OUR WORK

The Developmental Transitions Laboratory at UCR seeks to answer four fundamental questions surrounding the relationship between child development and psychopathology: 

    1. Why does psychopathology increase during the transition from childhood to adolescence?
    2. When does adolescent-onset psychopathology start and how does it develop over time?
    3. Why do some children experience such difficulties while others do not?
    4. What can we do to help children navigate the transition more smoothly?

Current research in our lab focuses on:

  • The role of puberty
  • Familial influences (e.g., parental psychopathology, parent-child relationships)
  • The impact of alternative family planning (e.g., infertility, adoption)
  • Child characteristics that function as both psychological risks and strengths in development
By conducting developmental studies with children and families using various research designs, we hope to gain a better understanding of the emergence, change, stability, and desistance of psychological (mal)adjustment during childhood and adolescence. We believe that finding the answers to our questions is a pivotal step in the ultimate goal of informing parents and applied communities on how to promote healthy development in children and their families. 

Lab News

April 2021: As K-12 students are returning to school after the pandemic shutdown, school shootings are beginning to occur again too. DTL grad student Agnes Varghese has written an op-ed about the need for policymakers to consider the mental health needs of students (in addition to gun control legislation) in the fight to end the school shooting crisis. Read her piece with EdSource here.


March 2021: Congratulations are in order for DTL lead Dr. Misaki Natsuaki! She has just been honored with a Mid-Career Award at the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) 2021 Virtual Conference. We are proud of you, Dr. Natsuaki! You can check out some of her work here.


You can take a look at past lab updates in our Archived News!