Carnegie Mellon University

Isabella Starvaggi

Isabella Starvaggi

Adviser: Kasey Creswell
Majors: Psychology, Statistics

Rumination About Fatigue in Seasonal Affective Disorder

Isabella Starvaggi's project will aim to be the first to directly test the hypothesis that vegetative-symptom rumination is a better predictor of severe winter depression than mood rumination in seasonal affective disorder (SAD), characterized as fatigue, increased appetite or an abnormal lack of energy. If this hypothesis is confirmed, Starvaggi believes her work will identify a more precise risk factor for SAD, which could be useful in developing potential treatments.


Since her sophomore year, Starvaggi has been a research assistant in Assistant Professor of PsychologyKasey Creswell's lab, where she conducts participant recruitment, manages data, handles study materials, presents papers to fellow research assistants and attends administrative meetings for the current National Institutes of Health-funded trial. She is currently collaborating on a research paper with the University of Pittsburgh's Kathryn Roecklein and Lauren Hallion. She is assisting in hypothesis development, performing literature review and writing the paper's background section. Through this work, she has developed familiarity with the state of the literature on seasonal affective disorder.