Stress, Trauma, Health, and Behavior

My research focused on the health and behavioral consequences of exposure to negative and traumatic life events.  Much of my work in this area is rooted in the concept of allostatic load, which is a collective representation of the accumulation of wear-and-tear stemming from continued physiological response to stressors over time, eventually increasing the prevalence of morbidity and premature mortality.  For example, in a recent study my co-authors and I examined the role of delinquency in the development of physical health problems later in the life course. I have also examined the ways that increased perceptions of inequality may result in greater overall levels of allostatic load, as well as the role of increased levels of stress in the development of subsequent increases in aggression.  Relatedly, my work has also identified protective factors that ultimately mitigate some of the consequences of chronic stress exposure, pointing to the importance of interpersonal relationships.