Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Biopsychosocial indicators of risk and resilience following childhood adversity

A multi-level, person-centred perspective

Short Bio:

Dr Melissa Hagan is Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology at San Francisco State University, where she is the Director of the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Lab, and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco. Dr Hagan received a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University and a MPH in Epidemiology from Boston University. She has received a number of awards for her work including a National Institute of Mental Health Prevention Science Fellowship, the San Francisco State University Presidential Award, and the Young Investigator Award from the American Psychosomatic Society. Dr Hagan’s research focuses on the effects of early life adversity on psychological and biological functioning across the lifespan.


Over and above stressful life events later on, early life adversity– such as childhood maltreatment, poverty, and exposure to violence– increases the risk for a range of mental and physical disorders across the lifespan. Despite this risk, however, substantial variability exists in physical and mental health outcomes; some individuals do well while others less so. To better understand this variability, developmental psychopathology and dynamic systems frameworks highlight the need for methods that are sensitive to individual differences in environmental exposure, regulatory capacity and behavior. In this talk, I will highlight a set of studies that take a multilevel, biopsychosocial approach to understanding key links between trauma and health. Employing a range of methods that span clinical, health, and developmental psychology, I will characterize the ways in which traumatic experiences are inherently complex, with childhood trauma occurring in a broad ecology of psychological, social and biological factors, which, in turn, interact over developmental time. In addition to discussing the psychological and physical consequences of childhood trauma at different development stages, I will highlight several biopsychosocial indicators of resilience that can be leveraged in family-based interventions for the purpose of promoting well-being following early experiences of social adversity and/or significant trauma.

Date Monday, 8 April 2019
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience Public
Event Category Sciences
Event Type Seminar
LocationWilliam James Seminar Room 103, William James Building, 275 Leith Walk, Otago Campus
Contact NameJoanna Ling
Contact Phone+64 3 479 7631

Save this event