- Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology
Dr. Susan Woodhouse studies infants’ and young children’s social and emotional development in the context of relationships with the adults who care for them. Her CARE study focused on better understanding the role of parenting in the development of children's emotion regulation capacities. Her research includes a focus on contextual factors that can influence parenting, and on understanding parenting strengths in low-income contexts. The overarching goal of Dr. Woodhouse's work is to improve preventive interventions in order to more appropriately support under-served, culturally diverse families so as to promote school readiness and address mental health inequities. Dr. Woodhouse is particularly interested in building on existing parenting strengths by studying culturally-appropriate, preventive interventions to support positive parenting. For example, her Talk, Touch and Listen Study focused on hair combing as a time in which parents can build positive relationships with their children. In her research she uses a variety of approaches, including physiological indicators of emotion regulation (e.g., heart rate variability) and stress reactivity (e.g., cortisol), as well as observational, and self-report measures.