September 2017 - Stress and Development Lab research is featured in the New York Times!

September 8, 2017

The article describes research conducted by Dr. Katie McLaughlin, lab director, on children's mental health following Hurricane Katrina.  Specifically, the results of the study showed that children affected by Hurricane Katrina had meaningful increases in clinically significant mental health problems after the storm that persisted for many children for years after the storm.  Children exposed to a high number of hurricane-related stressors - such as seeing someone get hurt or killed, having to evacuate their home, living in a shelter, and losing their home, pet, or meaningful possessions - were the most likely to have ongoing mental health difficulties.  Many of these children also experienced lasting disruptions in their support networks due to long-term displacement and community dissolution after the hurricane.  These findings have relevance for mental health treatment planning for children affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Read the story here: Life After the Storm: Children Who Survived Katrina Offer Lessons

August 2017 - Jessica Jenness, a postdoc in the SD Lab, has been awarded a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health that will support a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at UW.

August 1, 2017

Jessica Jenness, a postdoc in the Stress and Development Lab, has been awarded a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health that will support a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at UW. Her project is entitled “Targeted Intervention for Adolescents following Child Maltreatment: Examining Neural and Behavioral Mechanisms within the Positive Valence System.” Childhood maltreatment is linked to an increased risk of developing depression and not responding to current best practice depression interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants. Research suggests that child maltreatment may increase risk for depression through disruptions in reward processing, but no studies have investigated whether interventions targeting reward systems improve treatment outcome. Jess’ project will be the first to examine whether Behavioral Activation may be an alternative depression intervention that targets neural and behavioral reward system deficits. Study findings have the potential to inform efforts to personalize and optimize interventions in vulnerable populations of youth.

July 2017 - Dr. Katie McLaughlin speaks about the neuroscience of trauma and adversity to journalists at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.

July 17, 2017
Dr. Katie McLaughlin, Lab Director, speaks about the neuroscience of trauma and adversity to journalists at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. The journalists were participating in the 2017 National Fellowship program at the Center for Health Journalism and will be undertaking ambitious investigative journalism projects on the topic of vulnerable children and families with support from the Fellowship program, which is run by Michelle Levandar.  
 

June 2017 - Dr. Katie McLaughlin, Stress and Development Lab Director, speaks with the BBC about how poverty influences children’s brain development and their chances for success in life.

June 1, 2017
Dr. Katie McLaughlin, Stress and Development Lab Director, speaks with the BBC World Service about how poverty influences children’s brain development and their chances for success in life.  You can listen to the story here: 
 

 

May 2017 - Dr. Katie McLaughlin, lab director, gives the 12th annual Edwards Lecture for the UW Department of Psychology.

May 31, 2017
Each year, the Psychology Department hosts the Edwards Lecture series for the community.  In 2017, the topic of these lectures was Improving Society through Brain Science.  The lectures cover 3 topics each year, including one talk from a UW Psychology Professor paired with one talk from an outside expert.  Dr. Katie McLaughlin, Director of the Stress and Development Lab, gave one of these lectures on the topic of Environmental Experience and Brain Development.  You can find a video recording of all six of the lectures here:
 
 
Dr. McLaughlin’s talk can be found here: 
 

May 2017 -Stress and Development Lab Research cited by Sheryl Sandberg in the New York Times

May 18, 2017
Sheryl Sandberg writes about how to build resilience in children after a loss in the New York Times.  She cites Stress and Development Lab research in the article!  Click on the link for “harm and deprivation” to read more.
 

May 2017 - Natalie Colich joins the lab as a post-doc and receives a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

May 12, 2017
Natalie Colich will be joining the Stress and Development Lab as a post-doc in fall 2017 after completing her PhD at Stanford.  She was awarded a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health that will begin in fall 2017 when she joins the lab.  The project is entitled “Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms linking Childhood Adversity with Adolescent Psychopathology: Pubertal Timing and Cortico-Limbic Circuitry.”  The grant will identify mechanisms through which childhood adversity, pubertal timing, and brain development influence risk for psychopathology in adolescents. Specifically, Natalie will examine how different dimension of childhood adversity influence pubertal timing, investigate whether pubertal timing is a mechanism explaining the association between non-normative pubertal timing and adolescent psychopathology, and evaluate whether pubertal timing-related changes in cortical-limbic circuitry mediate the association between childhood adversity and adolescent psychopathology.

April 2017 - Stress and Development Lab Research is featured as a Science Brief by the American Psychological Association.

April 21, 2017
Stress and Development Lab Research is featured as a Science Brief by the American Psychological Association.  Read more about the Long Shadow of Childhood Adversity, as discussed by Dr. Katie McLaughlin, Director of the Stress and Development Lab, here:
 

March 2017 - Dr. Katie McLaughlin speaks about the neuroscience of trauma and adversity to journalists at the Dart Center at the Columbia Journalism School participating in the reporting institute on Early Experience and the Developing Brain.

March 10, 2017
Dr. Katie McLaughlin, Lab Director, speaks about the neuroscience of trauma and adversity to journalists at the Dart Center at the Columbia Journalism School participating in the reporting institute on Early Experience and the Developing Brain.  Journalists from 26 countries participated in the institute, which was designed for reporters covering a wide range of issues, from local education and social policy to refugees, conflict and international public health. It focused on advancements in neuroscience and their implications for child development, concentrating especially on vulnerable children living in poverty and constantly changing, unstable environments. 
 
Watch Dr. McLaughlin’s talk, along with talks by Kimberly Noble (Columbia University) and Ann Masten (University of Minnesota) here (advance to talk 4 of 14):
 

February 2017 - Kate McLaughlin, Director of the Stress and Development Lab, discusses the findings from a recent lab paper demonstrating the importance of sensitivity to reward as a protective factor for adolescents who have experienced maltreatment.

February 27, 2017

Kate McLaughlin, Director of the Stress and Development Lab, discusses the findings from a recent lab paper demonstrating the importance of sensitivity to reward as a protective factor for adolescents who have experienced maltreatment.  The paper was led by Meg Dennison, a post-doctoral fellow in the lab.  The findings suggest that adolescents who have high sensitivity to environmental rewards - at both behavioral and neural levels - are less likely to develop depression after experiencing maltreatment than adolescents who are less sensitive to reward.  These findings highlight novel avenues for intervention with children who have experienced maltreatment and suggest that interventions targeting reward processing - like behavioral activation - might be particularly helpful in preventing the onset of depression.

For more details, see link: http://bold.expert/adolescent-reward-sensitivity-protector-rather-than-risk/