Heidemarie Laurent

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What separates people who can thrive in the face of stress from those who succumb to mood disorders? How do early and later relationships buffer or exacerbate stress vulnerabilities, and how can people learn to respond more adaptively to daily stressors? Dr. Laurent’s research focuses on (1) defining what we mean by stress “regulation” by relating multiple biological (i.e., neural, neuroendocrine, autonomic) and behavioral stress response facets topsychological symptoms and well-being; (2) identifying developmental pathsshaping stress regulation, including prenatal and postnatal influences of parental depression; and (3) determining how practices such as mindfulness can improve stress regulation, and whom such practices are most likely to benefit. Her work combines stress physiology monitoring, neuroimaging, and/or behavioral observation as people respond to naturalistic stressors that arise within close interpersonal relationships, toward the ultimate goal of interrupting intergenerational cycles of stress dysregulation and depression.