Sarah Erickson

Associate Professor

Associate Chair-Graduate Program

Area Head: Health Psychology

Photo: Sarah Erickson
Email: 
erickson@unm.edu
Phone: 
(505) 277-0635
Office: 
Logan Hall Rm 168
Education: 
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1994
Lab Website
 
Curriculum vitae
 

Research Area/s:

Clinical Psychology,  Health Psychology

Research Interests:

  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Infant/toddler/preschooler mental health associated with maternal parenting practices in pediatric samples
  • Emotion regulation in children born very low birth weight
  • Disordered eating and body image concerns in preadolescent girls
  • Mother-daughter relationship qualities that protect preadolescent girls from body dissatisfaction
  • Children's adaptation to chronic illness
  • Family functioning and quality of life in pediatric chronic illness populations

Profile:

Accepting students?  Dr. Erickson may be taking a student for Fall 2023.  Please email Dr. Erickson if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies.

Research Area: Clinical Child Psycology and Health Psychology

My research interests lie within Pediatric Psychology. These interests incorporate an attachment theory-based conceptualization of relationships and adaptation, multi-dimensional and transactional processes concerning how children and families manage stress, as a unifying theme.

My research program includes four primary foci: (1) an attachment theory-based investigation of infant/toddler mental health associated with maternal parenting practices in pediatric samples. Specifically, with infants born very low birth weight (VLBW), an at-risk population, I have investigated infant-mother interactions and emotion regulation; the impact of ethnicity on the relationship between maternal interactive behavior and toddler developmental outcomes; the nature of dysregulation in this population; object permanence that underlies early working memory; associations between maternal scaffolding, medical severity, and executive functioning in preschoolers; associations between maternal scaffolding and toddler emotion regulation; differential associations between infant affective and cortisol stress responses among infants born very low birth weight versus full-term; the relationship between performance-based measures and naturalistic observation of executive functioning in preschoolers; associations between mother-child interactive play behavior and cognition in preschoolers born preterm and full-term; association of infant temperament and maternal sensitivity; relationship between maternal interactive behaviors and infant affect; and the association between maternal interaction and infant cortisol stress reactivity among pre-term and full-term infants. Current research addresses the longitudinal associations between maternal interactive behavior and emotion regulation among infants born premature.

(2) My second area of interest addresses disordered eating and body image concerns in preadolescent girls, including developmental considerations, the relationship of these constructs to broader psychological domains such as self-esteem, mothers’ and daughters’ beliefs about factors affecting girls’ body satisfaction, an investigation of ethnic differences in preadolescent girls’ body image, the influence of mother-daughter relationship quality on body image and disordered eating, and the psychological and physiological stress response in recovering adolescent anorexic girls. Current research focuses on specific relationship qualities (such as trust and communication) that may serve as protective factors for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating symptoms.

(3) The third research area within pediatric psychology addresses children's adaptation to chronic illness.  This study of adaptation incorporates both trauma spectrum and quality of life theoretical models in understanding the long-term adjustment of children with chronic illness (pediatric cancer survivors, pediatric traumatic brain injury) and their families. For pediatric cancer survivors, I have focused on trauma spectrum adaptation; concordance between adolescent and parent proxy report of trauma symptoms; somatization; parental stress’ relationship to child functional impairment; how functional impairment relates to neurocognitive and executive function deficits; associations between executive function and functional impairment; and self-reported versus parent-reported functional impairment. Current research focuses on the relationship between long-term physiological stress reactivity and family functioning among pediatric cancer survivors and their parents. For pediatric traumatic brain injury, I have investigated self-reported quality of life and family functioning.

(4) My fourth research area is an attachment theory-based investigation of college student well-being as a function of adult attachment security. A current study focuses on the degree of association between adverse childhood experiences, adult attachment security, and psychological health (global well being, adjustment to college) and distress (anxiety, depression, loneliness). Proposed mediators include self efficacy, social support, and emotion regulation. The overall aim of these research projects is to make significant contributions to the advancement of psychological clinical science and to the application of science to improving the human condition.

Selected Publications

Recent Articles in Refereed Journals:

Erickson, S.J., Vaccaro, S., Kubinec, N., Moss, N., Rieger, R., Lowe, J., & Tofighi, D. (2022). Preliminary Longitudinal Evidence for Stability of Maternal Behavior and Infant Stress Regulation Among Infants Born Preterm at 4 and 9 Months During the Still Face Paradigm.  Infant Behavior and Development, 68, 101745

Erickson, S.J., Dinces, S., Kubinec, N., & Annett, R. (2022). Pediatric cancer survivorship: Impact upon hair cortisol concentration and family functioning. Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 1-11.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-022-09858-9

Erickson, S.J., Kubinec, N., Vaccaro, S., Moss, N., Rieger, R., Rowland, A., & Lowe, J. (2021). The role of maternal interactive behavior and gestational age in predicting infant affect during the still face paradigm. Early Human Development. 163:105485. DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105485 

Simmons, J., Smith, J.E., Erickson, S.J., & Warner, T. (2021). Minority Adolescent Health: A factor analytic approach towards conceptualizing reports of health behaviors and resilience from the New Mexico Youth Risk Resiliency Survey. Ethnicity and Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2021.1925227

Vaccaro, S., Tofighi, D., Moss, N., Rieger, R., Lowe, J., Phillips, J., & Erickson, S. (2021). The association of infant temperament and maternal sensitivity in preterm and full term infants. Infant Mental Health Journal. 1-12. https://doi.org/ 10.1002/imhj.21915

Erickson, S.J., Hile, S., Kubinec, N., & Annett, R. (2020). Self-reported and parent reported functional impariment among pediatric cancer survivors and controls.  Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 18:142 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-020-01387-z

Lee,J., Steel, J., Roumelioti, M, Erickson, S.J., Myaskovsky, L., Yabes,J., Rollman, B, Weisbord, S., Unruh, M., & Jhamb, M. (2020). Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 pandemic in patients with kidney failure on hemodialysis. Kidney360.

