Research: A Meta Analysis on the Overlap of Borderline Personality Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Chloe Bevilacqua

Liberal Arts Major: Psychology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Fall 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I am conducting research on the potential overlap between borderline personality disorder (a condition defined by a pattern of unstable relationships, emotions, and self-image) and autism spectrum disorder (a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social interaction impairments and abnormal/repetitive interests). There are multiple papers on this overlap, all with differing conclusions. I am performing a meta-analysis to synthesize the results and better understand how the conditions relate.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Throughout my college career, I have read research studies and participated in the collection of data. However, the process of doing my own independent research has taught me how to come up with a question and systematically investigate the topic. I've also learned how to write the results in a way that can be shared within the scientific community and beyond. These tools will be incredibly helpful in graduate school.

"I've also learned how to write the results in a way that can be shared within the scientific community and beyond."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I am planning on attending graduate school to receive a Ph.D. in either school, child clinical, or child counseling psychology. Being able to conduct independent research is a cornerstone of Ph.D. programs, and I will be expected to investigate emerging topics as both an empirical scientist and a clinician.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

My advisor, Dr. Kenneth Levy, is a member of the psychology department and has helped me tremendously both in this project and my entire undergraduate career. I've been a member of his lab since my 1st year of college, and have learned how research impacts people. The enrichment funding has also helped me, easing some of the financial burdens I've encountered throughout college.

For more information on research opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

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