Stephanie Thompson, Ph.D. has been involved in research at the CCFW since its founding in 2011. She is particularly interested in understanding the experiences of mothers that span economic adversity, depression, anxiety, pregnancy, and parenting with the hope of tailoring maternal health services to best support them.
Dr. Thompson additionally studies how stress affects infant and children’s biological (endocrine, parasympathetic, executive functioning) development, as these systems are thought to underpin children’s self-regulation and emotional well-being.
Dr. Thompson trained as a child psychologist and is an active clinician and supervisor. She has expertise in mindfulness, parenting, child anxiety, and child behavior problems. Dr. Thompson has observed, through clinical practice and her research, that there is often an interplay between parent traits (e.g. parenting styles and behaviors) and children’s traits (e.g. personality and tendency towards anxiety versus thrill-seeking) suggesting that our approaches to parenting and promoting children’s adjustment is not “one size fits all.”
Her most recent research examines if different forms of maternal stress are best addressed with tailored interventions and similarly, if tailored interventions may mitigate the biological effects of stress on infants. In particular, Dr. Thompson is testing a parenting program designed to promote infant’s early brain development through specific parenting practices.