Institute of Child Development
University of Minnesota
My lab studies how children and adolescents regulate stress and emotions. Two issues currently motivate most of our work.
First, we know that during infancy and childhood attachment relationships are powerful regulators of the child’s stress system. Regulation of the stress system by the parent-child attachment relationships appears to become less effective in adolescence. Furthermore, this shift in effectiveness is associated more with pubertal stage than age, and we find that friends do not simply take over for parents as social buffers of stress. We are currently working on an imaging paradigm to help us explore how the changes in social buffering during the peripubertal period relate to changes in brain activation patterns during stressors.