Holy Family University’s Alexa Bonacquisti, PhD, Assistant Professor, Graduate Counseling Psychology Department, was recently published in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. Her paper, titled Maternal depression, anxiety, stress, and maternal-infant attachment in the neonatal intensive care unit, describes a study of the psychological experiences of mothers with infants in the NICU. It was co-authored by Dr. Pamela A. Geller from Drexel University and Dr. Chavis A. Patterson from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
“Women’s reproductive health has so many important implications for the wellbeing of women, children and families,” said Bonacquisti. “Through my work, I want to recognize the range of experiences and emotions women may encounter during their childbearing years, including infertility, pregnancy loss, perinatal psychiatric symptoms, and adverse infant outcomes. I hope to increase our knowledge of the psychological aspects of these experiences so we can develop better support systems, refine clinical interventions, and improve public policies to support women and families as they navigate their reproductive journeys. Moreover, as a clinical psychologist, I am very interested in translating research findings to effective interventions and the development of innovative treatments for perinatal women.”
Bonacquisti joined Holy Family in the fall of 2018, bringing with her years of research experience in women’s reproductive health psychology and perinatal mental health. She has been published numerous times in such periodicals as the Journal of Perinatology, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, International Journal of Medical Education, and the Journal of Clinical Nursing, and has co-authored several book chapters. Her interest in this area developed when she first began studying psychology.
She also speaks publicly to raise awareness. Most recently, Bonacquisti presented a “Tiger Talk” for students, faculty and staff titled “The 4th Trimester: Understanding and Improving the Postpartum Experience for Mothers and Families.” Tiger Talks are modeled after TED Talks, highlighting topics of interest for the Holy Family University community. During her talk, she shared personal perspectives and her latest research in this area, exploring how we can enhance understanding and recognition of the postpartum experience to address the unmet needs of parents and families.
Bonacquisti is licensed to practice psychology in the State of Pennsylvania. She is a 2019 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Instructional Resource Award.