Erika’s research program revolves around regulatory processes in the family, with the dual goals of (1) understanding how mother-child and father-child interaction patterns act as risk and protective processes for developmental psychopathology and (2) uncovering malleable relationship processes that could aid in the tailoring and improvement of preventive intervention programs for families at risk. Grounded in dynamic systems theory and using dynamic time series statistical approaches, she studies the moment-to-moment coregulation of emotions, goal-oriented behaviors, and physiology between parents and young children in relation to familial risk factors and child outcomes (e.g., children’s self-regulation). A primary interest is examining the role that these parent-child coregulation patterns play in the development of child maltreatment, as well as their association with related maltreatment risk factors (e.g., harsh parenting, parental mental health problems and stress, children’s behavior problems). Ultimately, this work is designed to obtain a better understanding of the etiology of developmental psychopathology and inform the prevention of child maltreatment.
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