Professor Handley in a red scarf.

Liz Handley


  • Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Research Director, Mt. Hope Family Center

PhD, Arizona State University, 2012

460 Meliora Hall

Office Hours: By appointment

Research Overview

Dr. Handley will be accepting applications for graduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year.

The overarching goal of Dr. Handley’s research is to advance understanding of the impact of family adversity on development for individuals and families. Her research aims to identify the outcomes, mechanisms, and moderators associated with exposure to family adversity, such as child maltreatment and parent psychopathology, across the life course and across generations. She is especially interested in the biological embedding of stress. Her research seeks to understand how exposure to childhood adversity can disrupt biological processes and lead to the development of mental and physical health challenges.

Dr. Handley’s research is grounded in the developmental psychopathology framework, utilizes prospective longitudinal designs with adversity-exposed samples, and emphasizes multiple levels of analysis. Additionally, Dr. Handley has an interest in longitudinal data analysis and advanced quantitative methods. Current projects seek to address the following questions:

  • What is the long-term impact of child maltreatment exposure on adult physical and mental health?
  • What processes (e.g., biological, interpersonal, cognitive) explain why some people who experienced child maltreatment develop negative consequences and others demonstrate resilience?
  • Does child maltreatment exposure affect women’s reproductive health outcomes? What is the unique role of childhood sexual abuse?
  • How and why does a parent’s own history of adversity affect their offspring’s health and wellbeing?
  • Can person-centered data analytic approaches (e.g., latent class and latent profile analysis) advance understanding of the biological embedding of stress?

Mt. Hope Family Center

Selected Publications

  • Handley, E.D., Russotti, J., *Ross, A.J., Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (in press). A person-centered data analytic approach to dopaminergic polygenic moderation of child maltreatment exposure. Developmental Psychobiology.
  • *Ross, A.J., Handley, E.D., Toth, S.L., Manly, J.T., & Cicchetti, D. (in press).  The role of peer- and self-appraisals in the association between maltreatment and symptomatology. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.
  • Bendezu, J.J., Handley, E.D., Manly, J.T., Toth, S.L., & Cicchetti, D. (2022). Psychobiological foundations of coping and emotion regulation: Links to maltreatment and depression in a racially diverse, economically disadvantaged sample of adolescent girls. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 143
  • Handley, E.D., Rogosch, F.A., *Duprey, E.B., *Russotti, J., & Cicchetti, D. (2022).  Profiles of diurnal cortisol and DHEA regulation among children: Associations with maltreatment experiences, symptomatology, and positive adaptation. Development and Psychopathology, 1-13. 
  • *Alto, M. E., *Warmingham, J.M., Handley, E.D., Manly, J.T., Toth, S.L. (2022). The association between patterns of trauma exposure, family dysfunction, and psychopathology among adolescent females with depressive symptoms from low-income contexts. Child Maltreatment, 1-11.
  • Handley, E.D., *Russotti, J., *Warmingham, J.M., Rogosch, F.A., Manly, J.T., & Cicchetti, D. (2021).  Patterns of child maltreatment and the development of conflictual emerging adult romantic relationships: An examination of mechanisms and gender moderation. Child Maltreatment, 26, 387-397.
  • *Duprey, E. B., Handley, E.D., Manly, J.T., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S.L. (2021). Child maltreatment, recent stressful life events, and suicide ideation: A test of the stress sensitivity hypothesis.  Child Abuse and Neglect, 113, 104926.
  • *Warmingham, J., Handley, E.D., *Russotti, J., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (2021). Childhood attention and maltreatment experiences predict decision making performance in early adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 57, 443-456.
  • *Adams, T. R., Handley, E. D., *Warmingham, J. M., Manly, J. T., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2021). Patterns of dating violence moderate the effect of child maltreatment on suicide risk among disadvantaged minority female adolescents with depressive symptoms. Journal of Family Violence36(1), 5-16.
  • *Russotti, J., Handley, E. D., Rogosch, F. A., Toth, S. L., & Cicchetti, D. (2020). The interactive effects of child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy on late-adolescent depressive symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology48(9), 1223-1237.
  • Handley, E.D., *Warmingham, J.M., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (2019).  Infancy onset maltreatment and the development of suicide ideation: An investigation of moderation by oxytocin-related gene polymorphisms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 257, 421-427.

*Denotes student/advisee.