I was born in Moscow, Russia, and fully expected to spend the rest of my life there until my parents started talking about immigrating to the United States of America in late 1970’s. So, when my sister was born in 1978, they decided that it was time to go. Three years, and many adventures later we were allowed to depart with little more than the clothes on our back, and our dog, Kity. Having traveled through Vienna, Austria, Rome, Italy, and New York, we ended up in Cincinnati, Ohio. There, I attended middles school, high school, college, and eventually graduate school, and developed my appreciation of psychological sciences.
I graduated Suma Cum Laude in 1991, having completed a senior thesis and received an Undergraduate Research Award, in the department of psychology at the University of Cincinnati. In 1996 I earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Child psychology from the University of Cincinnati. Through out my undergraduate and graduate training I collaborated with a number of colleagues at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CHMC), in Cincinnati, including Robert Noll, Ph.D., who served as my mentor/advisor. Thus, my primary clinical and research activities involved issues related to childhood chronic illness, and its impact on the psychosocial functioning of children and families. Subsequently, I completed an internship at the Oregon Health Sciences University, in Portland, where I continued to work with families of children with a variety of chronic conditions, including developmental disabilities. My post-doctoral training at the University of Oregon and the Oregon Social Learning center was supported by the NIMH Emotion Research Training program. During this training, my research focused primarily on temperament, and the development of disruptive disorders in childhood, collaborating with Mary Rothbart, Ph.D. and Tom Dishion, Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. I was involved in the delivery of clinical services at the Oregon Social Learning Center, under the supervision of Patti Chamberlain, Ph.D. and John Reid, Ph.D., and was responsible for a variety of child and family oriented interventions addressing symptoms of developmental psychopathology.
My current research interests include a number of areas. I have continued my collaborative relationships with colleagues from the CHMC in Cincinnati, addressing effects of childhood chronic illness on children and families. I have also maintained my focus on temperament and disruptive behaviors in early childhood, collaborating with my University of Oregon colleagues. My current research, addressing the development of temperament in infancy, has been funded by NIMH. This work involves laboratory and parent-report based evaluations of temperament, as well as cross-cultural research conducted in the U.S., Russia, and Spain. Longitudinal evaluations of temperament are also being conducted in Eugene-Springfield, Oregon and the San Francisco bay area, examining stability of temperament in early childhood, and prediction of behavior problems in toddler/preschool years. In the future, I plan to develop and evaluate interventions aimed at preventing and/or decreasing the severity of disruptive behaviors in childhood.