UW-Madison Department of Kinesiology - Elizabeth Larson

Medical imaging Carillon Tower Glass blowing Laptop and lecture A smiling student Sunrise over the Education Building Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace Bascom hall staircase Graduating students in silhouette Crowd of people on Bascom Hill A student tutoring Student with diploma Dance Department performance Night view of Bascom in the winter Memorial Union Terrace in autumn Memorial Union Terrace chairs Dance department performance Bucky Badger in front of a parade float Bascom Hall in the summertime Lincoln statue Students walking in the snow University of Wisconsin - Madison Crest Lincoln statue in the snow Forward Logo Student at graduation Bicycle in the snow Rathskellar Fireplace Sailboat with Capitol Building in the background A sailboat at the Memorial Union Bascom Hill in Autumn Bucky Badger studying with a student. Students among blooming trees at UW-Madison Bucky reading a book University flag on Bascom Hill Video camera view screen Student on a frozen lake Lincoln Statue on Bascom Hill Bascom Hill in winter Students collaborating Memorial Union Terrace chairs in the snow Kohl Center logo Graduates with diplomas A hands-on project Stacked, illuminated figures View from the top of Van Hise
shadow

CONTACTING US

Main Office

Kinesiology
School of Education
UW-Madison
Unit II Gym
2000 Observatory Dr.
MadisonWI  53706-1121

Tel: 608/262-0259
Fax: 608/262-1656

Email: kines@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
 

Professor Elizabeth Ann Larson

Profile Photo

Professor Elizabeth Ann Larson

Associate Professor
Kinesiology
Occupational Therapy (OT)

2180 Medical Sciences Center  binoculars icon
1300 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706-1509
Office: 608/262-0520

blarson@education.wisc.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Dr. Larson is an occupational therapist and occupational scientist with thirty years of clinical and research experience working with children with disabilities and their families. Her research uses mixed methods approaches to examine the impact of managing the child’s disability on the family and especially the caregiver. She employs multi-faceted approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the caregiver’s perspectives and daily lived experience including the use of participant-grounded methods such as interviews, focus groups, and participant observation within the family homes, in concert with well-validated well-being measures, and biomarkers of health. The overarching goal of her work is to investigate how the caregiver’s organization and orchestration of daily activities tailored to the child’s developmental needs promotes or impedes family functioning, and in turn influences the caregiver’s health and well-being.



 

 

Research Interests

Caregiving for children with disabilities Caregiver's well-being Self-care skills of children with autism Time-use and temporality

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 6/30/2013 - Amount: $24,200.00, "Physiological Assessment Of Maternal Stress When Caregiving For A Child With High Functioning Autism," Awarded By: Virginia Horne Henry Fund, Sponsor Type: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Elizabeth Larson.
    Abstract: This project uses observational (video) and physiologic measures (electrodermal responses) to assess caregivers’ stress during their child’s everyday self care activities. Project aims are to: characterize maternal stress during morning caregiving for a child with high functioning autism by 1) assessing the magnitude and frequency of increased electrodermal reactivity (over individual baselines) during the child grooming routines over five day’s time; 2) quantify the frequency and kinds of problematic behaviors exhibited by children with high function autism during daily grooming routines; and 3) examine which child behaviors during daily routines are associated with increased maternal stress.
  • 2011-2013 - Amount: $24,200.00, "Physiological Assessment Of Maternal Stress When Caregiving For A Child With High Functioning Autism," Awarded By: NIH, Grant Institution: NICHD, Sponsor Type: Federal, Elizabeth Larson, Principal.
    Abstract: This project uses observational (video) and physiologic measures (electrodermal responses) to assess caregivers’ stress during their child’s everyday self care activities. Project aims are to: characterize maternal stress during morning caregiving for a child with high functioning autism by 1) assessing the magnitude and frequency of increased electrodermal reactivity (over individual baselines) during the child grooming routines over five day’s time; 2) quantify the frequency and kinds of problematic behaviors exhibited by children with high function autism during daily grooming routines; and 3) examine which child behaviors during daily routines are associated with increased maternal stress.
  • 2007-2008 - Amount: $20,360.00, "Biomarkers And Activity Patterns Of Resilient And Vulnerable Caregivers Of Children With Disabilities," Awarded By: Virginia Horne Henry, Sponsor Type: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Elizabeth Larson.
    Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine 1) how health-promoting activity patterns (i.e. leisure or exercise) differ between resilient caregivers (self-rated high well-being) and vulnerable (self-rated low well-being) and 2) biological markers that may account for the diminished physical and psychological health, and advanced aging associated with stressed caregivers. Specifically whether a genetic variation of the serotonin gene transporter allele (5-HTTLPR) associated with mental health disorders was present in vulnerable caregivers in contrast to the resilient group; and whether a biomarker indicative of distress-related immune dysregulation (Interleukin-6) was elevated in the vulnerable caregivers compared to the resilient group. These funds were combined with funding from the Vilas Lifecycle Award.
  • Amount: $3,553,763.00, "“impact Of Sensory Sensitivity On Daily Life Skills In High Functioning Autism," Awarded By: National Institutes of Health, Grant Institution: NICHD, Sponsor Type: Federal, Elizabeth Larson, Principal.
    Abstract: This project aims to study the impact of sensory sensitivities on self-care skills for children with high functioning autism. Physiologic reactivity (electrodermal and cortisol) and behavioral measures will be used to assess children’s sensory sensitivity in 48 children with high functioning autism 5-9 years of age and 48 language-matched controls. Sensory sensitivity would be studied during 4 conditions in the home: (1) the SensOR Assessment, a state-of-the art clinical sensory performance measure, (2) dressing baseline (typical dressing routine), (3) sensory baseline (watching video with typically problematic morning sounds introduced, e.g. hair dryer), (4) dressing condition with typical problematic morning sounds introduced. We will gather synchronous time-locked physiologic and behavioral data.

