Undergraduate ResearcHERs: Raegan Harrington

Written By: Daphne Fauber (Guest Writer)

Raegan Harrington, a senior at the University of Maine, Orono majoring in Psychology, knew she wanted to pursue a career in psychology after taking the associated Advanced Placement class in high school.

“I always wanted to help my community and make an impact, but before this course I was not sure how I might do that,” Harrington explained. “[It] made me realize that I could link my interests in psychology with my desires to help the world by becoming a clinical psychologist, making an impact through research and clinical practice.”

She did not have to wait long to begin fulfilling her dream of making an impact. Her freshman year of college, Harrington was invited to become an undergraduate research assistant in the Peer Relations Lab, a lab studying how the social relationships of young people affect health outcomes. The instructor for one of Harrington’s classes approached her about joining the lab they worked in due to her exemplary performance throughout the course, and Harrington has been in the lab since.

“Undeniably, joining a research lab was the best choice I made in terms of gaining significant research opportunities... I encourage [people] to think about their general research interests and join an active research laboratory with related research topics,” Harrington explained.

As a part of her work within the Peer Relations Lab, Harrington has used existing data to answer her own original research question about the effects of co-rumination, a phenomenon in which peers engage in repetitive, speculative, and negatively-fo