Fred Rogosch, Ph.D.
A central theme in Dr. Rogosch’s research interests involves the effects of early experience on development, psychopathology, and resilience. Within this context, the study of child maltreatment affords a unique opportunity to investigate how substantial dysfunction in parent-child relationships affects diverse developmental systems and contributes to a range of compromised adaptations and psychopathology across the life course.
Developmental psychopathology principles provide the theoretical foundation for my research, particularly the concepts of equifinality and multifinality in development. Dr. Rogosch’s research has involved maltreated populations from infancy to adulthood with a strong interest in attachment organization as an undergirding framework for psychosocial development, interpersonal and self-functioning, mental health, and psychopathology.
In addition to research on child maltreatment, he has studied other risk groups, including children of alcoholics and young children of mothers with major depressive disorder. The unique and common risk processes associated with these different types of compromised rearing experiences further contributes to an appreciation of development in high risk, chronically stressed maltreated youth. The role of stress and trauma has been another particular interest, with increasing attention to the effects of early experience and chronic stress on biological adaptation. Research on neuroendocrine regulation in maltreated children has been informative regarding the varied ways that stress-sensitive systems may be affected with children exposed to stress and trauma. Current work on gene by environment interactions also provides a foundation for understanding diversity in maltreated individuals’ adaptation to stress and compromised outcomes.
Dr. Rogosch’s research on preventive interventions for maltreated youngsters and offspring of mothers with major depressive disorder provides an important vantage point for conceptualizing how findings from basic research on processes contributing to psychopathology may be translated into prevention and intervention strategies, with particular attention to identifying neurobiological changes in response treatment.
Current projects involve multi-level processes contributing to trauma-related psychopathology in maltreated children, longitudinal risk processes associated with substance use and psychopathology in emerging adulthood, and the effects of maltreatment on young children’s development of trust.