Christopher Trentacosta


Dr. Trentacosta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University and Affiliate Faculty of the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute.


Ph.D., University of Delaware (2006)

M.A., University of Delaware (2003)

B.A., Loyola College in Maryland (2000)

Office Location

Department of Psychology, 5057 Woodward Ave., 7th Floor

Office Phone


Areas of Expertise

Clinical Psychology 

Developmental Psychopathology

Emotional Development

Early Childhood Development

Family Contextual Risk

Research Focus

My research examines self-regulatory skills and emotion competence among parents and their young children. I am especially interested in the roles of emotion competence and self-regulation in children's risk for behavior problems during early childhood and their adjustment to school. My research interests fall into three broad categories: (1) examinations of the correlates and outcomes of emotion competence and self-regulation from a developmental psychopathology perspective, (2) longitudinal investigations of family transmission mechanisms (genetic factors, dyadic interaction patterns) that contribute to emotion regulation difficulties and behavior problems, and (3) evaluations of programs to promote emotion competence, self-regulatory skills, and school adjustment and to prevent conduct problems. I have expertise in conducting longitudinal research with low-income families and other at-risk populations.

Please see my lab website for more information about my research interests and ongoing projects:


 Licensed Psychologist, State of Michigan

Courses Taught


PSY 1010, Introduction to Psychology

PSY 2400, Lifespan Developmental Psychology

PSY 4320, Introduction to Clinical Psychology


PSY 7240, Ethics and Diversity

PSY 7370, Psychological Interventions I

PSY 7380, Psychological Interventions II

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