SPSSI 2021-2024 Secretary-Treasurer
Alaina Brenick is currently Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development at the University of Connecticut. She received a pre-doctoral traineeship from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to obtain her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland prior to her postdoctoral fellowship at the Friedrich Schiller Universität of Jena, Germany. Dr. Brenick is a scholar-activist dedicated to the interdisciplinary and translational approaches fundamental to the field of Human Development and Family Sciences. Drawing from social and developmental psychology, education, and social work she is interested in identifying and examining individual, micro-, and macro-level factors that contribute to intergroup conflict, as well as the conditions necessary for reducing prejudice, discrimination, and victimization across development. Specifically, her research focuses on how diverse groups of children, adolescents, and young adults in the U.S. and in other regions of the world—sometimes with vastly different societal structures, norms, and expectations—experience, reason about, and respond to intergroup conflict and group-based victimization (e.g., discrimination, denial of rights, bullying, exclusion based on one’s group membership/identity). She is committed to translating her work into practice. Her research provides a fundamental knowledge base for creating contextually and developmentally appropriate intervention programs, designed to reduce individual prejudice and systemic oppression and promote socially just and equitable intergroup relations. Dr. Brenick most recently served SPSSI as 2021 Conference Program Co-Chair.