UC Davis psychologist standing in the spacious library reading room. Behind her are large windows and students studying at desks with brass and glass reading lamps.
Camelia Hostinar, an assistant professor of psychology who studies health and resilience of children in poverty, will receive a 2022 Boyd McCandless Award from the American Psychological Association Division 7 for her contributions to the field of developmental psychology. (Susan Andre/University of Minnesota)

Psychologist Hostinar Recognized for Research on Children in Poverty

Camelia Hostinar, an assistant professor of psychology, will receive an American Psychological Association early career award for her research investigating how poverty influences children’s development.

The APA’s developmental psychology Division 7 recently selected Hostinar for a 2022 Boyd McCandless Award, which recognizes young scientists who make exceptional contributions to the field during the first eight years of their academic career.

Hostinar has had more than 50 papers published in scholarly journals and books since earning her doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2013. She joined the UC Davis Department of Psychology and the UC Davis Center for Poverty and Inequality Research in 2016. She directs the Social Environment & Stress (SES) Lab at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain.

One recent article — examining resilience of children and youth in the face of poverty, and interventions that could help them thrive — received a 2020 Early Career Outstanding Paper Award from APA Division 7.

As a McCandless Award recipient, Hostinar will give a lecture at next year’s APA convention.

In her research, Hostinar studies how poverty and other forms of chronic stress in childhood shape reactions to stress and long-term health, and how supportive social relationships buffer against those adverse effects.

In nominating her for the McCandless Award, UC Davis psychology professors Paul Hastings and Simona Ghetti said her findings have powerful real-world implications. “This research is significant because it can help to build our understanding of how to reduce the burden of mental and physical illness on low-income populations,” Hastings and Ghetti wrote.

“Her research has identified multiple potential targets, at varying ages, for new and more effective efforts to enhance healthy development in children and youth who have experienced poverty and other adversities.”

Hostinar’s research has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the Jacobs Foundation.

Among her other awards, she received a 2015 Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science and a 2019 Early Career Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development.
— Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science

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