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Interdisciplinary Applied Behavioral Research Lab

 

Coordinators: 

  • Professor Adrian Rosan, PhD
  • Associate Professor Alina S. Rusu, PhD

 

Research Units:

  1. Screening and interventions for behavioral disordes 
  2. Human-animal interaction – therapeutic interventions for people with special needs 
  3. Applied Human Ethology and Psychobiology of Sexuality (including disabled persons) 
 

Mission and objective: 

  • Promoting the active involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in the research activities of the Lab (i.e., projects and diploma theses supervision); involvement of Master students and PhD students in the research teams of the ongoing research projects. 
  • Understanding the principles of multilevel screening (psychological, genetic) for the psycho-social factors associated to behavioral disorders, with special attention on the callous-unemotional (CU) traits; 
  • Development, testing (evidence-based approach) and implementation of programs aimed to the prevention and the reduction of specific categories of aggression (direct and relational proactive and reactive) in subpopulations at risk (e.g., detention facilities, correction centers etc.).
  • Creating a national normative database concerning the adolescents with callous unemotional traits from juvenile detention 
  • Scientific  contributions in creating a national strategy for the prevention of violent behavior in different institutions ( mainstream and special schools, juvenile detention facilities , prisons) through activities based on human-animal interaction and programs for social and emotional development 
  • Promoting of the interdisciplinary scientific study of human-animal interaction (persectives: ethology, compared psychology and evolutionary sciences). 
  • Development and testing of optimal models to incorporate animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted interventions within educational and therapeutic programs for people with disabilities (senzorial, intelectual and motor disabilities).  
  • Identification of attitudinal and behavioral factors for the optimisation of human-animal interactions. 
  • Interdisciplinary research of the behavioral, cognitive and emotional factors of the couple formation strategies in humans (within the frame of Life History theory and Parental Investment theory). 
  • Interdisciplinary research of sexual attractivity and relationship satisfaction in persons with and without disabilities. 

 

Members: academic personel (teachers, researchers), Master students, PhD students, postodoctoral researchers with interests on the research areas of the Lab. 

 

Research Projects and activities of the Lab (ongoing and within the last three years):

  • 2011-2013. National Research Project PN-II-RU-TE-3-2011-3-0080 (Alina S. Rusu, Director) – Psycho-social and physiological mechanisms of the effects of human-animal interactions on the socio-emotional abilities of autistic children. 
  • 2010 – 2012. National Research Project TD, theme no. 407, code CNCSIS (Adrian Rosan, Director) - The Screening of Adolescents with Callous-Unemotional Traits from Juvenile Detention Facilities in Romania.  
  • 2012 – National Project School of Advanced Studies PN-II-ID-SSA-2012-2-032 – 2012. Human-Animal Interactions: Modern Zoo Management, Animal Welfare and Behavioral Enrichment (Alina S. Rusu - Co-Director).
  • 2012-2014 – International Project - Co-constructing Healthy Experiences  - Lifelong Learning Programme Erasmus – Intensive Programmes (IP) –  2012-1-BE3-ERA10-06071 (PI Howest University, Belgium) – Alina S. Rusu (BBU team coordinator). 
  • Day of the Human-Animal Interactions (DHAI) – series of events open to specialists in HAI, students, owners of companion animals, children with and without disabilities, aiming to increase the awareness toward the benefits of human-animal interactions on the quality of life. This type of event is organised within the Consortium for Research and Education in the area of HAI, composed by Babes-Bolyai University (Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education – coordinator: Alina S. Rusu), University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca (coordinator: Andrei Mihalca), and the Institute of Research of Human-Animal Interactions (Zoo Turda, coordinators: Csaba Mate and Vlad Vancia). 

 

Figure 1. First edition of the Day of Human-Animal Interaction (28th of February, 2013).

