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Department of Psychology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Michelle Brown

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
STARR Lab Website
Michelle Brown headshot from mid torso. She has black, curly hair and is wearing a gray blazer and a navy blue button up blouse with a silver necklace.

***** Dr. Brown is not accepting graduate students for Fall 2024 *****


Dr. Brown uses a developmental psychopathology framework to: (1) understand how interpersonal relationships influence victimized children’s risk for developing adverse socioemotional outcomes and (2) elucidate biopsychosocial factors that influence treatment outcomes for victimized children.


Dr. Brown received her PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development where she specialized in Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science. She completed her predoctoral clinical psychology internship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Prior to her graduate training, she received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis where she majored in Psychology with minors in Spanish and Educational Studies.

Research Interests

My research uses a developmental psychopathology framework to assess how multiple systems interact to inform typical and atypical developmental trajectories among children and adolescents in efforts to identify pathways that determine adaptive or maladaptive functioning. I employ multi-method (e.g., observational and self-report), multi-reporter, and multi-level assessments (e.g., psychophysiological regulation), to conduct this work. The ultimate goal of my research is to translate my findings into evidence-based interventions with victimized children in order to promote resilient functioning following experiences of adversity.

Specifically, my research agenda focuses on:

  • Understanding how interpersonal relationships influence victimized children’s risk for developing adverse socioemotional outcomes with a particular emphasis on how maltreated adolescents’ friendship experiences influence their risk for later psychopathology and revictimization.

  • Elucidating biopsychosocial factors (e.g., psychophysiological dysregulation, caregiver trauma history) that influence treatment outcomes for victimized children who are engaged in evidence-based interventions such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

  • Investigating the trauma conferring impact of adverse police interactions on Black youth and the culturally relevant processes that may modulate how youth negotiate these adverse experiences.

My research has received past funding from the National Science Foundation and the Society for Research in Child Development. I am currently funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Representative Publications

*previous publications under name “Desir, M.P.”

Brown, M. P., Rogosch, F., Shacklewood, C., & Cicchetti, D. (2023). The role of child maltreatment and adolescent victimization in predicting adolescent psychopathology and problematic substance use. Child Abuse & Neglect, 146. 

 Brown, M. P., Ng., R., Lisle, J., Koenig, M., Sannes, D., Rogosch, F., & Cicchetti, D. (2023). Mind-mindedness in a high-risk sample: Differential benefits for developmental outcomes based on child maltreatment. Developmental Psychology, 59(6), 1126-1135. 

Allen, B. & Brown, M. (2022). Attachment security as an outcome and predictor of response to Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy among maltreated children with posttraumatic stress: A pilot study. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 28(3), 1080-1091  

Shenk, C.E., Allen, B., Dreschel, N.A., Wang, M. Felt, J.M., Brown, M.P., Bucher, A.M., Chen, M.J., & Olson, A.E. (2022). Respiratory sinus arrhythmia change during Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Results from a pilot randomized controlled trial. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 50, 1487-1499. 

Allen, E.K., Desir, M. P., & Shenk, C.E. (2021). Child maltreatment and adolescent externalizing behavior: Examining peer relationships as a mediator. Child Abuse & Neglect, 111. 

 Desir, M. P. & Karatekin, C. (2020). Interpersonal factors influencing risk for revictimization in two samples of young adults. Journal of Child Custody, 17(2), 89-115. 

 Desir, M. P. & Karatekin, C. (2019). Characteristics of disclosing childhood victimization and risk for revictimization in young adulthood. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(21-22), NP12225-NP12251 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.