We are dedicated to research on the development of youth and adolescents using a developmental approach.


Our research is focused on the association between early life stress and health risk behaviors versus resilience among youth. More specifically, we examine how early life stress (e.g., child maltreatment, cultural stress, and victimization) paves the way to resilience versus health risk outcomes in adolescents and young adults via developmental mechanisms that include neuro-biological processes, emotion regulation, impulsivity, personality, and peer relations.

Want to get involved?

Undergraduate students who are interested in becoming involved with the Youth Development Lab as a research assistant should contact Sihong Liu for information on the brief application and interview process. You can download syllabus and application for undergraduate research assistantship in Youth Development Lab. The application, a current resume or CV, and the contact information for one reference should be sent to Sihong Liu at sihongliu@uga.edu. 

Theoretical Lenses

  • Developmental Psychopathology Perspective

  • Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (EDP)

Current Methodologies Used

  • Developmental Neuroscience

  • Advanced quantitative strategies

  • Psychophysiological data (e.g., Heart Rate Variability, Cortisol Regulation, Skin Conductance).

  • Social network analyses

Selected Publications


Featured in Athens Banner-Herald: Research: Links between Childhood Abuse, Facebook Friend Networks and Alcohol Problems

Featured in Latin Times: Alcohol Abuse In Hispanic Immigrants: Study Finds Teens Drink More Due To Bicultural Stress

Affiliated Labs

The Social media Engagement & Evaluation Suite Lab

Clinical Neuroscience Lab