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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
  • Parenting patterns
  • Family communication and functioning
  • The quality of parent-child interactions
  • Emotional competence (emotional regulation, corregulation)
  • Developmental outcomes in low- and high-risk families (containing a sample crossing three generations)

She examines the direct link between aggression (e.g., victimization, parent-to-child aggression) and maladaptive relationships along with factors related to disadvantage (e.g., income, education, stress), in contrast to mitigating factors such as emotional competence, self-regulation, and skilled and supportive parenting.

This research represents the convergence of at least two lines:

  1.  Aggression and adversity in disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families.
  2.  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 how they relate 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.

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