Jennifer McDermott’s research explores the role of early experience in relation to children’s cognitive and affective development. Her past work reveals that early adversity impairs physiological and behavioral indices
of children’s self-regulation and that these effects can be partially ameliorated by improved caregiving conditions. During her year as a CRF Scholar, Dr. McDermott will develop a grant proposal to unpack the effects of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors on the emergence of children’s regulatory behaviors in the project entitled “Social and Biological influences on the Development of Children’s Self-Regulation.” This proposal will take a critical step towards defining, at the molecular level, the complex interplay through which caregiving experience directs the organization of neural systems implicated in self-control and will help inform novel invention approaches aimed at promoting regulatory skills in children at risk.
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