U of R rated in top 10 internationally for publishing psychology-related COVID-19 articles

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: January 31, 2022 11:00 a.m.

Zoom photo of Dr. Gordon Asmundson, Caeleigh Landry and Michelle Paluszek.
Zoom photo of Dr. Gordon Asmundson, Caeleigh Landry and Michelle Paluszek. Cayleigh Landry

There has been significant interest in the psychological effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on people. A study* published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology identified the U of R as one of the top 10 institutions internationally in regards to psychology-related COVID-19 publishing.

The study identifies Dr. Gordon Asmundson, University of Regina psychology professor, registered doctoral psychologist, Director of the Anxiety and Illness Behaviour Lab, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, as being the most productive researcher internationally.

Caeleigh Landry, who is completing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at the U of R, and Michelle Paluszek, who is completing her PhD in the U of R’s Clinical Psychology program, are also identified as being among the most productive publishing collaborators.

“The study only examined publications during the first nine months of the pandemic and there has been a lot more research published on the psychological effects of the pandemic since then, both by our research group and others,” said Asmundson. “However, to discover that when the pandemic first arose, the U of R was among the top 10 institutions internationally – in the company of Stanford, Harvard, University College London, and UCLA – in publishing psychology-related COVID-19 articles, emphasizes of depth of our research enterprise and our ability to quickly focus our research to examine critical, real world issues.”

Cayleigh Landry

Caeleigh Landry, is completing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at the U of R. Credit: Lifetouch

Landry says she appreciates the many opportunities she’s had to participate in this research and to publish articles during her studies.

“So far I’ve collaborated on 11 publications regarding COVID-19 and I’ve learned a lot from this experience – both personally and professionally. Professionally I feel like I’ve gained skills related to manuscript writing, data collection, dataset management, and data analysis. I also learned more about how to work well with teams under pressure. I also believe that the publications and exposure I have gotten from this work will help me be more competitive for funding.

“I feel so supported by my supervisors, as well as by Dr. Gordon Asmundson. I have been strongly encouraged to seek opportunities and to be creative within my lab to both create projects and collaborate with others and to explore both my research and clinical interests.”

Paluszek, who has contributed to 12 psychology-related COVID-19 research publications, also agrees that being able to conduct research and publish articles has provided her with a tremendous learning and professional opportunities.

“Without a doubt, this research experience has benefitted my learning. I learned various valuable research skills, including how to perform more advanced statistical analyses that I can apply to future projects. I also want to note that not many graduate students have such abundant research opportunities, let alone opportunities to actually publish their research in peer-reviewed journals. I strongly believe that the research output from these projects have made me more competitive for doctoral funding, and made me feel better positioned for careers in academic settings.”

Michelle Paluszek

Doctoral student Michelle Paluszek is in the U of R’s Clinical Psychology program

Credit: Michelle Paluszek

“Psychology students at the University of Regina, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, are learning from, and working with, some of the top researchers in their fields in Canada and internationally,” said Dr. Kathleen McNutt, Vice-President (Research). “I believe the program’s research focus is one of the reasons the U of R was recently ranked sixth out of 27 Canadian universities in the Times Higher Education’s list of Best universities for psychology degrees in Canada 2022.”

Landry and Paluszek agree that the reputation of the U of R’s researchers had a major impact in their deciding to complete their grad studies here.

“I chose to pursue my Master’s at University of Regina because I had been following the research of Dr. Nick Carleton, Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, and Dr. Gordon Asmundson,” said Landry. “I believed that we had common research interests and that they would be supportive supervisors who could help advise me with my clinical goals and further my research goals.”

Paluszek states, “I decided to attend the U of R because of Dr. Gordon Asmundson and his lab. Dr. Asmundson had research interests that strongly aligned with mine, had various interesting research projects on the go, had collaborated with many esteemed researchers in my hometown, and really showed interest in what I had to offer the program.”

Both Landry and Paluszek also acknowledge being a graduate student in the psychology program is challenging and they are expected to juggle a lot of work concurrently, such as practicum, courses, thesis/dissertation, other research activities, and teaching responsibilities. As a result, one of the key things they’ve come to appreciate is the need to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

“Achieving balance between work and life domains was a major challenge for me during the COVID-19 projects,” said Paluszek. “Eventually prioritizing and learning to maintain a balance between work and life has, ultimately, helped promote my motivation, focus, and well-being moving forwards in my graduate program.”

“I put a great amount of time and effort into this project and started feeling pretty worn out,” said Landry. “I really learned how important it is to take time for myself and to try to have a balanced approach to life, school, and work.”

The University recognizes that the pandemic has created many uncertainties, changes, and stressors for students, faculty and staff. The Mental Wellness Hub is a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support for students, faculty, and staff.  The Hub includes information on emergency and crisis assistance, training and workshops, community resources, and mental health resources available on campus.

For more information on the U of R’s psychology program, which offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, and master’s and doctoral degrees in both Clinical Psychology and Experimental and Applied Psychology, visit their website.

* Ho, Y. S., Fu, H. Z., & McKay, D. (2021) A bibliometric analysis of COVID‐19 publications in the ten psychology‐related Web of Science categories in the social science citation index, analyzed the characteristics of the COVID‐19 publications in the ten psychology‐related Web of Science categories in the social science citation index 10‐month following the COVID‐19 outbreak.