Sean R. Womack

LIFE Virginia

LIFE Fellow since 2018, University of Virginia

UVA Fellow Speaker

I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in  2014 with my B.S. in psychology.  Broadly speaking, my research examines environmental contributions to the development of conduct problems, delinquency, and substance use in youth living in low-SES families. One environmental factor that I am particularly interested in studying is turbulence, or events that cause temporary or permanent disruption to the day-to-day structure and routines of a family system. Turbulent events include but aren’t limited to residential mobility, family structure instability, parental incarceration, and financial. My research seeks to answer the following questions. How to we quantify instability in childhood? What is the association between instability in childhood and the development of maladaptive behaviors? Are there particular developmental periods at which exposure to instability is more or less impactful? What are the mechanisms by which instability impacts child development? I am also interested in longitudinal data analysis and quantitative methods. My clinical interests include family-based interventions for behavior problems and couple’s therapy.

Selected Publications

Womack, S. R., Clifford, S., Wilson, M. N., Shaw, D. S., & Lemery-Chalfant, K. (2021). Genetic moderation of the association between early family instability and trajectories of aggressive behaviors from middle childhood to adolescence. Behavior Genetics, 51, 476–491.

Savell, S. M., Womack, S. R., Wilson, M. N., Shaw, D. S., & Dishion, T. J. (2019). Considering the role of early discrimination experiences and the parent–child relationship in the development of disruptive behaviors in adolescence. Infant Mental Health Journal, 40, 98–112.

Womack, S. R., Taraban, L. T., Shaw, D. S., Wilson, M. N., & Dishion, T. J. (2019). Family turbulence and child internalizing and externalizing behaviors: Moderation of effects by race. Child Development, 90(6), e729–e744.

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