The American Psychological Foundation (APF) announced that third-year Penn State doctoral student, Meg Cadden received the 2015 $10,000 APF Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship. Cadden will use the scholarship to conduct her study on the stigma people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer. Her study, “Judgment Hurts: The Physical and Psychological Consequences of Experiencing Stigma in MS,” aims to clarify the relationship between stigma and depression in individuals with varying degrees of physical disability related to multiple sclerosis. Her study will examine whether stigma directly influences disease progression over one year, and whether depression plays a part in the disease course.
“I am beyond thrilled to have received this award,” Cadden said. “I am excited to use the funds to pursue research examining the psychologically and physically painful effects of experiencing stigma. I hope for this work to be used as further ammunition in the social campaign against stigma. I am also incredibly grateful for my mentors here at Penn State, who helped me craft my ideas and supported me through the application process.”
Cadden is engaged in various projects examining cognitive and emotional functioning in MS under her adviser Peter Arnett. She is primarily interested in the interface of emotion (particularly depression) and cognition in neurological disorders.
The APF established the Pearsall Scholarship to encourage talented students to improve the public’s understanding of the psychological pain and stigma people face who have physical disabilities.