Graduate Student Spotlight: Devanshi Patel, M.S.

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The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Devanshi Patel for her first-authored publication in Psychological Science. Her article, titled “Parents of children with high weight are viewed as responsible for child weight and thus stigmatized”, is a collaboration with fellow doctoral student, Madison Stout, and faculty including, Drs. Jaimie Arona Krems, Jennifer Byrd-Craven, and Misty Hawkins. Her recent popular science article covering this research can be found at

Although anecdotal reports from parents of children with higher-weights suggest these parents are stigmatized, Devanshi’s work is only the second to empirically test this parental stigma, and the first to present a model to illuminate the psychology underlying this stigma. Utilizing an attribution theory model, Devanshi found that people attribute children’s (excess) weights to parents of children with higher-weights, and thus stigmatize those parents and view them as having worse parenting skills.

Devanshi is a sixth-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology in the Social and Evolutionary Psychology Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Jaimie Arona Krems. Devanshi will begin internship this coming Fall 2023 and hopes to continue her trajectory as a clinical researcher. Looking forward, she would like to continue collaborating on dissemination of weight stigma research and further investigating intersectional approaches to understanding body shape and target identity features (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation).