Behavioral Neuroscience; Neurophysiology of Cocaine Addiction; Foster Mothering and Attachment Issues
Ph.D., Boston University
M.A., Boston University
B.A., Allegheny College
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Stephanie Wasserman is an Adjunct Instructor of Psychology at Merrimack College where she teaches courses in Behavioral Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology. Prior to this she was an Associate Professor at Endicott College where she specialized in teaching courses on Experimental and Physiological Psychology. She has taught 15 different courses in all. Her early research focused on the behavioral neurophysiology of cocaine addiction, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. While at Endicott College Stephanie became a foster/adoptive mother. She decided to teach part-time at Merrimack College in order to have more time to care for her new family. Foster mothering opened her eyes to the social justice issues involved in providing foster care. Her new cohort did not fit the negative image or schema created by the popular media. To the contrary, she met admirable foster mothers who tirelessly administer loving care to other peoples’ children. As an appointee to the then Department of Social Services’ Self-Evaluation team, she conducted a qualitative analysis of foster parent focus group interviews and wrote “Preliminary Recommendations for Improving the Foster Care Experience.” Stephanie has given many professional talks and papers on foster mothering. In addition, she has conducted interviews with twelve admirable foster mothers which she will continue analyzing as a Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University.
Popular media focuses on the tragic stories of foster care and professional articles reflect the social workers’ perspective. This study is designed to uncover the foster mothers’ “voice” by conducting a qualitative analysis on transcripts from interviews with twelve admirable foster mothers. Themes to be investigated include: resilience, agency and attachment.
Wasserman, Stephanie. “The Mommy Brain.” In The Encyclopedia of Mothering, edited by Andrea O’Reilly, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications: 2010.
Wasserman, Stephanie. “Mothering Foster Children.” In Mothers In All But Name: Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunts, Friends, Strangers and Nannies, edited by Marguerite Bouvard, 127-137. Nicholasville, KY: Wind Publications, 2009.