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Search Results to Kristen Jacobson

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overview My research interests are in how environmental, social, genetic, and biological factors interact to influence individual differences in socioemotional and behavioral development in children and adolescents. My work is greatly influenced by the Bioecological Model developed by Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner, whom I was privileged to work with after college. This model has guided my research examining influences on youth socioemotional and problem behaviors at multiple levels of analysis, including neighborhood, school, peer, family, and individual psychosocial, biological, and genetic factors. I have experience examining biological and genetic factors underpinning youth affective processing, socio-emotional behaviors, and antisocial behavior. Through a combination of collaborative and independent studies I have begun to identify the underlying pathways through which social and environmental experiences “get under the skin” to affect behavior, which in turn can help us to better understand the nature of socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health and health-related behaviors. As a behavioral scientist, I aim to bridge the gap between biological and social sciences. My research program is unique in that it is highly interdisciplinary, spanning fields of developmental psychology and psychiatry, behavioral genetics, sociology, anthrozoology, neuroscience, and endocrinology. A behavioral geneticist by training, my work has recently moved away from genetics to focus on the impact of environmental and social factors on brain, biology, and behavior. I am currently conducting two research studies. A pilot study examines the impact of exposure to community violence on the neural underpinnings of emotional and cognitive processes using fMRI in a sample of 9-11 year old children. I am also conducting an experimental study of the effects of petting a therapy dog on prosocial behavior and cortisol response to stress in a large community sample of youth aged 8-12. I am deeply committed to research education and mentorship. I have supervised several postdoctoral trainees, masters students, and undergraduate students. In our department, I teach basic statistical literacy and lead methodological journal clubs for adult psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows. I also direct the research program for residents and fellows, and co-lead the scholarship program for our clinical faculty.

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