Adolescence Signature Area

The Adolescence signature area includes faculty in the clinical, developmental, and social programs. The faculty conduct research on a variety of different psychological processes and phenomena that span both typical and atypical development, employ different methodologies, and incorporate (and integrate) different levels of analyses. The research shares a common view that adolescence is a developmental period that offers unique opportunities, risks, and challenges that have important implications for later wellbeing.

Core Faculty

Jeremy Jamieson, PhD

Social Stress Lab

Social stress is ubiquitous in adolescents as ambiguity and concerns about social status are highly prevalent during transitions to high school and college. Acute social stressors are not only prevalent in youth populations, but dysregulated neuroendocrine responses to social stressors in teenagers are at the root of many mental and physical health problems. Dr. Jamieson's research with adolescents seeks to understand how social stress processes "get under the skin" to influence physiological responses, risk decisions, and emotions.

Selected Publications:

Jamieson, J. P., & Mendes, W. B. (2016). Social stress facilitates risk in youths. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145(4), 467.

Jamieson, J. P., Mendes, W. B., & Nock, M. K. (2013). Improving acute stress responses: The power of reappraisal. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 51-56.

Franklin, J., Jamieson, J. P., Glenn, C., & Nock, M. K. (2015). How developmental psychopathology theory and research can inform the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44, 280-290.

Lee, H. Y., Hooper, S. Y., Jamieson, J. P., Josephs, R. A., & Yeager, D. S. (under review). Worldview referendum: Correspondence between an adolescent’s worldview and a winning campaign’s worldview predicted testosterone responses to the 2016 election.

Current Grants:

National Institute of Child & Human Development (NICHD) (R01 HD084772)
Estimating and Understanding Effects of Teaching Teens that People can Change

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES) (R305A150036)
Exploring Stress Responses in the Classroom and Reappraising Stress to Facilitate Academic Performance

Judith Smetana, PhD

Social Development and Family Processes Research Group

Dr. Smetana’s research focuses on adolescent-parent relationships, parenting, and parenting beliefs. Her research seeks to understand how changes in family relationships across adolescence facilitate or undermine healthy adolescent development and how parents and adolescents negotiate boundaries between legitimate parental authority and adolescent autonomy. To address these issues, she examines ethnic, racial, and cultural variations in adolescent-parent conflict, family decision-making, adolescent disclosure and secrecy with parents, and parental monitoring and control, as well as moral reasoning and behavior.


Dr. Smetana’s research on adolescence has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute.

Selected Publications and Books:

Smetana, J. G., & Ahmad, I. (2017). Heterogeneity in perceptions of parenting among refugee youth in Jordan. Child Development. Available online. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12844

Smetana, J. G. (2017). Current research on parenting styles, opinions, and beliefs. Current Opinions in Psychology. Available online.

Villalobos-Solis, M., Smetana, J. G., & Tasopoulos-Chan, M. (2017). Evaluations of conflicts between Latino values and autonomy desires among Puerto Rican adolescents. Child Development. Available online. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12687

Smetana, J. G. Ahmad, I., & Wray-Lake, L. (2016). Beliefs about parental authority legitimacy among refugee youth in Jordan: Between- and within-person variations. Developmental Psychology, 52, 484-495.

Rote, W. M., & Smetana, J. G. (2016). Patterns of mother-adolescent discrepancies across family constructs. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 2064-2079.

Smetana, J. G. (2015). Goals, goal pursuit, and adolescent-parent relationships. In P. Gollwitzer & G. Oettingen (Eds.), Self Regulation in Adolescence (pp. 243-265). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Smetana, J. G. (2011). Adolescents, families, and social development: How adolescents construct their worlds. West Sussex, England: Wiley-Blackwell, Inc.

Amsel, E., & Smetana, J. G. (Eds., 2011). Adolescent vulnerabilities and opportunities: Constructivist and developmental perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lisa Starr, PhD

Internalizing Disorders and Emotional Adjustment Lab (IDEA Lab)

Dr. Starr is interested in the development of depression and other internalizing problems in adolescence and beyond. Depression rates surge in adolescence (particularly among girls), coinciding with shifting social roles, emergence of romantic relationships and other interpersonal behaviors, and rapid physiological development. Dr. Starr is interested in the intersection of risk factors across all of these areas. For example, she is interested in how and why anxiety tends to transition to depression during adolescence. An additional component of her work focuses on the bidirectional link between anxiety, depression, and specific interpersonal processes that are common among adolescents, including co-rumination and early romantic behaviors. In addition, Dr. Starr is interested in how psychosocial risk (e.g., exposure to environmental stressors) intersects with biological risk (e.g., genetics). Dr. Starr has a particular interest in using daily process research (e.g., experience sampling, daily diaries) to reveal microprocesses associated with shifting moods in teens and adults.

Selected Publications:

Starr, L. R., Dienes, K., Stroud, C. B. , Shaw, Z. A., Li, Y. I., Mlawer, F., & Huang, M. (in press). Childhood Adversity Moderates the Influence of Proximal Episodic Stress on the Cortisol Awakening Response and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents. Development and Psychopathology.

Starr, L. R., & Hammen, C. (2016). Genetic moderation of the association between adolescent romantic involvement and depression: Contributions of serotonin transporter gene polymorphism, chronic stress, and family discord. Development and Psychopathology, 28(2), 447-457.

Starr, L. R., Stroud, C. B., & Li, Y. I. (2016). Negative anxiety response styles as a moderator of the prospective association between anxiety and depression among adolescent girls.Journal of Affective Disorders, 190, 757–763.

Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2009). Clarifying co-rumination: Associations with internalizing symptoms and romantic involvement among adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescence, 32(1), 19-37. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.12.005

Sheree Toth, PhD

Mt. Hope Family Center

Dr. Toth’s research interests are guided by a Developmental Psychopathology perspective that emphasizes the interplay between normal and atypical development across the life course. She is invested in elucidating the processes and mechanisms that contribute to the adaptation of individuals confronted by significant psychosocial adversity, including child maltreatment and maternal depression. Throughout her career, Dr. Toth has been committed to bridging research and practice. Most recently, she has employed a multi-level of analysis perspective to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention for depressed adolescents with and without histories of child maltreatment.

Selected Publications:

Toth, S. L., Petrenko, C. L. M, Gravener Davis, J., Handley, E. D. (2016). Advances in prevention science: A developmental psychopathology perspective. In D. Cicchetti, (Ed.). Developmental Psychopathology (Vol. 4). New York: Wiley.

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, 1661-1674.

Michl, L. C., Handley, E. D., Rogosch, F., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2015). Self-criticism as a mechanism linking childhood maltreatment history and subsequent maternal efficacy beliefs in low income mothers with and without depression. Child Maltreatment, 20, 291-300.

Toth, S. L., Rogosch, F. A., Oshri, A., Gravener, J., Sturm, R., & Morgan-Lopez, A. (2013). The efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy for economically disadvantaged mothers. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 919-930.

Toth, S. L., & Pickreign, E. (2010). From research to practice: The treatment of adolescent psychopathology. In D.P. Swanson, M.C. Edwards & M.B. Spencer (Eds.), Adolescence: Development During a Global Era (pp. 449-476). New York: Elsevier, Inc.

Current Grants:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (U79 SM063046)
Supporting Trauma Recovery Opportunities & Nurturing Growing Emotional Resilience

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (R01 MH091070)
Prevention of Depression in Maltreated and Nonmaltreated Adolescents

Monroe County Department of Human Services
Building Healthy Children