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Natasha Duell is a postdoctoral fellow through the National Science Foundation’s directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. She is currently housed in the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2018-2021 Natasha was an NIH T32 postdoctoral fellow at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (formerly Center for Developmental Science). She received her PhD in psychology from Temple University in 2018 with the mentorship of Dr. Laurence Steinberg and her BA in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine in 2011.

Broadly, Natasha’s research applies a strengths-based approach to examining cultural and biopsychosocial correlates of adolescent decision-making and risk taking through three lines of inquiry: (1) positive risk taking, (2) cross-cultural comparisons of risk taking, and (3) social influences on decision-making. She has developed a  self-report scale of positive risk taking that is being administered and validated in samples of youth across the world. Through her ongoing collaborations with the Decision-Making in Everyday Life and Parenting Across Cultures studies, Natasha examines cross-national variations in decision-making and risk taking. Natasha’s NSF-funded research examines (1) associations among racial discrimination, brain development, and self-regulation and (2) family values and school support as protective buffers  among adolescents from marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, Natasha has been awarded a Jacobs Foundation Young Scholars Grant as co-principal investigator along with her colleague Dr. Laura Di Giunta Sapienza University of Rome. The project uses experimental and EMA methodologies to examine individual differences in learning and school performance as a function of emotion regulation and feedback sensitivity in youth across cultures. Read more here.

To answer her research questions, Natasha uses advanced statistical modeling and methods including questionnaires, experimental tasks, ecological momentary assessments, fMRI, and hormone samples. As a scholar, she is committed to cultivating an equitable and inclusive academic environment and to ethical and transparent scientific practices.

Natasha is currently working with the Social Neuroscience & Health Lab (Director: Dr. Keely Muscatell) and Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab (Director: Dr. Eva Telzer) at UNC.

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