Big Emotions Across Development Lab
We strive to improve the lives of young people. Even children as young as preschoolers can experience clinically impairing mood and anxiety problems. So often these problems go underrecognized and these children and families do not receive the treatment they need. We hope that our research can improve 1) identification of youth who are experiencing emotional problems or are at risk for developing mood disorders as early as possible; 2) our understanding of the multiple and complex causes of mood problems across development; and 3) the development of new ways of assessing, preventing, and intervening in youth mood problems to alter developmental trajectories.
Our lab is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the research we conduct and in the diversity of our research team. We strive to increase representation of individuals who have been historically excluded from research and to more accurately capture their unique lived experiences. We encourage students from all backgrounds to consider joining our lab and contributing to our mission.
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Offspring Irritability: Associations with Parental Psychopathology and Personality
Although there are well-established correlates and outcomes of irritability, there are fewer studies reporting on predictors of the longitudinal course of irritability in youth. The current report examined parent internalizing and externalizing psychopathology and dimensions of personality as predictors of the developmental course of irritability in youth. Offspring irritability was assessed between ages 2 and 10 years using the Irritability Factor from the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist (N = 570, 53.51% female). Parental psychopathology was assessed with a clinical interview; parents also completed the General Temperament Survey as a measure of personality. Results demonstrated that offspring irritability decreased with age. Offspring irritability was associated with parental depressive and anxiety disorders, higher levels of negative emotionality/neuroticism (NE) and disinhibition, and lower levels of positive emotionality; parental NE and disinhibition remained unique predictors of offspring irritability in a multivariate model. Finally, parental externalizing disorders were associated with more stable trajectories of offspring irritability, whereas offspring of parents without a history of externalizing disorders showed decreasing irritability across time. Findings demonstrate that different aspects of parental personality and psychopathology have differential impacts on levels and course of offspring irritability.