competence and executive function skills in the resilience of homeless children. This is her first year as a McNair co-mentor.