People—Melissa Sturge-Apple

Professor Sturge-Apple's research interests include parenting, interparental conflict, and children's socioemotional adjustment; ethological and family systems theories; psychophysiology; quantitative methods.

Research Interests

My research broadly focuses on understanding how children develop in the context of family relationships.  My work is guided by conceptualizations derived from emotional security theory, developmental psychopathology and evolutionary-neurodevelopmental theories.  Within this integrative framework, my interests lie in exploring three general aims: (1) understanding how interparental and parent-child relationships impact children's functioning (2) identifying mechanisms underlying these associations including physiological and cognitive processes, and (3) exploring how and why patterns of relationships in the family may change as a function of the developmental stage of the child or family. Finally, drawing on a love of all things statistical, I am also interested in methodology development including both assessment techniques for family research as well as advanced quantitative methods for capturing family processes.

Currently I am examining these interests in four different large-scale studies which are funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development.  More details on current projects can be found at the website for the Rochester Center for Research on Children and Families, which I co-direct along with Patrick Davies.

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CSP 171  Social and Emotional Development
  • CSP 310, 311  Honors Seminar in Psychology
  • CSP 377, 378  Exploring Research in Family Psychology I and II
  • CSP 514  Structural Equation Modeling I
  • CSP  516  Structural Equation Modeling II

Selected Publications

  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., Cicchetti, D., & Manning, L.G. (in press).  Interparental violence, maternal emotional unavailability and children's cortisol reactivity to family contexts.  Developmental Psychology.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., Cicchetti, D., & Manning, L.G. (in press).  Interparental violence, maternal emotional unavailability and children's cortisol reactivity to family contexts.  Developmental Psychology.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Cicchetti, D. (in press). Interparental aggression and children's adrenocortical reactivity: Testing an evolutionary model of allostatic load. Development and Psychopathology.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Toth, S.L., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (in press).  Normalizing the development of cortisol regulation in maltreated infants through preventive interventions. Development and Psychopathology.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., & Cummings, E.M. (2010). Typologies of family functioning: Implications for children's adjustment during the early school years. Child Development, 81, 1320-1335.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., Cicchetti, D., & Manning, L. (2010).  Mother's parenting practices as explanatory mechanisms in associations between interparental aggression and child adjustment. Partner Abuse.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F. A., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Toth, S.L. (2010). Interaction of child maltreatment and 5-HTT polymorphisms: Suicidal ideation among children from low-SES backgrounds. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 4, 1-11.
  • Bascoe, S.M., Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Cummings, E.M. (2009). Children's insecure interparental representations and school maladjustment: Children's peer information processing as an explanatory mechanism.  Developmental Psychology, 45, 1740-1751.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Cummings, E.M. (2009).  A process analysis of the transmission of distress from interparental conflict to parenting: Adult relationship security as an explanatory mechanism. Developmental Psychology, 45, 1761-1773.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., Cicchetti, D., & Cummings, E.M.  (2009). The role of mothers' and fathers' adrenocortical reactivity in spillover between interparental conflict and parenting practices. Journal of Family Psychology, 2, 215-225.
  • Toth, S.L., Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2009). Maternal depression, children's attachment security, and representational development: An organizational perspective. Child Development, 80,192-208.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Cicchetti, D., Manning, L., & Zale, E.  (2009). Children's patterns of emotional reactivity to conflict as explanatory mechanisms in links between interpartner aggression and child physiological functioning.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1384-1391.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., Winter, M.A., Cummings, E.M., & Schermerhorn, A. (2008). Interparental conflict and children's school adjustment: The explanatory role of children's internal representations of interparental and parent-child relationships. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1678-1690.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Cicchetti, D., & Cummings, E.M. (2008). Adrenocortical underpinnings of children's psychological reactivity to interparental conflict.  Child Development, 79, 6, 1693-1706.
  • Davies, P.T., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2007).  Advances in the formulation of emotional security theory:  An ethologically-based perspective.  Advances in Child Behavior and Development, 35, 87-137.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M. L., Cicchetti, D. & Cummings, E.M. (2007). The role of child adrenocortical functioning in pathways between interparental conflict and child maladjustment.  Developmental Psychology, 43, 918-930.
  • Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2007). Interactions of child maltreatment and 5-HTT and monoamine oxidase A polymorphisms: Depressive symptomatology among adolescents from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 1161-1180.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., & Cummings, E.M. (2006). The impact of interparental hostility and withdrawal on parental emotional unavailability and children's adjustment difficulties. Child Development, 77,1623-1641.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., & Cummings, E.M. (2006). Hostility and withdrawal in marital conflict: Effects on parental emotional unavailability and inconsistent discipline. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 227-238.
  • Davies, P.T., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2006). The impact of domestic violence on children's development. In T.L. Nicholls & J. Hamel (Eds.), Family interventions in domestic violence: A handbook of gender-inclusive theory and treatment (pp. 165-189). New York: Springer.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Winter, M.A., Cummings, E.M., & Farrell, D. (2006). Child adaptational development in contexts of interparental conflict over time. Child Development, 77, 218-233.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T., Boker, S.M., & Cummings, E.M. (2004). Interparental discord and parenting: Testing the moderating role of child and parent gender. Parenting: Science and Practice, 4, 365-384.
  • Davies, P.T., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Cummings, E.M. (2004). Interdependencies among interparental discord and parenting practices: The role of adult attributes and relationship characteristics.  Development and Psychopathology, 16, 773-797.
  • Sturge-Apple, M.L., Gondoli, D.M., Bonds, D.D., & Salem, L.N. (2003). Mothers' responsive parenting practices and psychological experience of parenting as mediators of the relation between marital conflict and mother-preadolescent relational negativity. Parenting: Science and Practice, 3, 327-355.

Quick Facts

Title: Assistant Professor of Psychology

Education: Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Minor in Quantitative Psychology, University of Notre Dame

Website

Contact Info

471 Meliora Hall
Department of Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology
Box 270266
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627

Phone: (585) 275-8711
melissa.sturge-apple@rochester.edu

Office Hours: By appointment