Elizabeth D. Handley, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Handley

Director of Research

Research Associate Professor
(585) 275-2991

Dr. Handley’s research is grounded in the developmental psychopathology framework and focuses on the multilevel and transactional risk and protective mechanisms underlying the development of adolescent psychopathology. She has particular interests in the development of adolescent substance use and disorders, depression, and suicidality. Additionally, Dr. Handley is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State with expertise in evidence-based treatments with children, adolescents, and families.

Research Interests

Dr. Handley’s broad area of interest lies in the development of maladaptation among children and adolescents. Specifically, she is interested in youth residing in high-risk families and environments (i.e. maltreatment, parental psychopathology and substance use disorder, poverty) and in elucidating the complex multi-level mechanisms underlying vulnerability.  She has published numerous empirical papers with a multiple-levels-of analysis approach to understanding child maltreatment risk, including levels of ecology such as genetics, gene by environment interactions, neuroendocrine regulation, immune functioning, and neighborhood influences.  In 2019, Dr. Handley was awarded the American Psychological Association Division 37 Early Career Award for Outstanding Research Contributions in the Field of Child Maltreatment.

Dr. Handley is also interested in the translation of research into clinical practice. She has investigated prevention and intervention efficacy for high-risk populations, including depressed mothers and their offspring and depressed adolescents, with an emphasis on elucidating underlying mechanisms of change, and identifying what works best for whom.

Finally, Dr. Handley also has interests and expertise in longitudinal data analysis and advanced quantitative methods. She provides ongoing statistical consultation and mentoring to Mt. Hope Family Center faculty, staff and graduate students.