Welcome to the EDEN Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania
Our mission is to study individual differences in the development of the social, emotional, and behavioral skills that underpin a successful, healthy, and happy life. We study what causes people to differ in these skills through a multi-method and multi-level approach. We study genetic influences, brain function and structure, physiology, attention, and temperament, as well as parenting, community, school factors and broader, structural influences of society and culture. We seek to inform intervention and treatment approaches to improve the well-being of children and families.
Understanding Risk for Antisocial Behavior
Antisocial behavior refers to aggression, rule-breaking, theft, violence, crime, and substance use.It is extremely costly in terms of the harm caused to individuals (e.g., victims and families) and communities (e.g., schools and neighborhoods), as well as to society through financial burdens associated with healthcare and justice services.
Characterizing Social Affiliation
Social affiliation refers to the need for social and emotional closeness with others. It derives from a secure attachment with a caregiver in infancy and underpins effective social bonding and relationship formation across the lifespan. Within a personality framework, social affiliation is captured within measures of agreeableness, warmth, and communion.
A Lifespan Approach to Studying Mental Health
We believe in a lifespan and holistic approach to mental health well-being that traverses the care and services that are currently provided to both mothers and children. We study risk and resilience processes that influence psychopathology during pregnancy, through the delivery and the early postpartum period, and into the first few years of life.
Looking For Parent Resources?
Coping with disruptive behaviors in children, including aggression, defiance, argumentativeness, and rule-breaking, can be incredibly difficult. We understand the challenges facing parents and families dealing with these types of behavior problems. Many decades of research have established effective strategies that parents can use to better manage child behavior and reduce stress in the family. There are also established gold-standard interventions and treatments when children are diagnosed with clinically-significant behavior problems, including conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. Please see our Parent Resources for more information about disruptive behavior disorders in children, parent strategies for dealing with difficult child behavior, and information on current diagnosis and treatment options.