With my collaborators, I explore stress, coping, peer processes, psychopathology, and gender. We are interested in questions such as: How do adolescents and emerging adults cope with stress? What coping strategies are effective, and which ones increase vulnerability to psychopathology, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-injury? What peer experiences induce stress and psychopathology? How can peers serve as resources for one another when they experience stress?
In our work, we see that certain stressors and coping responses are associated with increased risk for psychopathology and also that psychopathology can disrupt coping and peer and romantic relationship functioning. Among the stressors that we have examined are peer stressors such as bullying and relational victimization, but peer processes can also serve to mitigate the risk that stress poses for psychopathology. For example, our work suggests that certain types of social support are associated with a reduction in risk for depression and self-injury. We are also studying the association between stress, psychopathology, and individual coping responses, such as problem solving, rumination, and mindfulness. In our work, we also investigate how these associations among stress, coping, peer processes, and psychopathology vary by gender and age.