Ph.D. in Childhood Studies 2016 Graduates:
Jamie Dunaev

Jamie Dunaev Rutgers–Camden Ph.D. in Childhood Studies

Rutgers–Camden will confer doctoral degrees to six graduates of its landmark Ph.D. in childhood studies program during the Faculty of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 19. Launched as the nation’s first doctorate in childhood studies in 2007, the program provides an advanced theoretical and methodological study of children and childhood. It prepares scholars capable of innovative research in this interdisciplinary field, as well as policy leaders with new perspectives in child-related social practice.

In a series of portraits, these esteemed graduates share their Rutgers–Camden academic experiences and offer words of advice for others interested in pursuing a doctorate in childhood studies.

Prior Education: East Tennessee State University, B.A., sociology and anthropology
Hometown: Erwin, Tennessee
Currently Residing: Philadelphia

Choosing Rutgers–Camden
I have always been interested in research with adolescents from a multidisciplinary perspective, and the Childhood Studies program at Rutgers–Camden provided that. Also, I deeply appreciate Rutgers–Camden’s commitment to civic engagement.

A Scholar’s Path
I have enjoyed my work with my advisers and the general collegiality of the department as a whole. I was also given a good amount of freedom with choosing the direction of my studies, allowing me to find my path as a scholar.

Dissertation
Experiences of weight bias, internalization of weight bias, and body dissatisfaction play an important role in influencing the behaviors we engage in when it comes to managing our weight and improving our health.

My dissertation examined three separate and novel strategies for reducing weight bias among late adolescents. I found that the most effective way to reduce weight bias was through the use of positive and elaborate imagined contact. Furthermore, I also found that practicing body gratitude can lead to improvements in body image and reductions in internalized weight bias.

Academic Momentum
I hope to continue in academia, teaching and doing research. My training in research methods and experience writing manuscripts and presenting study results should prove beneficial in these pursuits.

Advice for Future Ph.D. Candidates in Childhood Studies at Rutgers–Camden
Read broadly and keep an open mind, publish early and often, and pursue career goals from the beginning.

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