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NIU School Psychology student receives research grant

June 21, 2021

The Society for the Study of School Psychology has awarded Logan Riffle, a psychology Ph.D. student, a research grant to assist with the completion of her dissertation.

Logan Riffle

The Society for the Study of School Psychology has a unique role among school psychology organizations, a mission that is devoted exclusively to recognizing and promoting scholarship and research. One of their initiatives is the Society of School Psychology Dissertation Grant Awards, which promotes excellence in research training in school psychology and enhances the capability of students to pursue productive research careers that advance the science of school psychology.

Riffle’s dissertation project examines the extent to which social anxiety and social media rumination account for (or explain) the relationship between cyberbullying victimization and depression in middle school students.

Social media rumination, a relatively new area of study, is the extent to which individuals think about their social media. While the association between cyberbullying victimization and depression has been established, additional research is needed to determine what specifically accounts for this link.

Being the victim of cyberbullying may lead to negative outcomes where the victims dwell on their social media. A secondary focus of the study is to examine how these associations look different between boys and girls. Such work will help to inform cyberbullying prevention and intervention initiatives.

Riffle, a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, has worked in schools with students from early childhood to high school while completing graduate coursework. She is currently finishing her third year in the School Psychology Ph.D. Program, under the mentorship of Professor Michelle Demaray.

“I’ve had an incredible experience at NIU and in the School Psychology Program,” she said.

Riffle, who is on track to graduate in Spring 2023, has a passion for all things school psychology — research, leadership and direct work with children and families in applied settings. Her specific research interests include bullying and cyberbullying behavior and associations with various outcomes such as academic achievement and internalizing issues. She is also interested in the assessment and treatment of trauma.