Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand's Research Lab

Research Interests

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand has interests in two lines of research. In the first, she has examined adolescent and young adult peer relationships, focusing on the intersections between the self, motivation, behaviors (aggression, prosociality), and social status (likeability, rejection, popularity). In this area, her research has primarily focused on understanding aggression as a social strategy (e.g., some forms of aggression predict heightened status among peers and fulfill status-oriented motivations in groups as young as early adolescence). Along these lines, her past and current work also involves self-concepts and personality (self-esteem, self-concept clarity, and "dark traits" of narcissism and psychopathy), and their interplay in predicting status and closeness motivations and subsequent behaviors in youth.

Her second area of interest is on the role of belonging and the self in the academic domain, and particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. Her past work has targeted the persistence of underrepresented students in these disciplines, building an assessment framework that is currently being used at various institutions, and examining how first year STEM persistence may be predicted by a variety of constructs. For instance, she is working on a project showing that across the first year in college, a sense of belonging is more predictive of intentions to remain in these disciplines than other constructs like self-efficacy, and belonging also mediates several previously established associations. Further, she is also working on a paper demonstrating that achievement goal orientations predict STEM-specific persistence and success. In both areas, she integrates research from multiple fields (namely, Developmental, Social, and Educational Psychology), and is interested in a number of potential future directions.  

Student Research

Students working in Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand's lab work on a variety of tasks, including data entry and coding, literature reviews, study design, and data collections. Students predominantly work on projects relating to the above research areas, but, for those working towards completing independent work, have some flexibility in exact topics based on shared interests and motivation.

Interested students should be hard working, self-sufficient, and in good academic standing (but can be any level of student, from freshman to upperclassmen). If you are interested in working with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, email her at findley@roanoke.edu 

Recent Publications

  • Ojanen, T. & Findley-Van Nostrand, D. (2018). Affective-interpersonal and impulsive-antisocial psychopathy: Links to social goals and forms of aggression in youth and adults. Psychology of Violence. 
  • Findley-Van Nostrand, D. & Pollenz, R.S. (2017). Evaluating psychosocial mechanisms underlying STEM persistence in undergraduates: Evidence of impact from a six-day pre-college engagement STEM Academy program. CBE Life Sciences Education
  • Ojanen, T., Findley-Van Nostrand, D., Bowker, J., & Markovic, A. (2015) Examining the distinctiveness and the socio-emotional correlates of anxious-withdrawal and unsociability during early adolescence in Finland. Journal of Early Adolescence
  • Ojanen, T., & Findley-Van Nostrand, D. (2014). Social goals, aggression, peer preference, and popularity: Longitudinal links during middle school. Developmental Psychology
  • Findley, D., & Ojanen, T. (2013). Adolescent social resource control: Associations with physical and relational aggression, prosocial and withdrawn behaviors, and peer regard. International Journal of Behavioral Development
  • Findley, D. & Ojanen, T. (2012). Agentic and communal goals in early adulthood: Associations with narcissism, empathy, and perceptions of self and others. Self and Identity
  • Ojanen, T., Findley, D., & Fuller, S. (2012). Overt and relational aggression in early adolescence: Associations with narcissism, temperament, and social goals. Aggressive Behavior