Developmental Adaptations, Stress, and Health (DASH) Collaborative

Predoctoral Trainees

Jenna Alley

Jenna’s program of research focuses on development and adaptation as it relates to sexual behavior, sexual satisfaction, and sexual health. She is particularly interested in studying the role of early sexual experiences in shaping later development, and in this respect my work is grounded in evolutionary and developmental theories, such as the Adaptive Calibration Model and Life History Theory. Her current research examines individual differences in youths’ biologically-based susceptibility to the positive and negative aspects of early sexual experiences.

Mindy Brown

Mindy investigates how caregivers shape the development of self-regulation in early childhood. She examines how maternal factors such as stress and emotional dysregulation may impact maternal sensitivity. She aims to apply these findings to early interventions for children at risk for emotion dysregulation and to support mothers to develop healthy parenting practices.

Zoe Caron

Zoe is a graduate student working with Dr. Elisabeth Conradt pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Child and Family Track). Broadly, Zoe’s research interests focus on the effects of prenatal stress and early life adversity on the development of emotion regulation in children. She is particularly interested in examining biobehavioral reactivity profiles in infants and young children. Ultimately, she hopes that her research can identify potential points for intervention for healthy emotion regulation development with children who have experienced early life adversity.

Jorge Carvalho Pereira

Jorge is a first year graduate student in the developmental psychology program. He received B.A. in Psychology in 2015 from the University of Delaware, and he then attended Rutgers University - Camden, in preparation for his doctoral studies at the University of Utah. His research focuses on the processes of risk and resilience across developmental domains and, specifically, how experiences of adversity and psychosocial risks, such as maltreatment, poverty, and trauma, affect young children. His current interests lie in understanding the developmental influences of how early experiences within parent-child relationships can contribute to long-term developmental outcomes. In particular, his current focus is centered on further understanding the contributions of physiological processes and their interplay with early childhood experiences related to later social, emotional, and cognitive developmental sequelae.

Parisa Kaliush

Parisa’s research interests relate broadly to the intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience. Specifically, she aims to investigate how early maternal adversity and trauma exposure shape pregnancy experiences and offspring outcomes beginning in utero. She intends to explore interacting factors, ranging from psychophysiological stress reactivity to self-inflicted injury, that drive those intergenerational relations. Ultimately, she hopes her research can promote the implementation of comprehensive prenatal care for high-risk families of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

Brendan Ostlund

Brendan is a second year graduate student in the clinical psychology program. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Developmental Psychology. Broadly, his research aims to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie the origins and developmental progression of childhood internalizing disorders. His current research examines the neural processes underlying the association between fetal exposure to maternal anxiety and fearful temperament in infancy. He ultimately aims to translate this research into effective prevention programs for children who are at increased risk of developing internalizing symptomatology.

Nila Shakiba

Nila is primarily interested in understanding how developmental experiences both prenatally and postnatally shape and calibrate the functioning of stress response systems (Biological Sensitivity to Context theory and the Adaptive Calibration Model). Her second line of research focuses on understanding the psychophysiological mechanisms underlying individual differences in susceptibility to environmental influences, as well as how such individual differences moderate the effects of various environmental conditions, on health and developmental outcomes (Differential Susceptibility Theory).

Robert Vlisides-Henry

Robert is a graduate student (advisor: Dr. Sheila Crowell) pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Child and Family Track). He received his B.A. in Biology and Psychology from Hope College (Holland, MI) in May 2017. Robert’s research interests broadly focus on the effect that lifespan transitions have on individuals who struggle with emotion regulation, with particularly strong interests in pregnancy and puberty. For example, an adolescent’s emotion dysregulation may interact with their biological predispositions and social context during puberty to predict future risk for psychopathology. He is currently examining the biological mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of emotion dysregulation and stress from mother to newborn.

Postdoctoral Trainees

Betty Lin

Betty’s research interests lie primarily in understanding how transactions between child and caregiver characteristics contribute to children's socioemotional development in high-risk samples beginning as early as the prenatal and early childhood periods. Specifically, her research thus far has focused on the effects of maternal perinatal well-being on children's regulatory development, the role of children's dispositional proclivities for reactivity (i.e., temperamental reactivity) in predicting adjustment outcomes, and the direct and indirect influences of caregiver coregulatory behaviors.

Danielle DelPriore

Danielle is interested in the myriad ways that past and current social contexts (and individual differences) interact to calibrate sexual strategies that are flexible and functional in context. To this end, she combines evolutionary and developmental theoretical perspectives with experimental social psychological methods to test research hypotheses with implications for sexual health and well-being. Her primary line of research examines the effects of families (specifically, the availability/quality of paternal investment) on the sexual perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of adolescent and adult females.