Dr. Stack studies the development and trajectories of typical and at-risk infants and children at low and high risk for developmental problems and psychopathology within longitudinal frameworks. This encompasses a number of emphases, including:
The parent-child relationship
Family communication and functioning
The quality of parent-child interactions
Developmental outcomes in low- and high-risk families (also containing a sample crossing three generations)
She examines the direct link between aggression (e.g., victimization, parent-to-child aggression) and maladaptive relationships on the one hand and factors related to disadvantage (e.g., income, education, stress) on the other, in opposition to mitigating factors such as emotional competence, self-regulation, and skilled and supportive parenting.
This research represents the convergence of at least two lines:
Aggression and adversity in disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families
Mechanisms for children’s and youths’ positive relationships, development, and well-being
In addition, Dr. Stack’s research encompasses the roles of touch and gesture, modality, non-verbal communication and context in parent-infant interactions, including in relation to the socio-emotional development of very low birth weight preterm infants.
Across Dr. Stack’s research, which integrates diverse perspectives to fully contextualize factors that shape individuals and communities, there are clear themes that emerge, including mitigating adversity, fostering adaptive development, and optimizing well-being.