Ann Masten, Ph.D., is a Regents Professor in the Institute of Child Development and the Director of PCR3. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology (clinical) in 1982 from the University of Minnesota, with a clinical internship at UCLA. She grew up in the military and graduated from Smith College. After several years at the National Institutes of Health working as a research assistant, she headed to Minnesota to study risk and resilience with Norman Garmezy. Since that time she has focused her research on processes that promote competence, mitigate risk, and prevent problems in human development. Her research is highly collaborative with students, other faculty, and community partners. She is the author of over 200 publications, including the recent book, Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development. She regularly offers a massive open online course (MOOC) through Coursera on the topic of “Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives.”

Faculty Collaborators

Andrew Barnes

Stephanie Carlson

Dante Cicchetti

Megan Gunnar

Abigail Gewirtz

Frosso Motti-Stefanidi

Philip Zelazo


Kathleen Francis.

Current Graduate Students

Rachel Foster is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development. Rachel is interested in aspects of parenting that promote child socioemotional development, especially in the context of adversity. She is currently studying the role of parental reflective functioning as a potential resilience factor within homeless families. Before coming to ICD, she performed research in the area of behavioral genetics and cultivated an appreciation for biological influences on behavior and psychopathology. In her work as a researcher and as a clinician, she strives to understand normal and atypical development from a multilevel perspective, considering the interactions between biological and environmental risk and protective factors involved in development. The goal of her work is to inform programs and policies that promote parenting skills in highly disadvantaged families and the developmental success of their children. She is currently on internship.

Cara Lucke is a Ph.D. Student in the Institute of Child Development on the Developmental Psychopathology & Clinical Science track. Cara graduated from Boston College in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Medical Humanities. She then worked at Massachusetts General Hospital for two years as a Clinical Research Coordinator before coming to ICD. Her research interests include the influence of both maladaptive and adaptive early experiences on later wellbeing, patterns of intergenerational continuity of risk, and the protective effects of parenting on child resilience. Cara is particularly interested in identifying ways to support parents in the context of adversity, and she is currently working on a project examining protective factors of parenting quality among homeless and highly mobile populations.

Kayla Nelson is a doctoral student in the Institute of Child Development on the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science track. Kayla graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology. She then worked as lab manager and coordinator for the PCR3 group before beginning as a graduate student at ICD. Her research interests broadly include the effects of early experiences of adversity on later wellbeing, promotive and protective effects for children at risk for developing psychopathology, and the potential protective effects of parenting.

Alyssa Palmer is a doctoral candidate in Child Psychology on the Developmental and Clinical Science track. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology focusing in neuroscience and minors in Biology and Sociology. Her research interests include the effects of childhood adversity on mental health, individual differences contributing to risk and resilience, emotion regulation, physiological reactivity and regulation, parenting and interventions targeting those processes. Currently she is working on a project looking at the effects of parenting on child social emotion outcomes in a homeless and highly mobile population.

Hayley Rahl-Brigman is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science track at the Institute of Child Development. She is interested in the effects of early childhood adversity on social development. She is particularly interested in effects of adversity that arises from within the family, protective effects of early parenting quality, and the importance of parental warmth and affection for emotion expression in peer relationships and romantic relationships. Hayley is currently working on a project examining pathways from family adversity and parenting quality to later social competence. Prior to beginning the Ph.D. program at the Institute, Hayley received her B.S. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014, with concentrations in Developmental and Clinical Psychology. She then spent three years in the Health and Human Performance Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon.

Jyothi Ramakrishnan is interested in how protective factors such as motivation to master environmental challenges, positive emotionality and hopefulness contribute to resilient outcomes among individuals who have experienced significant early life adversity such as homelessness. She is also interested in how early strengths and personality traits moderate the impact of adversity on later physical health.


Sandra Ahumada


Barbara (Graham) Bettelyoun

Karin Best

Signe (Andenas) Bobbitt

Kristen Boelcke-Stennes

Maya Buckner

Keith Burt

Valorie Cheng

Douglas Coatsworth

Stephen Cole

John Curtis

JJ Cutuli

Carrie DePasquale

Rebecca Distefano

Elizabeth Disney

Eric Durbrow

Aria Fiat

Scott Gest

Lisa Goldstein


Sandra Graham-Bermann

Janette Herbers

Jon Hubbard

Wendy Seong-Cheng Lee

Sherry Machen

Christopher McCormick

Amy Monn

Angela Narayan

Jennifer Neemann

Amanda (Wenzel) Kalstabbaken

Madelyn Labella

Theresa Lafavor

Katherine Lingras

Stephanie Meyer

Donna (Samsa) Miliotis

Laura (Supkoff) Nerenberg

Andrea Northwood


Jelena Obradović

Elizabeth Oliva

Jenifer Powell

Marie-Louise Ramirez

Marie-Gabrielle Reed

Jennifer (Roberts) Riley

Glenn Roisman

Erin (Casey) Schubert

Rebecca Shiner

Arturo Sesma

Anne Shafer

Si-Asar, Rekhet

Eric Thibodeau

Melanie Zimmer-Gembeck