Aqueena Mary Fernandez

Aqueena Mary Fernandez


Joseph McNamara, Ph.D.


College of Medicine


Psychology with an emphasis in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience


Theories and Politics of Sexuality


Florida Exposure and Anxiety Research (FEAR) Lab, Filipinx Latinx Autism Neuropsychology (FLAN) Lab, Students for Music in Medicine, Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA), Women's Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, sheMD

Academic Awards

University Scholars 2021, Orange County School Nutrition Association Scholarship 2021


Student Volunteer at UF Health Rehab Center for Kids and ElderCare of Alachua County

Research Interests

Gender and Health Disparities, Intersectional Sexualities, Anxiety Disorders in Adolescents, Integration of Music and Medicine

Hobbies and Interests

Painting to accompany the latest writing piece for the Women's Health Institute, exploring Gainesville nature, spending time with family in Orlando

Research Project

It's Just Nerves: Comparing Parent and Child Perspectives on Anxiety

The purpose of this study is to compare parent and child perspectives on anxiety and its manifestations as it “becomes a problem.” I will be obtaining my data through the CARTOONS project, a set of 20 interviews with parents and children who were seeking treatment for anxiety that I assisted in recruiting, interviewing, and transcribing for the Florida Exposure and Anxiety Research (FEAR) Lab. I will be utilizing the NVivo software to perform qualitative data analysis through coding these transcribed interviews. Subsequently, I will be able to identify recurring patterns and significant quotes that capture parent and child perspectives of anxiety and how they compare to one another. This will ultimately come together as a paper for publication and poster for presentation.

This research is significant because it addresses gaps between parent and child perceptions of anxiety. Children think, feel, and react differently to various stimuli compared to adults. As a result, when kids experience anxiety, parents may feel helpless or confused. This research has the potential to bridge this division and to contribute to the literature on children’s perceptions of anxiety. The hope is that with this information, parents and providers are able to better aid their children in coping with anxiety. Through the use of extended, detailed, rich interviews, the intricacy and value of the thoughts of these children refuses to be left untouched and unanalyzed.