Lab Member, Janna Imel, Begins Recruiting Farmers for Her Dissertation Study!

Janna Imel, M.S. has started the data collection process for her dissertation, “From Sunrise to Sunset: A Lifespan Approach to the Mental Health of America’s Farmers.” Please see her recruitment message below:

“I am currently recruiting farmers ages 18 and older for my dissertation study. The purpose of this research study is to find out about:

(1) farm related stressors faced by American farmers,

(2) how American farmers cope with these stressors, and

(3) how these stressors are associated with the mental and physical wellbeing of American farmers of all ages.

This study will allow us to learn more about farm-related stressors, as well as the mental and physical health, and coping behaviors of America’s farmers. Additionally, this study will identify potential coping strengths in American farmers. In the study, participants will be asked to spend 15-20 minutes completing a questionnaire about farm stressors they face, as well as their health (emotional and physical), and the most common ways they cope with stress. As compensation for participation in the study, participants can elect to be entered into a raffle for 1 of 4 $50 gift cards. Participation in this study is voluntary and participants may freely withdraw from the study at any time. If you are interested in more information about the study or would like a paper survey mailed to you, please contact Janna Imel, M.S. at JLIMEL@VCU.EDU or (606) 465-1576. Alternatively, participants may complete the survey online at this link

Morgan Reid Joins the Chronopsychology Lab!

Morgan is a second-year Counseling Psychology student at VCU. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from Longwood University. She also received a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the College of William & Mary. Her research interests include: the impact of college student health behaviors on academic performance and mental health outcomes, habit formation and daily routines, and college student anxiety disorders. Welcome, Morgan!

Congratulations to Janna Imel for Being Awarded the VCU Graduate School Dissertation Assistantship Award!

Janna L. Imel, M.S. has been awarded funding for the 2018-2019 academic year through the VCU Graduate School’s Dissertation Assistantship Award Program. The assistantship award program was created for doctoral scholars who have completed all program requirements, including didactic courses, except for the dissertation.

Awardees must be nominated by their program directors and must work full-time toward completion of their dissertation during the award period. This funding program covers university tuition, provides a stipend, and allows Janna to have dedicated time for her dissertation work.



Undergraduate Research Assistants Present at the VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Two of our undergraduate research assistants presented their year-long projects at the VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity. We are so proud of them!
Pictured left is Eboni Felton with her poster, “Life changing experiences: Predictors of weight outcomes in older adults.” Pictured right is Michaela Blankenship with her poster, “The relationship between stress and sleep: Can self-control play a role?”

Congratulations to Ashley MacPherson on Her Successful Master’s Thesis Proposal!

Congratulations to Ashley for successfully proposing her Master’s Thesis entitled, “Predictors of breakfast intake in adults: The role of sleep and affect”.
Study Description: Despite the numerous positive outcomes associated with breakfast intake, skipping breakfast remains common in adults. Emotional variables have been associated with sleep, however prior studies have only examined these associations using cross-sectional designs. Aspects of sleep, such as sleep timing and chronotype, have also been associated with breakfast intake. However prior research has not investigated multiple aspects of sleep, and has failed to capture the variability of sleep behaviors. Therefore, this study will examine the role of sleep (sleep timing, sleep duration, and mid-sleep) and affect in predicting breakfast intake. Additionally this study will utilize an ecological momentary assessment approach, and examine intraindividual variability of sleep behaviors as predictors of breakfast intake.

Welcome to Our New Lab Members Sarah Ghose and Sahar Sabet!

We are excited to have both Sarah and Sahar joining our lab this fall and beginning as first year students in the Counseling Psychology program at VCU. Welcome Sahar and Sarah!


Sarah Ghose

Sarah Ghose received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from Bowling Green State University and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Cleveland State University. Sarah’s research interests include: health psychology, integrated primary care treatment models, health behavior change, the impact of psychosocial factors (i.e., stress, sleep, and emotion regulation) on autoimmune and chronic diseases, and factors that buffer effects of stress and internalizing disorders on health outcomes.




Sahar Sabet

Sahar Sabet received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Georgia and her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College. Sahar’s research interests include: anxiety within diverse and underserved populations, obsessive-compulsive disorder, habit formation, and the impact of consistent and regular daily routines on various health outcomes.







Congratulations to Janna Imel on Her Successful Dissertation Proposal!

Janna L. Imel, M.S. successfully proposed her dissertation titled, “From Sunrise to Sunset: A Lifespan Approach to the Mental Health of America’s Farmers.”

The proposed study will examine the association between working conditions, farm-related stress, mental health, and physical health in American farmers. The study also seeks to understand how farmers cope with farm-related stressors. This research is  important given that over their lifetime, farmers are exposed to unrelenting stressors like shifting commodity markets, costs of production, and changes in weather, etc.

Ms. Imel will begin data collection this fall!

Pictured above is Janna’s inspiration for choosing to study farmers for her dissertation. Her father, Kenny Imel, has been farming and running his own greenhouse business since 1976.

Lab Members Present Research at SLEEP 2018 in Baltimore

Members of our lab presented their research at SLEEP 2018: the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS). This meeting provides education, discussions, and presentations surrounding developments in clinical sleep medicine, as well as sleep and circadian science.

Three posters were presented this year. Janna Lynn Imel, M. S. presented her poster, “Perceived Control Over One’s Health: Linking Dispositional Mindfulness and Sleep Outcomes.” Ashley MacPherson, M.S.  presented her poster, “Comparing Sleep Duration and Sleep Timing as Predictors of Breakfast Intake.” Dana Schreiber, M.S. presented her poster, “Impact of Day-to-Day Variability of Emotionality and Sleep on Weight in Midlife Women.”

Ashley Macpherson with her poster.


Dr. Natalie Dautovich and Janna Imel with Janna’s poster.

Lab members also had the opportunity to reconnect with lab alumna, Dr. Caitie Tighe, who was also presenting her research at SLEEP 2018. Members also connected with the VCU SAGE lab for lunch.

Chronopsychology: The Daily Life Research Lab current members and alumni have lunch with the SAGE research lab at SLEEP 2018

The Daily Life Research Lab is Recruiting Graduate Students to Begin August 2018

Natalie Dautovich and The Daily Life Research Lab are recruiting graduate students to begin in August 2018.

We are looking for applicants who are particularly interested in topics such as:

  • Understanding or promoting healthy outcomes (e.g., including but not limited to sleep)
  • The role of affect in healthy well-being
  • Developmental changes in health and well-being across the adult lifespan
  • Investigating daily processes such as routines or habits.

Furthermore, we examine these topics within the context of family, social, cultural, and political environments.

Please contact Dr. Dautovich ( if you have any questions about the lab, her mentorship model, or the graduate experience at VCU.

More information about the Counseling Program can be found here. You can also contact our Counseling Program Assistant Rachel Boutté ( for questions about the admissions process.

We look forward to hearing from you!