Julie Aikins

Biography

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Neurosciences of the Wayne State University School of Medicine
and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute

Education

The Pennsylvania State University, 1999, Ph.D., Child Clinical Psychology
University of California, Los Angeles, 1999 - 2001, Postdoc, Child Clinical Psychology
Yale University, 2001 - 2003, Postdoc, Child Clinical Psychology

Office Location

Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, 71 East Ferry Street, Detroit Michigan, 48202

Office Phone

(313) 664-2547

Areas of Expertise

Developmental Psychopathology
Attachment Theory

Research Focus

My research examines child and adolescent interpersonal processes and their impact on developmental outcomes. I have chosen to focus on social relationships, including those with parents, peers, and romantic partners, given their marked influence on youths' trajectories of development. A developmental psychopathology framework and attachment theory have guided my research in these areas, and specifically have laid the ground work for research that revolves around the ways in which these relationships either exacerbate or buffer youth from developmental risk.

In a second stream of research, I am examining how an attachment disruption during early childhood, specifically separation from parents due to combat deployment, may influence children's achievement of stage salient tasks. This project also examines how the remaining parent's psychological health, stress, and provision of support may mitigate the possible risks associated with the separation. In addition, to providing a greater empirically supported understanding of the impact of combat deployment and parent separation on children, by viewing parent's deployment within the broader lens of developmentally challenging circumstances that introduce salient risks and call for socio-emotional buffers, findings from this research may inform our understanding of other developmental risks.