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Department of Psychology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Michelle Brown

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
Michelle Brown headshot from mid torso. She has black, curly hair and is wearing a gray blazer and a navy blue button up blouse with a silver necklace.

***** Dr. Brown is accepting students for 2022 *****


Dr. Brown uses a developmental psychopathology framework to: (1) understand how interpersonal relationships influence victimized children’s risk for developing adverse socioemotional outcomes and (2) elucidate biopsychosocial factors that influence treatment outcomes for victimized children.


Dr. Brown received her PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development where she specialized in Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science. She completed her predoctoral clinical psychology internship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Brown is completing her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Penn State Hershey Medical Center where she conducts research with and provides evidence-based intervention to children who have experienced maltreatment and other forms of trauma. She will be joining the University of South Carolina Psychology department as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2022.

Research Interests

My research uses a developmental psychopathology framework to assess how multiple systems interact to inform typical and atypical developmental trajectories among children and adolescents in efforts to identify pathways that determine adaptive or maladaptive functioning. I employ multi-method (e.g., observational and self-report), multi-reporter, and multi-level assessments (e.g., psychophysiological regulation), to conduct this work. The ultimate goal of my research is to translate my findings into evidence-based interventions with victimized children in order to promote resilient functioning following experiences of adversity.

Specifically, my research agenda focuses on:

  1. Understanding how interpersonal relationships influence victimized children’s risk for developing adverse socioemotional outcomes with a particular emphasis on how maltreated adolescents’ friendship experiences influence their risk for later psychopathology and revictimization.
  2. Elucidating biopsychosocial factors (e.g., psychophysiological dysregulation, caregiver trauma history) that influence treatment outcomes for victimized children who are engaged in evidence-based interventions such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  3. Investigating the trauma conferring impact of adverse police interactions on Black youth and the culturally relevant processes that may modulate how youth negotiate these adverse experiences.

My research has received past funding from the National Science Foundation and is currently funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Society for Research in Child Development.

Representative Publications

Allen, E., Desir, M. P., & Shenk, C. (2021). Child maltreatment and adolescent externalizing behavior: Examining peer relationships as a mediator. Child Abuse & Neglect, 111.

 Desir, M. P. & Karatekin, C. (2020). Interpersonal factors influencing risk for revictimization in two samples of young adults. Journal of Child Custody, 17(2), 89-115.

 Desir, M. P. & Karatekin, C. (2019). Characteristics of disclosing childhood victimization and risk for revictimization in young adulthood. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

 Desir, M. P. & Karatekin, C. (2018). Parent- and sibling-directed aggression in children of domestic violence victims. Violence and Victims, 33(5), 886-901.   

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