Creative Research Medal
Assaf Oshri, associate professor of human development and family science, researches the biopsychosocial mechanisms of resilience and risky behavior in children exposed to adversity. In more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact venues, he seeks to understand how individual children and adolescents respond to different rearing environments, the developmental pathways toward and away from addiction and the emergence of resilience in youth. Oshri’s research team has been collecting developmental, psychological, psychophysiological and brain imaging data for a longitudinal cohort study on more than 300 children, youth and their parents. His work has shown that children’s emotional regulation, their ability to modulate an emotion or set of emotions, is at the core of resilience to adversity. He has contributed knowledge and insights into the mechanisms of how chronic stressors (child maltreatment, poverty) become biologically embedded in the body’s reactions and make children and adolescents more vulnerable to engaging in risky behaviors that threaten their health and well-being.