Elizabeth D. Handley, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Handley

Director of Research

Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
(585) 275-2991

Research Interests

The overarching goal of Dr. Handley’s research is to advance understanding of the impact of family adversity on development for individuals and families. Her research aims to identify the outcomes, mechanisms, and moderators associated with exposure to family adversity, such as child maltreatment, parent psychopathology, across the life course and across generations.  She is especially interested in the biological embedding of stress and understanding why individuals exposed to childhood adversity may experience both mental and physical health challenges throughout development. Dr. Handley’s research is grounded in the developmental psychopathology framework, utilizes prospective longitudinal designs with adversity-exposed samples, and emphasizes multiple levels of analysis.  Additionally, she has an interest in longitudinal data analysis and advanced quantitative methods.  Current projects seek to address the following questions:

  • What is the long-term impact of child maltreatment exposure on adult physical and mental health?
  • What processes (e.g., biological, interpersonal, cognitive) explain why some people who experienced child maltreatment develop negative consequences and others demonstrate resilience?
  • How and why does a parent’s own history of adversity affect their offspring’s health and wellbeing?
  • Can person-centered data analytic approaches (e.g., latent class and latent profile analysis) advance understanding of the biological embedding of stress?


Dr. Handley is also a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State with expertise in evidence-based treatments with children, adolescents, and families.

View Dr. Handley’s publications here.