Vanessa Cao

Vanessa Cao

Graduate Student
Entry Year: 2020-2021
Faculty Mentor(s): Patrick Davies

480 Meliora Hall
Fax: (585) 273-1100


Research Overview

My research interests lie primarily in the role of family adversity and trauma related experiences within racially and economically diverse populations with a particular focus on the impact they have on relationships (parent-parent, parent-child, child-peer) and child socio-emotional development. More specifically, I focus on antecedents and outcomes related to callous-unemotional traits and aggressive behaviors in children and their neurophysiological underpinnings while integrating advanced quantitative modeling. In my free time, I can often be found cooking, trying new foods, hanging out with my pets, fostering too many cats, or white water rafting.

Selected Publications

  • Cao, V. T., Davies, P. T., & Sturge-Apple, M. L. (in press). Disentangling the Relationship Between Callous-Unemotional Traits and Unsupportive Parenting Through a Developmental Lens. Development and Psychopathology. 
  • Davies, P.T., Pearson, J.K., Cao, V.T., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2023). Family-Level Antecedents of Children’s Patterns of Reactivity to Interparental Conflict: Testing the Reformulation of Emotional Security Theory. Developmental Psychology. 
  • Davies, P.T., Cao, V.T., Patel, M.D., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (in press). Why Does Children’s Temperamental Exuberance Increase their Vulnerability to Externalizing Symptoms: A Process-Oriented Approach. Development and Psychopathology. 
  • Waxmonsky, J.G., Kujawa, A., Pegg, S., Babinski, D., Baweja, R., Cao, V.T., Shroff, D., & Waschbusch, D.A. (2022). The Impact of Irritability and Callous Unemotional Traits on Reward Positivity in Youth with ADHD and Conduct Problems. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 50, 1027-1040. 
  • Babinski, D. E., Shroff, D. M., Cao, V. T., & Waschbusch, D. A. (2021). Sex-Specific Norms for Diagnosing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Childhood: A Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Analysis. Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 6(2), 290-301.