Stephen A. Erath, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2006
(334) 844-3236 | 203 Spidle Hall
My research focuses on social stress in late childhood through early adolescence. I am interested in the experience of stress in family and peer contexts, outcomes of exposure to significant social stress, and vulnerability and protective factors in the context of social stress. Several projects related to these themes are underway.
One study concerns associations between physiological (i.e., autonomic nervous system) and coping responses to peer stress experiences in preadolescence. In this study, we are also examining associations linking physiological and coping responses with academic, social, and psychological adjustment across the transition to middle school. In a second study, we are examining the effects of parental coaching (e.g., behavioral advice, cognitive framing, emotional attunement) about peer stress experiences, such as peer victimization. A third study aims to understand the emotional experiences of children with autism spectrum disorder in different communication situations, such as talking about circumscribed interests or balancing self and other in conversation. These projects are designed to inform efforts to improve the social and psychological well-being of children who experience high levels of social stress.