We study risk and protective factors related to children's, adolescents', and young adults' physical and mental health. We examine biological, social, and personality processes as risk and resilience factors for developmental psychopathology and health risk behaviors. Our projects focus on self-regulation, self-system, and religiousness/spirituality as protective factors for health risk behaviors among normative samples of adolescents and for mental health problems among high-risk children with child maltreatment. Our most recent research project investigates adolescent brain development related to risk taking decision making and health risk behaviors (substance use and risky sexual behaviors).
We're a dedicated group with over 50 years of combined developmental research experience. We come from diverse backgrounds with unique experiences and perspectives and are united by a shared passion for advancing scientific knowledge of risk and resilience in adolescent and young adult development.
Are you passionate about research? We are actively recruiting grad students to join our research team. Are you an undergrad looking to gain research experience interested in joining our lab? Contact us to learn more!
**Accepting new graduate students for fall 2020**
Currently accepting applications for a research coordinator position. To learn more about the position and to apply please see our job posting:
Within a developmental psychopathology perspective (Cicchetti, 1993), the development of psychopathology is viewed as unfolding along different developmental pathways among different individuals. Thus, it is expected that relevant causal processes vary among individuals who show the same pattern of disorders (i.e., equifinality), and that there is heterogeneity in the expression of disorders (i.e., multifinality). Therefore, it is important that different psychopathological outcomes are investigated simultaneously.
From the developmental psychopathology framework, my research program focuses on developmental processes that mediate and/or moderate the long-term effects of stressful life experiences (such as child maltreatment) on the trajectories of psychopathology and resilient functioning. The research thereby makes important theoretical contributions to the understanding of the heterogeneity (e.g., multifinality) in the developmental outcomes resulting from earlier traumatic experiences and provides implications for prevention and intervention efforts.
Methodologically, my research program incorporates multiple levels of analysis including behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and neurobiological aspects of developmental processes. Statistically, my approach has stressed applying structural equation modeling (SEM) to study developmental changes and stability. My work is based on the premise that studying interindividual differences (differences among different individuals) in intraindividual variability (within-individual changes over time) is critical to obtaining a fuller understanding of human development. Accordingly, most of my research has utilized advanced statistical techniques for longitudinal analysis including SEM, latent growth modeling, growth mixture modeling, latent interaction modeling, and latent difference score modeling.
Interested in participating in our research or learning more? Contact us and a representative from our lab will be in touch!
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