Publications

  • Larson, E. (2012). Ethics in Occupational Therapy Research. In J. Scott & M. Reitz (Eds.), Practical Applications for the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards. Rockville, MD: American Occupational Therapy Press.
  • Larson, E., & von Eye, A. (2010). Beyond flow: Temporality and participation in everyday activities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 64, 152-63.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Larson, E. (2010). Ever vigilant: Maternal support of participation in daily life for children with disabilities. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. pp. 16-27.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Larson, E. (2010). Psychological Well-Being and Meaning-Making When Caregiving for Children With Disabilities: Growth Through Difficult Times or Sinking Inward. OTJR-OCCUPATION PARTICIPATION AND HEALTH. 30(2), 78-86.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Larson, E. (2010). What constitutes well-being in challenging life circumstances: Identifying relevant well-being indicators for caregivers of children with disabilities? Occupational Therapy International. 17, 29-39.
    Online Publication/Abstract

Presentations

  • Benedict, R., Presenter & Author, Larson, E., Presenter & Author, Auserdau, K., Presenter & Author, Farrar-Edwards, D., Author Only, & Chen, R., Presenter & Author (2012, November 2). Update on Current Occupational Therapy Research: Autism: Caregiving, Sensory Features & Feeding; Cerebral Palsy: Interventions, Child & Caregiver Outcomes; Stroke: Disparities & Treatment, Annual Conference of the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association, Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association, MIddleton, WI.
  • Larson, E. (2011, June 30). Grounding theory: Using mixed methods to identify indicators of “well-being” in caregivers of children with disability, 7th Mixed Methods International Conference, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
  • Larson, E. (2010). Mixing methods to “ground” theory: The case of caregivers and well-being., Redefining Boundaries and Bridges in Occupation, Joint conference of the Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists and the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA, London, Ontario, Canada.

Public Service

  • Journal of Mixed Methods Research
  • Reviewer, Journal Article. Period of Service: 2011 - Pres.

Awards and Honors

  • Vilas Life Cycle Professorship Award
    Organization: Women in Science and Engineering Institute
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: UW Madison
    Description: Study examined whether a genetic variation of the serotonin gene transporter allele (5-HTTLPR) associated with mental health disorders was present in vulnerable caregivers (low self-rated well-being) in contrast to the resilient group (high self-rated well-being); and whether a biomarker indicative of distress-related immune dysregulation (Interleukin-6) was elevated in the vulnerable caregivers compared to the resilient group.
    Date(s): June 1, 2007 - June 1, 2009
  • DOIT Podcast Awards
    Organization: DOIT
    Purpose: Teaching
    Scope: UW Madison
    Description: Received two awards for developing a audio and video podcasts teaching beginning Spanish language skills for pediatric occupational therapy practice.
    Date(s): 2005 - 2006

Memberships

  • Mixed Method International Research Association (MMIRA)
    Position Held: Interim Board Member/Founding Member, Scope of Organization: International, Member Since: April 2012
© 2014 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.