Erickson, S.J., Kubinec, N., Vaccaro, S., Moss, N., Rieger, R., Rowland, A., & Lowe, J. (2019). The association between maternal interaction adn infant cortisol stress reactivity among pre-term and full-term infants at 4 months adjusted age. Infant Behavior and Development, 57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101342

Erickson, S.J., Hile, S., Rieger, R., Moss, N., Dinces, S., & Annett, R. (2018). Association between Executive Function and Functional Impairment Among Pediatric Cancer Survivors and Controls. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acy079

Erickson, S.J., MacLean, P., Duvall, S., Tonigan, J.S., Ohls, R., & Lowe, J.R. (2018). Mother-Child Interactive Behaviors and Cognition in Preschoolers born Preterm and Full Term.  Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Duvall, S., Erickson, S., MacLean, P., LaFavor, T., & Lowe, J. (2017). Multimodal Executive Function Measurement in Preschool Children Born Very Low Birth Weight and Full Term: Relationship Between Formal Measure Performance, Parent Report and Naturalistic Observational Coding. Journal of Child Neuropsychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40817-017-0047-y

Erickson, S.J., Gerstle, M., & Montague, E.Q. (2016). Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Concordance Between Adolescent Cancer Survivors and Their Parents’ Proxy Report. Journal of Health Psychology, 1-10.

Smith, J.E., Erickson, S.J., Austin, J.L., Lash, D., & Winn, J. (2016). The Influence of Mother-Daughter Relationship Quality on Body Image and Disordered Eating in Preadolescent Girls. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 2683-2694.

McLaughlin, E., Belon, K., Smith, J., & Erickson, S.J. (2015). Mothers' and Daughters' Beliefs about Factors Affecting Preadolescent Girls' Body Satisfaction. Body Image, 13, 9-17.

Lowe, J.R., Erickson, S.J., MacLean, P., Schrader, R., Olds, R., Duvall, S., & Duncan, A. (2014). Associations between maternal scaffolding and executive functioning in 3 and 4 year olds born preterm and full term. Early Human Development, 90(10), 587-593.

Duvall, S.W., Erickson, S.J., MacLean, P., & Lowe, J.R. (2014).Executive function and medical severity in preschoolers born very low birth weight. Journal of Child Neurology.

Hile, S., Erickson, S.J., Agee, B., & Annett, R. (2014). Parental stress predicts functional outcomes in pediatric cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology.

Erickson, S.J., Duvall, S.W., Fuller, J., Schraeder, R., & Lowe, J.R. (2013). Differential associations between maternal scaffolding and toddler emotion regulation in toddlers born preterm and full-term. Early Human Development, 89, 699-704.

Erickson, S.J., MacLean, P., Qualls, C., & Lowe, J.R. (2013). Differential associations between infant affective and cortisol responses during the Still Face paradigm among infants born very low birth weight versus full-term. Infant Behavior and Development, 36(3): 359-68.

Erickson, S.J., Maclean, P.C., Duvall, S.W., & Lowe, J.R. (2013). Screening for dysregulation among toddlers born very low birth weight. Infants and Young Children, 26 (3): 213-224.

Erickson, S.J., Lowe, J.R., Bancroft, M.E., Montague, E.Q, & Maclean, P. (2012). Differential ethnic associations between maternal interactive behavior and toddler play sophistication among infants born very low birth weight. Infant Behavior and Development, 35, 860-869.

Lowe, J.R., Erickson, MacLean, P., Schrader, R., & S.J., Fuller, J. (2012). Association of  Maternal Scaffolding to Maternal Education and Cognition in Toddlers Born Preterm and Term. Acta Paediatrica, 102, 72-77.

Lowe, J., Erickson, S.J., Duncan, A., & Schraeder, R. (2012). Bayley Scales 2nd Edition Compared to the 3rd Edition: Are we measuring the same thing? Acta Paediatrica, 101(2), 55-58.

Erickson, S.J., Montague, E., & Gerstle, M. (2010). Health related quality of life in children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 13(3), 175-181.

Lowe, J.R., Erickson, S.J., Maclean, P., & Montague, E. (2010). Cognitive Correlates in Toddlers Born Very Low Birth weight and Full-Term. Infant Behavior and Development, 33, 629-634.

Annett, R.D. & Erickson, S.J. (2009). Feasibility of a school re-integration program for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Lessons learned. European Journal of Cancer Care, 18(4), 421-428.

Erickson, S.J. Hahn-Smith, A., & Smith, J.E. (2009). One step closer: understanding the complex relationship between weight and self esteem in ethnically diverse pre-adolescent girls. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology30, 129-139.

Maclean, P., Erickson, S.J., & Lowe, J.R. (2009). Comparing emotional reactivity and regulation in infants born ELGA and VLGA. Infant Behavior and Development, 32, 336-339.

 

Lab

Suzanne Vaccaro, MA, MS

Ayesha Bhatia, MPH

Molly Pylypciw, BS

Note:  If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in my lab, please contact me (erickson@unm.edu).  Strong academic performance is expected.  Emphasis will be placed on research experience, publications/presentations, and letters of reference.