Student Spotlight: Kristine Durkin

Kristine Durkin is a fifth-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at West Virginia University under the mentorship of Christina Duncan, PhD. Durkin is recognized as an outstanding student who has made contributions to the field of pediatric psychology through research, clinical work, and service.

Durkin’s areas of research interest include the development and implementation of behavioral interventions designed to improve self-management and adherence to medical regimens and decrease health disparities in pediatric populations. Durkin was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) through the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute for a mixed methods multi-site project investigating nutritional adherence in adolescents with cystic fibrosis.

Clinically, Durkin has provided inpatient and outpatient services to a wide range of subspecialty populations including type 1 diabetes, hematology/oncology, cystic fibrosis, asthma, and burn survivors. In these roles, Durkin worked within multidisciplinary teams to determine the best course of treatment to promote adherence, adjustment, coping skills, and quality of life for pediatric patients and their families.

Durkin regularly serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for journal manuscripts and was a student ambassador at SPPAC 2019. Durkin was one of the founding members of a new student group in the West Virginia University psychology department: The Anti-Racist Action Group. As a member of this group, she co-wrote a Racial Justice Grant to support an Undergraduate Mentorship program to increase access to resources and training necessary to pursue graduate and professional training programs for students of color.

In the future, Durkin hopes to have a productive research career dedicated to improving our understanding of behavioral mechanisms responsible for self-management and adherence and to incorporate that understanding into pragmatic, evidence-based treatment/intervention strategies aimed at improving care for youth and families. She will begin her clinical internship year at Alpert Medical School of Brown University in summer 2021.