Misaki Natsuaki, Ph.D.


Professor of Psychology
University of California, Riverside
Email: masaki.natsuaki@ucr.edu

Developmental transitions are challenging for some children. The transition to adolescence, in particular, is often characterized by an increase in socioemotional problems and psychopathology for some children. There are two questions that I ask in my research: why do emotional and behavioral problems increase during the transition from childhood to adolescence? Why do some youths experience such difficulties while others do not? In my view, potential answers may be found if we enhance our understanding of how biological (e.g., puberty, genetic/biological vulnerability to psychopathology) and environmental factors operate together to affect the development of socioemotional problems during critical transitions. Through longitudinal studies and a prospective adoption study (the Early Growth and Development Study: https://earlydev.oslc.org/) in collaborations with other scholars, I am interested in examining developmental trajectories of emotions and behaviors in children and adolescents.

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