 

  • Scientific consultancy in the field of Human-Animal Interaction in the first Social Assitance through Animal-assisted Activities of Persons in Detention Program („An educated dog, a wonderful friend”) – team of the project: Ringstar Bucharest, Dog Town Bucharest, Angel Dog Bucharest/Satu-Mare, and the National Administration of Detention Facilities. 

 

National collaborators, specialists and volunteers:

  • University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca (contact persons: Associate Professor Andrei D. Mihalca, PhD, and Associate Professor Ciprian Ober, PhD) – www.usamvcluj.ro
  • Institute of the Research of Human-Animal Interactions (Zoo Turda) - www.icioa.ro 
  • Utility Dogs Club - www.caini-utilitari.ro
  • Vivarium (UBB) - www.ubbcluj.ro/en/structura/muzee/muzeul_vivariu.html
  • Dog Magazin Romania - www.dogmagazin.ro
  • Descopera Natura NGO, Cluj-Napoca -  www.descopera-natura.ro 
  • Dog Training Club  Ringstar Bucharest - www.ringstar.ro
  • „Arca lui Noe” Association for Animal Protection -www.arcaluinoe.eu
  • PetJoy, Cluj-Napoca - www.petjoy.ro 
  • Association Angel Dog - www.angeldog.ro 
  • Dog Training Joker K9, Cluj-Napoca
  • Psychoterapist Lavinia Chereji and Astor (therapy dog) – private practice
  • Psychotherapist Ana-Maria Basceanu and Loki (therapy dog) – private practice
  • Psychotherapist Laura Sandu and Bia (therapy dog) – private practice
  • George Mosoia and Bes and Dersou (therapy dogs)

 

International collaborators and experts:

 

Selected publications in the research areas of the Lab:

  • Rosan, A., Costea-Barlutiu, C. (in press) - Callous-Unemotional Traits, Aggression and Psychopatology in Detained Adolescent Males – in Modern Research in Psychology: Trends and Prospects.
  • Roșan, A., Frick, P. (in press). Screeningul trăsăturile CU- CU Traits Screening, booklet ediție bilingvă, Ed. Alma Mater, Cluj-Napoca.
  • Rosan, A. - Features of basic emotions of adolescents with risk of occurence violent behaviour (2010) in Băltățescu, S., Chipea, F., Cioară, I., Hatos, A., Săveanu, S. (coord.). Education and social change, p. 245 - 250 Ed. Universității din Oradea, Oradea. 
  • Rosan, A. (2010). Social Acceptance and Solving Strategies for Aggressive Behaviour in Peer Groups, in Anca, M (ed.) Special Education between Practice and Research, volume III, Cluj-Napoca: Cluj University Press.
  • Grigore, A., Rusu, A.S. (accepted for publication). Interaction with a therapy dog enhances the effects of Social Story method in autistic children. Society & Animals. 
  • Dumitrescu, D., Rusu, A.S. (2012). Relationship between early maladaptive schemas, couple satisfaction and individual mate value: an evolutionary psychological approach. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, 12: 63-76. 
  • Bartos, S.E.,  Rusu. A.S. (editors), 2011. Psycho-Biology of Sexuality: Research Ideas. Sinapsis. ISBN 978-606-531-078-0. 186 pages (in Romanian). PDF here: http://www.ubbcluj.ro/books-online/psihologie/Psihobiologia_sexualitatii.pdf
  • Bartos, S.E., Rusu, A.S. (2010). Do Romanian Heterosexual Men Differ from Homosexual Men in Expressing their Mate Preferences? – A Preliminary Evolutionary Psychological Investigation of the Online Personal Advertisements. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. Vol.10, 2:199-210. 
  • Rusu, A.S., Maxim, A. (2009). An Evolutionary Psychological Investigation of Mating Strategies in Romania (II) – How Do Single versus Attached Individuals Search for New Partners? Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. 9: 169-184. 

 

Contact:

Prof. Adrian Rosan, PhD – adrian.rosan [/\] ubbcluj.ro
Associate Prof. Alina S. Rusu, PhD – alina.rusu [/\] ubbcluj.ro

 

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