My research examines the social and environmental predictors of developmental outcomes. Specifically, I am interested in how relationships with parents and early environmental adversity impact the development of the stress response system and risky behaviors.
Our early-life experiences teach us about the safety and predictability of our environments. Our perception of our environments can have many downstream effects on our behavior. One of the most salient indicators of the safety and predictability of our environment are our parents. My research focuses on how the presence and involvement of parents can lead to a cascade of developmental changes including physical, cognitive, and social development.
Early Adversity & Developmental Outcomes
Our early life environments teach us about the environments we will experience as adults. To help us survive our environments, our bodies will adapt our physiology and behavior to promote optimal survival chances. However, our bodies calibration to the environment might not match our environment leading to environmental-mismatch which can lead to many later life disparities. My research is focused on how both social and environmental adversities can lead to differential outcomes across the lifespan.
Not all “risky” behavior is bad! In many contexts, engaging in risky behavior can lead to social and financial gains that can help promote survival in the long-run. However, for some risky behaviors, the short-term benefits from risky behavior do not outweigh the long-term consequences and potential harms associated with them. My research is focused on understanding what makes risky behavior “risky” and how our likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors might be a product of social-environmental stressors in early childhood.