Early Childhood Risk & Resilience Lab

The Early Childhood Risk and Resilience Lab is interested in how individual characteristics and contexts interact to influence both normative and atypical development.

We work primarily in the areas of social and emotional development, exploring how constitutional characteristics, like temperament and self-regulation, in conjunction with specific environments, like poverty, predict developmental outcomes. For example, how do behavior problems develop in children living in differing socioeconomic and cultural contexts, and what can be done to even the playing field for children at risk? We use data collected at local Head Start Centers and nursery schools, as well as previously collected large longitudinal data sets to investigate these issues.

Rose DiBiase

To learn more about Dr. Rose DiBiase and her work, please visit her faculty page. 

Current Graduate Students

Denise Kyte is a fourth-year doctoral student in Suffolk’s Clinical Psychology program, where she works with Dr. Rosemarie DiBiase. Denise is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, and completed the Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Suffolk prior to entering the PhD program. Denise’s research interests are twofold: (1) environmental, cognitive, and biological predictors of child self-perception and interpersonal functioning, and (2) attachment, emotion regulation, and dissociation within the context of trauma, adaptation, and re-victimization in both adolescents and adults. Denise’s clinical interests include the treatment of trauma/complex trauma, serious mental illness, and complex co-morbidities.

Selected Research Publications and Presentations

Kyte, D., Jerram, M., & DiBiase, R. (2019). Brain opioid theory of social attachment: A review of evidence for approach motivation to harm. Motivation Science. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/mot0000135

Kyte, D., & DiBiase, R. (2019, August). Biological and environmental predictors of maternal acceptance in preschool: Only a matter of Age? Poster to be presented at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention in Chicago, IL.

Kyte, D., & DiBiase, R. (2017, October). Attachment, theory of mind, and temperament-derived reactivity as predictors of maternal and peer acceptance in preschoolers. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD) Conference in Providence, RI.

Kyte, D., & DiBiase, R. (2017, March). Attachment, theory of mind, and temperament as predictors of maternal acceptance in preschoolers. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) Conference in Boston, MA.

Kyte, D. (2009). Risky recreation: Associations with parenting style and the use of safety equipment. Saarbrucken, DE: VDM Publishing.

Alex Wheeler is a current doctoral intern at Franciscan Children’s in Boston. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College, and his research interests lie in studying child temperament, parenting, and parent–child interaction. He has received training at McLean Hospital, Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Judge Baker Children’s Center, and Concord Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services.

Selected Research Presentations

Wheeler, A., & DiBiase, R. (2019, March). The influence of early difficult child temperament on maternal sensitivity: Evidence of moderation by maternal personality? Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

Wheeler, A. & DiBiase, R. (2017, October). Psychological pathways of differential susceptibility:Emotion regulation as a potential mechanism. Poster presented at the 10th Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Meeting, Providence, RI.

Wheeler, A., DiBiase, R., & Miller, P.M. (2017, March). Parent–child relationship quality moderates the relation between shyness and early internalizing problems. Poster presented at the 29th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA.

Wheeler, A., DiBiase, R., & Miller, P.M. (2015, October). Predicting early internalizing problems from shyness and controlling parenting: Evidence of temperament-environment interaction? Poster presented at the 9th Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Meeting, Austin, TX.

Wheeler, A., DiBiase, R., & Miller, P.M. (2015, March). Perceptions of preschoolers' competence and peer acceptance: Income and ethnicity matter. Paper presented at the 86th Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Current Research Projects

  • How the development of a theory of mind influences self development in preschoolers
  • Examining Differential Susceptibility to behavior problems, using socioemotional predictors like attachment, temperament, self-regulation, stress, peer relations and SES
  • Predicting behavior problems in children of differing economic and cultural backgrounds

Interested in Joining the Lab?

Graduate Students: Dr. DiBiase is currently not accepting any clinical doctoral students.

Undergraduate Students: any juniors and seniors who are interested in joining the lab and have taken Research Methods, Statistics, and Child Development, should email rdibiase@suffolk.edu. Past students have worked on poster presentations, presented at the meetings of Eastern Psychological Association & STEM reception, and assisted with doctoral student research.