Dr. Shaffer will not be accepting a new graduate student for Fall 2023 admission.
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2008
Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science
I am trained as a developmental and clinical psychologist, and I mentor and train students in both disciplines, and in the intersections of these fields. My research currently focuses on the study of family and close relationships as contexts for risk and protection in development. I approach psychological research and practice from a developmental psychopathology perspective, which is informed by the simultaneous consideration of both competence and psychopathology, and emphasizes developmental processes of risk and resilience in pathways to adaptation or maladaptation.
Currently, my program of research comprises four major areas, encompassing both developmental research and the application of this research to prevention/intervention contexts:
Emotion communication and socialization
This area of research includes processes of communicating about emotions in close relationships (i.e., parent-child or romantic relationships), both directly and indirectly.
My research focuses on childhood maltreatment broadly as a risk factor for later adaptation, with a targeted focus on emotional maltreatment.
Predictors of parenting
I am interested in identifying factors that predict both positive and negative parenting behaviors, including characteristics such as self-regulation, and relevant experiences such as childhood maltreatment.
My research has recently included innovative treatments that include a specific focus on emotion communication, for applications in many domains including the prevention of emotional maltreatment. I have also conducted treatment outcome research more broadly in regards to parenting interventions, with a focus on issues of measurement.