Tara Chaplin PhD Clin
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Emotion regulation; Sex differences
I am working on three main research projects:
- A study of emotional response to stress in a sample of at-risk adolescents, half of whom were prenatally exposed to cocaine. For this study, I am examining adolescents’ neurobiological (HPA axis), cardiovascular (heart rate, blood pressure), self-reported emotional, and observed emotional responses to a social stressor and how these responses differ by gender and are related to the development of substance abuse and depression over time.
- A NIH-funded longitudinal study of parent-adolescent interactions and adolescents' bio-psycho-social responses, and their relation to adolescent substance use and other risk behaviors.
- A pilot study to develop a parenting-focused mindfulness intervention to reduce parent stress and prevent substance use in children.
My research focuses on the role of gender and emotion in the development and prevention of psychological problems and substance abuse in childhood and adolescence. I have examined gender differences in emotion and implications of these for the development and prevention of depression. Recently, I have become interested in associations between emotional arousal in response to stress and adolescent substance use and HIV risk behaviors (e.g., risky sex). My research incorporates multiple measures of arousal in response to stress, including self-reported emotion, observed emotion expression, heart rate, and HPA axis responses. I am also interested in the role of family stress and parent-child relationship quality in the development and prevention of substance use and other health behaviors (e.g., risky sex, over-eating) in children and adolescents, particularly in at-risk families.
Extensive Research Description
My research program focuses on gender, emotion, and the development and prevention of psychopathology, substance abuse, and risk behaviors in childhood and adolescence.
In my graduate and post-doctoral work, I conducted studies on gender, emotion, and risk for depression, including a study of gender differences in emotion socialization of preschoolers and a study of associations between patterns of emotion and depressive symptoms in adolescence. During my post-doctoral training, I collaborated on a randomized controlled evaluation of a depression prevention program for early adolescents. Specifically, I examined the role of child gender in the efficacy of the prevention program. My colleagues and I also began to develop a depression prevention program designed specifically for adolescent girls.
I recently have become interested in the role of gender and emotional arousal in the development of substance use disorders. I completed a study of gender differences in physiological and emotional responses to stress and relations to craving in a sample of adult social drinkers. Currently, I am conducting research on the role of gender and emotion in the development of depression and substance abuse in prenatally cocaine exposed adolescents.
I am also interested in the role of the family environment in the development and prevention of child and adolescent substance use and negative health behaviors. I am currently developing an intervention to reduce parent stress as a way to prevent substance use and negative health outcomes in children.