My research interests are guided by a developmental psychopathology perspective that emphasizes the interplay between normal and atypical development and addresses the transactions between ecological contexts and development. As such, I am invested in elucidating processes and mechanisms that contribute to the adaptation of children who are confronted by significant psychosocial adversity. In particular, my work addresses the development of children who have experienced maltreatment or who have been reared by a depressed caregiver.
In addition to basic research, I am committed to bridging research and clinical practice. Building upon a developmental psychopathology framework, I have received NIMH-funding to initiate and evaluate a number of randomized clinical trials of preventive interventions. I have also received funding from NIMH since 1991 to conduct investigations with maltreated children and offspring of mothers with Major Depressive Disorders. This body of work has significantly advanced the field’s understanding of the adverse consequences of negative caregiving on child development, as well as the potential for intervention to promote positive outcomes.
Recently I received funding to initiate a 5-year investigation of the effectiveness of a preventative pre- and post-natal intervention to reduce harsh parenting and promote positive mother-child relationships and prevent child abuse and neglect in a high-risk population. This NICHD funded grant will establish Mt. Hope Family Center as a National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Courses Offered (subject to change)
- PSY 582: Practicum in Developmental Psychopathology
- PSY 586: Evidence Based Child Psychotherapy
- *Adams, T. R., Handley, E. D., Manly, J. T., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2019). Intimate partner violence as a mechanism underlying the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment among economically disadvantaged mothers and their adolescent daughters. Development and Psychopathology, 31(1), 83-93.
- Toth, S. L., & Manly, J. T. (2019). Developmental consequences of child abuse and neglect: Implications for intervention. Child Development Perspectives, 13(1), 59-64.
- Toth, S. L., Michl, L., Guild, D., & Lieberman, A. (2019). Child-Parent Psychotherapy: Theoretical bases, clinical applications, and empirical support. In H. Steele & M. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of attachment-based interventions (pp. 296-317). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
- *Alto, M., Handley, E., Rogosch, F., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. (2018). Maternal relationship quality and peer social acceptance as mediators between child maltreatment and adolescent depressive symptoms: Gender differences. Journal of Adolescence, 63, 19-28.
- *Demeusy, E. M., Handley, E. D., Rogosch, F. A., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2018). Early neglect and the development of aggression in toddlerhood: The role of working memory. Child Maltreatment, 23(4), 344-354.
- Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S. L. (2017). Using the science of developmental psychopathology to inform child and adolescent psychotherapy. In J. R. Weisz & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Evidence-based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents. (pp. 484-500). New York: Guilford.
- *Guild, D. J., Toth, S. L., Handley, E. D., Rogosch, F. A., & Cicchetti, D. (2017). Attachment security mediates the longitudinal association between child-parent psychotherapy and peer relations for toddlers of depressed mothers. Development and Psychopathology, 29(2), 587-600.
- Toth, S. L., Michl-Petzing, L., Guild, D., and Lieberman, A. (2017) Child-Parent Psychotherapy: Theoretical bases, clinical applications, and empirical support. In H. Steele & M. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of Attachment-Based Interventions. New York: Guilford Press.
- Toth, S. L., Petrenko, C. L. M., Gravener Davis, J., & Handley, E. D. (2016). Chapter 16: Advances in prevention Science: A developmental psychopathology perspective. In D. Cicchetti, (Ed.), Developmental Psychopathology (Vol. 4). New York: Wiley.
- Cicchetti, D., Toth, S. L., & Handley, E. D. (2015). Genetic moderation of interpersonal psychotherapy efficacy for low-income mothers with major depressive disorder: Evidence for vantage sensitivity. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 19-36. PMCID: PMC4381349
- Toth, S. L., Sturge-Apple, M. L., Rogosch, F. A., & Cicchetti, D. (2015). Mechanisms of Change: Testing how Preventative Interventions Impact Psychological and Physiological Stress Functioning in Mothers in Neglectful Families. Development and Psychopathology, 27 (4 Pt 2): 1661-1674. PMCID: PMC4633703