Our Research

The Family Stress Lab at Michigan State University seeks to understand the ways in which a variety of stressors impact the family system and child development. All families experience stress and we study a variety of family stress contexts, ranging from the most severe form of stress a child can experience in their family (child maltreatment), to normative family stressors that all children and families experience (e.g., interparental conflict). Current projects involve studying family processes and sibling relationships in families who have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

We are particularly interested in identifying the adaptive processes that families and children use to cope with stressors. It is our goal to one day be able to use this information to develop programs that help families cope with stressors in adaptive ways that result in positive outcomes for all members of the family.

The Family Stress Lab is directed by Amy K. Nuttall, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University.